Do Neopet Owners Feed Their Neopets Anymore?
At first we all did. A couple times we’d forget and feel guilty, so we’d give them expensive food. But do people actually feed their Neopets anymore? We know they don’t die. We know TNT doesn’t punish us for neglecting the poor innocent Neopets. Is that why people are starving their pets?
Neopets, once designed to connect the real world with a virtual, fun loving world, has turned out to be nothing more than the ugly crime we see on real world television.
“I don’t see the point,” says a newcomer to Neopets, who is too ashamed even to want his name posted in this article. “There is no reason to. They are just there, really, to look pretty.” Is this what our loved Neopian animals have become: an ornament on our user lookup- just there to “look pretty”?
In the “Handy Tips” section on the submission form for the Neopians Times it reads: “Neopets represented as nonsentient beings. Every Neopet is a person, not just a pack animal...”. That is what this article is about.
Old Neopet owners would remember when you couldn’t go a day without checking your neopets’ hunger, in fear that they might suffer for your laziness. But over the years things have changed. People talk on the boards, play the games, search for rare items to fill their galleries, and have forgotten about what Neopets is about: NEOPETS!!!
This website is not called “Boards” or “Avatar Search”. The website was solely based on Neopets. And now we are taking them for granted- using them as a pass to get into the games and webbies.
I spoke to some people on the boards about this topic and found a connection between feeding or neglecting and how long the user had been on the site:
- “I have always feed my pet. And I feel incredibly guilty when I don’t”- 45 months
- “I rarely feed my pet anymore. OMG I seriously forgot I had it.lol” -2 months
- “I can’t go a day without seeing if my pets are alright. I’m always sooooo worried about them. As soon as I get on Neopets I feed them omelette and jelly until they are bloated”- 5 years
- “Not me. It’s not like they can die”- Newbie
- “Eh, sometimes, when I'm really bored. Mostly when that crying face starts to really bug me.”- 20 months
- “i don't have a pet. But if i had one, i wouldn't.”- Newbie (See, some people can’t even be bothered to get pets.)
You probably get the picture by now. Newcomers are abusing their account responsibilities. And although they are not written anywhere, you’d think that people would understand the basic idea that Neopets is clearly, 100%, about the Neopets and the beautiful land of Neopia that goes with them.
When I look back at it now, I can see that this hasn’t just started. Through my three years I have been on Neopets, I have seen Neopians gradually begin to neglect their neopets. The first sign of this is people designing beautiful user lookups for themselves, yet leaving the plain white page that showed off their once adored neopet.
The second sign was when many like myself saw TNT customizing ideas as a way of making people take another look at their neopets. And although that may have not been the real reason, I was surprised to see how many people saw it as just that.
The third sign was another on TNT's behalf. Only recently, when I starved my pet, to see if anything happen (let’s just say I will never do it again), tears filled up in my neopet's eyes. This for me was when I said to myself, “That’s it. I am finishing this article whether my life depends on it.” To see my neopet cry like that was just awful and it made me realize how attached I had become to my Neopet in the three years I have had her. It also made me think whether any of those newcomers or old for that matter would look at that and still ignore their now “dying” neopet.
Recently a newbie said to me, when I asked for his thoughts on the topic, “I think having a neopet just wastes room on the screen.” After hearing this I felt as though my case had been proved. Newbies just don’t respect Neopets the way people used to.
While writing this article I also looked into people’s thoughts on solutions to this problem. One person told me they should just get rid of the pets altogether. That was probably the worst answer; the rest were quite helpful. One of the best answers I got was that if your pet actually died three times, then you would be suspended for a period of time.
Now that may sound a little harsh, but put yourself in your neopets’ shoes- if you’ve even bought them any.
Now don’t get me wrong; I know that Neopets isn’t just all about taking care of our pets. It's about making friends and occasionally a friendly battle or game. But seriously ask yourself these questions:
- When was the last time you let your pet play with a toy because you felt they would be happier and not for some avatar?
- When was the last time you decided to keep your tons of omelette because you knew your pet would need them at some time and not sell them at the trading point for free?
- Did you read that last question and say to yourself that by doing that you were helping someone? Try helping your own neopet once in a while!
I know you may read this and think, “Hey, she’s going a bit far” or “They’re not real pets”, but that's why I’m writing this, because maybe if we just thought of them as real pets, maybe if we just looked at Neopia as though it were a real place, maybe if we talked on the boards more about our Neopets, then maybe Neopets, the site, would be a better place.
Please, if you could actually be bothered to read this article, then maybe one day you could be bothered to take two minutes out of your 24 hour day to feed and take care of your pet.