Trading Beautiful for Spectacular
The Difference Between Pets
“Remember when you first started playing...”
That was the beginning of a previous Neopian Times article that sparked great controversy and debate about the morality of trading pets. The argument went like this: Fluffy was your first pet, you spent neopoints on Fluffy, and therefore you have a connection with Fluffy that no one could ever have with her. The creation aspect, the time spent, all of that contributed to your connection with Fluffy.
No one would love this pet as much as you, so stated the article, because they never had this kind of connection with Fluffy. And the new pet that you traded for, that awfully cute pet with a better name? You could never feel the same kind of connection as you had with Fluffy.
Imagine my surprise when I saw someone who had advocated that article trading a pet. “It’s just a pet I found in the pound and therefore I have no connection with it,” she said. “Why shouldn’t I trade for something I like better?” she asked.
I was not aware that there was a difference between a pet that you just happen to find in the pound and a pet that you created. How far does this rationale extend? And does this rationale justify trading the pounded pet versus trading a pet that you created?
The Many Sides of Bob
Suppose Bob applied for a pet named Beautiful. Bob truly believes that he will love Beautiful forever and the owner chooses him to be the new owner. Oh lucky day! Bob has the best intentions of providing a permanent home for Beautiful, but a week later he sees Spectacular, his dream pet Up-for-Trade (UFT). Well, Bob reasons, I only adopted this pet through the pound and therefore I have no connection with Beautiful. Why shouldn’t I trade Beautiful for Spectacular? Why not indeed.
Let’s go back to the original scenario: suppose Bob simply sees Beautiful in the pound and adopts her, perhaps because he wishes to rescue a pet from the pound or because something struck his fancy. No real connection, and therefore, Beautiful is traded promptly to another owner who could not love her as much as Bob had for that week, a week during which he trained her, read her books, fed her gourmet food... But Bob has Spectacular, whom he adores because he has been dreaming of her since he first saw her picture.
Now let’s say Bob created Beautiful, painted her, trained her, read her books, and all those fun stuff that owners can do. But Beautiful was never a dream pet for Bob; he was merely grooming her until he could save up enough money to transform her into his dream pet. Suddenly, he sees Spectacular UFT. Spectacular IS Beautiful painted. He doesn’t care about names or books or stats. No, Bob cares about the dream pet color, and so he trades Beautiful for Spectacular. Then Bob promptly begins to train Spectacular, to read her books, feed her gourmet food, and everything else possible to do with a pet in Neopia. Nothing but the best for Spectacular.
Finally, suppose the pet Bob dreams about is an unconverted pet. He will NEVER have the opportunity to morph Beautiful into the creature he wishes she could be. But once again, Spectacular is being offered up-for-trade, shining and gleaming in all her unconverted glory. Goodbye Beautiful. Hello Spectacular.
Does it Matter in the End?
Is there a difference between any of these scenarios? In each, Bob gives up a pet named Beautiful to be traded for his dream pet named Spectacular. Does it matter whether Bob found Beautiful in the pound, adopted her, or created her? Does it matter how long Bob has owned Beautiful before he traded her? Bob enjoys Beautiful in all of the scenarios, but he has the chance to fulfill his dream and obtain a pet that he will truly love. How does the way Bob obtain Beautiful make a difference in the way he feels about her or the way he feels about Spectacular?
In each hypothetical, Bob chooses between a pet that he does not have any special connection with and a pet that he has been dreaming about. Why do people assume that Bob can only have a connection with a pet he has created? In all likelihood, Bob has a better connection with Spectacular since he has been hoping and wishing for Spectacular since he started playing Neopets. “Oh Spectacular,” he sighs every night.
Bob is tired of people condemning him for trading Beautiful, who is once again a pet that he never fully had a connection with. (Especially when those people are usually the ones who have their own Spectacular already. ) Why shouldn’t he have the chance to get his own Spectacular? Bob is sure that the new owner will love and appreciate Beautiful more than he ever had.
“But why can’t you just adopt Spectacular?” the naysayers cry. Bob shakes his head. You see, Bob has already tried and tried but most owners do not want to give up a Spectacular. And if there is a Spectacular up for adoption (UFA), there are usually so many applicants that Bob is left in the dust, forgotten with his inability to draw, roleplay, or write well (English is a second language for Bob, you see). All he has is Beautiful to offer.
In short, thank you TNT for letting us trade neopets, an option that has allowed many of us to finally obtain that dream pet that we have been staring at for so long. I never felt a connection with my Fluffy or my Beautiful, so I am sure that their new owners are more appreciative of them. And even if my Fluffy and Beautiful are traded once again, I know that their life will be adventurous as they travel through Neopia to find that one special owner who can truly appreciate them, the way I never did. In the meantime, I thank them for giving me the opportunity to hug my Spectacular.
And no, Bob will not be trading Spectacular. I like Bob.