Generic? Or Badge Of Honor?
I was scrolling through Sunnyneo's page of premade User Lookups when I realized what a variety of people frequent Neopets. Most people use User Lookup premades that are unique and rare, usually made by other users, and the more obscure the better. But a big percentage of people also use Sunnyneo's premades with pride, including me. I find great satisfaction in brandishing the "Lookup By Sunnyneo" text on my side accounts, and I think it's rather cool to support the amazing website that Sunnyneo is!
Some might call me generic. But I think the "Lookup By Sunnyneo" is a badge of pride and solidarity... and perhaps, even community!
Wondering what other "generic" and "ordinary" things there were on Neopets that people still supported, I decided to ask the Help Neoboard, which always has the biggest diversity of users. I got many interesting replies!
The most popular answer was: avatars! Although achieving rare and difficult avatars is considered to be the biggest hobby on Neopets, there are also thousands of users who refuse to use rare avatars on the Neoboards, preferring instead to use the default avatars that come for free with each new account.
There were many reasons why people chose to use default avatars. One reason was that people disagree with avatar competition, even decrying the NeoBoard Avatar Collector high score list, because it's impossible for even a very aged account to land on the list.
Another reason why people prefer default avatars is for humor value, since the artwork is less sophisticated than later avatars, and they enjoy acting like silly, clueless newbies on the Neoboards. In fact, some of my favorite Help Neoboard dorks use default avatars, namely the Chia avatar and the Kiko avatar. (I even started using the Kiko avatar because I admired the user so much!)
And finally, people like to use default avatars because they hate to boast. Although they might have an avatar count of 340, they hate making their Neofriends jealous, and so they use default avatars instead. I understand how these people feel. A very close Neofriend of mine wants the "Snowager - RAWR!" avatar, and I see her every day in the Neofriends sidebar, so I make sure to never use the Snowager avatar because I don't want her to feel bad. Friendship for the win!
Another thing that might seem "generic" but is actually something admirable is peoples' refusal to paint their pets! It's not that these users are cheap or stingy. It's actually something deeper than that. My close Neofriend has an unpainted Red Grarrl that she'll never paint, because she believes that every pet has value, even unpainted ones.
I have to agree. I recently adopted a Yellow Cybunny that was floating around in the Neopian Pound, and after spending two grueling hours looking at the Rainbow Pool and trying to plan her paint job and customization, I decided she was perfect just the way she was. What a terrible waste of time... yet, how glorious it was to recognize that she was an unpainted little miracle!
Many people were, like me, addicted to websites such as Sunnyneo and Jellyneo. People love to use Sunnyneo's shop layouts, petpages, glitters, blogs, banners, and more. They love Jellyneo just as much, for the same reasons. Although these freebies will never be exclusive or rare, people flock by the thousands to use them on their accounts, and I feel the same way!
There were a handful of people who thought that Secret Laboratory Ray colors were generic. Since they already owned all of their dream pets, they would zap pets and give them away as soon as they changed colors. I thought it was pretty cool to meet these people! It's rare to meet someone with a well-named Maraquan Cybunny who's just willing to just give it away to the first person to post on his or her thread. Giving away these "generic" pets actually helps many people achieve their dreamies, and I applaud all the zappers-and-pounders who are so generous! Way to turn something "generic" into an act of kindness!
Since Morphing Potions have become so cheap in recent years (in 2007 a bottle of Green Uni Morphing Potion, the cheapest Morphing Potion available, would set you back 20,000 Neopoints), the new "generic" pet seems to be the Ogrin. The four basic-colored Ogrin Morphing Potions are all under 1,500 Neopoints, and for people who are dissatisfied with their pets' species, the Ogrin Morphing Potion is a good choice for changing their pets' looks... thus, the Ogrin's new stance as a "generic" species.
Another thing that might seem "generic" is peoples' need to identify themselves by the Neoboards they frequent. For instance, an Avatar Neoboard regular might call herself an "ACer," shorthand for Avatar Chatter. Similarly, a Help Neoboard regular would be an "HCer," and so on. Although it might seem generic to blend in with popular Neoboards, people who identify themselves by their favorite Neoboards are actually displaying a show of solidarity. I have to agree with them! My favorite Neoboard is the Help Neoboard, and I'm honored whenever someone identifies me as being "that HCer that's always asking the HC for Neopian Times ideas." What an honor!
What I've realized is that all the things that may make us "generic" are actually the things that define us, and paradoxically, make us unique! For instance, I may be using Sunnyneo layouts on my side accounts, but it's because I support the Sunnyneo website and all that it represents. Others use Sunnyneo layouts because the layouts are attractive. And still others use Sunnyneo because they don't know how to code layouts themselves. We all arrived at Sunnyneo for different reasons, reasons that make each of us unique!
Thank you, fellow Neopians, for volunteering your ideas for this article! I had a lot of fun writing it, especially since I got to burrow into your brains and find out what makes you tick. Stay tuned for further articles from yours truly, and have an amazing week!