The Hullabaloo over Transfers: Is Trading Degrading?
Note on the title: Yes, I did make use of the word “hullabaloo” in the title. You’re asking if people still use that word? Hogwash! All the kids are using it these days. Why, it’s super keen, the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow, the–yeah, I’m done now.
NEOPIAN POUND - It all started one day when I finally decided I needed a break from the Altador Cup. Not only had my hand gone rigid with carpal tunnel from slinging so many slushies, but I’d adopted the unpleasant habit of screaming “MAKE SOME NOISE!” at my parents every time they called me down for dinner. Yeah. As such, I decided it was time to just sit back, take a breather, and go where all of Neopia’s most literate and proper-grammar-using minds head to when looking for some simple fun: the Neoboards.
Spurned by the pleas to “r8 my peom” on the Neopian Writers Board and someone on the Help Board asking in what land could he find the Tyrannian Petpet Shop, I decided to visit that most new-and-shiny of all the Neoboards: the Pound board. And there, sitting inconsequentially among advertisement after advertisement of Ghost Tonus and Desert Aishas was a short, simple, largely ignored message: “Trading Neopets is disgusting. You all should be ashamed.”
This one person is not alone. Let me tell you, Neopians have been debating over one particular new feature louder than King Skarl grunting through five push-ups during his daily workout regimen. Yes, I’m talking about that most taboo of all T-words: transfers. For those of you who chose the little-known option of building your Neohome fifty feet beneath the planet’s surface and have therefore never heard about transfers deep down there in your dank little pit, I’ll allow yourself to get caught up.
There, caught up yet? No? Oh, you didn’t expect me to update you, did you? Fine, fine. A couple of months ago, the pound returned after a ho-boy-what’s-taking-forever hiatus. Conspiracy theories abounded during that period of time (“It’s Sloth’s doing!” raves an old toothless Kyrii) when, upon the pound’s lauded return, a surprising third option was presented. Yes, on top of adopting and abandoning Neopets, you could suddenly transfer them. As in, to a new owner. As in, you wouldn’t own them any longer, but you could choose who did. As in, clicking a button and typing a username would result in the Neopet’s removal from your account and insertion into the account of whomever it was you specified. As in, yeah, that’s probably specific enough, right?
Before I explain the sticky moral dilemma regarding transfers, let’s study the word in closer detail, as I’m told studying is apparently helpful or something. According to my handy-dandy dictionary, the word comes from trans-, meaning “a geometric isomer having a pair of identical atoms or groups on the opposite sides of two atoms linked by a double bond”, and -fer, meaning “one that bears.” I’m not sure what atomic bears have to do with transfers, but I’m sure it’s incredibly illuminating and 100% relevant.
Now, as everyone knows, the primary purpose of the transfer feature was to flood the Neopian Times Editorial inbox with questions along the lines of “How many transfers can you make monthly?” and “wut duz transfur meen????//” and “Will you be my Neofriend? :)”... which isn’t so much transfer-related as it is a question that no matter how many dozens of times I send the darn thing they just never seem to respond. However, it’s the secondary purpose of transfers that has everyone’s Pant Devil Pants in a bunch. Of course, there are two sides to every problem–unless it’s a trigonometry problem, in which case there are three. (And yes, I should be roasted alive for that one.) As such, instead of explaining the problem to you, I will invite two wholly fictional guests–Big_hungry_al_252 and tabasco_fiasco–to explain the cons and pros of trading Neopets using tact, kindness, and a keen knack for debating an issue without resorting to personal attacks.
Big_hungry_al_252: Hey, you big, hairy Turmac, trading Neopets objectifies them and treats them like nothing more than pixels!
tabasco_fiasco: You snivelling son of a Spyder, what do you think you’re doing when you trade Petpets at the Trading Post? It’s no different!
Big_hungry_al_252: Trading Neopets opens the door to maybe being allowed to one day sell your Neopets! And by the way, your Tuskaninny throws a Gormball like a sissy!
tabasco_fiasco: People used the Pound to transfer pets anyway! It’s been going on this entire time! Oh, and that Wand of the Air Faerie your Kougra uses in the Battledome? Ooh, how frightening–in Year Four, maybe!
Big_hungry_al_252: Trading Neopets is just plain revolting! Oh, and a high score of ninety in Techo Says? Way to go, dung-for-brains!
tabasco_fiasco: Yeah, well, your mother was a Meepit and your father smelt of MechaBerries!
Now my brain hurts more than Uggaroo’s during Round One of Maths Nightmare. As you can barely discern from that exchange, sundry arguments can be made for an against the practice of trading Neopets. While transferring is practical and convenient, especially for avatar collectors, the fact still remains that it treats Neopets as a commodity. Oh, and transferring is apparently also responsible for Big_hungry_al_252's father smelling of MechaBerries, so watch out for that.
Really, though, what’s the next step here? How can you mediate a disagreement such as this one? Why, by being a skilled and wonderful mediator such as myself! Folks, it appears as though, in the great debate of transfers, we have to strike some sort of compromise. A compromise is ultimately necessary, otherwise this argument will boil over and those involved will become more irrational than anyone who thinks Faerieland stands an Icy Snowball’s chance in a Fire Kiln at winning the Altador Cup.
What is a compromise, you may ask? Gee, only the greatest, most wonderful thing in the entire world! According to my handy-dandy dictionary of which I already made use once in this article, it is, “An endangering of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.: a compromise of one's integrity.” Er, and really, what could be more wonderful than that?
The title of my compromise shall forever been known as “Neopet Pinball.” Whenever the Create-a-Pet machine pops out an ickle widdle Neopet, that pet would necessarily be transferred to a new owner. The new owner will be able to enjoy that new Neopet for a whopping two-point-five seconds before it gets whooshed onwards to its next owner. Repeat that process, oh, let's say, for infinity? Any Neopets that enter your account will remain there only momentarily before being flung into another account, much like a game of pinball. And everyone loves pinball, right?
Er... no? Okay, okay. Fine, be that way. Reject my solution. Don’t appreciate the genius of my resolution. Destroy Neopia with your transfer-inspired wars. It’s quite alright. I’m used to not succeeding.
I did back the Haunted Woods in the Altador Cup, after all.