How Neopets Affects Our Real Lives!
I'm quite proud of my real life Neopets t-shirt that I made using a plain white tee and a handful of fabric markers. It features my Blue Cybunny in a field of pink flowers, and she's nibbling quite happily on a tuft of grass. It took me 2 months to finally decide that I was done adjusting the pencil lines, and I colored the tee with a brand new pack of fabric markers, a medium that I've never used before. I'm really happy with the result!
Unfortunately, I am also extremely shy in real life, and I've never worn this shirt in public. Though I love Neopets and the Neopets community, I'm horrible at small talk, and though I'd love to come across another avid Neopets player, I would probably spend the encounter staring at my shoes and shyly nodding at whatever the other person was saying.
I'm pretty jealous of the people who have real life friends on Neopets. I didn't come across Neopets until I graduated from college, and I'm envious of players who have actual high school friends that are also Neopets players. It's so cool when you can combine real life friends with the Neopets universe!
Curious about the ways in which Neopets has seeped into our real lives, I thought I'd wander over to the Neoboards and ask each forum about how Neopets has affected their real lives. I got a lot of interesting replies!
The most popular reply I got was: time management! People have learned to structure their time around various Neopets activities. They know precisely when to log in to check the updated New Features page. They remember that they have to log in at a specific time to catch Trudy's Surprise. And they do their dailies assiduously, usually one right after the other, instead of spacing out their dailies throughout the day. Everyone also knows about Game Score Reset Day and Half Price Day, and lots of people will rearrange their lives so that they're on Neopets on these days!
The second most popular reply, and one that made me laugh out loud, was: the Neopets dream! I have a Neopets dream roughly once every 2 months, so I giggled when I found out that other people have Neopets dreams as well. The Neopets dream is the most insidious way that Neopets seeps into real life, and I smiled when I learned that I wasn't alone!
The third most popular reply was: learning to code! Before Neopets, many players didn't know the difference between HTML and CSS. Now that they know how to code their own galleries, petpages and user lookups, they have to smile and admit that Neopets was a valuable learning experience! Many players also admitted that knowing HTML and CSS is something useful that has seeped into their real lives, especially for students and working adults. One player proudly stated that she was so inspired by Neopets that she is now a web developer. How cool is that!
There were also a lot of other ways in which Neopets has seeped into our lives. One player admitted that even though Neopets no longer sells plush dolls, she still hopes that they'll make a comeback someday. I have to admit, if Neopets sold notebooks, I'd snap them up in a jiffy! I wouldn't mind some Neopets stickers and pens, either. It seems that when it comes to real life Neopets merchandise, we're all hopeful fans! (Some other interesting suggestions were: baseball caps, binders and folders, mouse pads, lunch boxes, sweaters, lip balm, posters, even toothbrushes!)
Many people said that Neopets serves as a distraction from real life. For instance, one player admitted that he sometimes logs into Neopets instead of studying for his upcoming exams. He limits his Neopets excursions to 30 minutes, and it helps him to recharge mentally, rather than burn out from too much studying. Another player admitted that she logs into Neopets at work when it's a slow day at the office, and as someone who used to be an office worker herself, I nodded in sympathetic agreement.
Have you ever cancelled a social engagement in order to play on Neopets? Well, you aren't alone! I met a handful of players who blushed over their hapless addiction to Neopets, because they'd turn down the opportunity to hang out with friends at the mall in order to restock on Half Price Day, or they'd avoid a real life party because it was Game Score Reset Day and they wanted a gold trophy. I, personally, always turn down coworkers when they invite me to the bar after work, because I'd rather race home and play on Neopets. How addicted we all are!
One player admitted that she used to be argumentative and controversial on the Neoboards, but is now super careful not to participate in arguments because she values her account too much to risk it getting frozen. It's changed how she is in real life, too, and she claims that she's less critical of people and more open-minded in real life. She also admitted that she's more tolerant of people who can't speak English properly, and admires players who are logging in to Neopets from non-English speaking countries and are struggling to talk to other players. I feel the same way! English is a crazy, mishmash, difficult language to master, and I have to give props to people who are struggling to speak it properly.
Something that one player did, which I never thought of doing before, was practice her Spanish skills on the Spanish Neoboards! She said that chatting in Spanish helped her to raise her real life school grades, and I'm glad her Spanish skills improved! It never occurred to me to visit the Neoboards of any language other than English, so I was pretty inspired by her experience! (I took Spanish in high school, so it might be fun to visit the Spanish Neoboards and chat with a whole new group of players!)
A handful of players claimed that Neopets unearthed "vices" in them that they weren't even aware of! For instance, some people were addicted to gambling with Nerkmids. Others were addicted to opening Discovered Treasure Chests. The most popular gambling activity was the Neopian Lottery, and I wished everyone much luck with winning big! (The reason I put "vices" in quotes was because it's not really a vice. Nothing on Neopets is!)
One deadpan player said that Neopets taught her "insomnia," and I laughed! I'm the kind of player who stays up until 1 am refreshing the Neoboards, so I totally understood. There were plenty of nights where I had the option of going to bed at 10 pm, but chose to stay up and refresh the Neoboards, or write Neopets poetry, or work on an NT article, instead of going to sleep.
And the most inspiring way in which Neopets seeps into our real lives? The friendships and camaraderie that Neopets inspires! People excitedly and happily posted about how they have Neofriends in other countries, proudly declaring that they have friends in Germany, Australia, Japan, and many other assorted countries. It reminds me of the pen pals I had in elementary/primary school, and I think it's charming that as a young adult, I get to continue the tradition of having pen pals all over the (real life) globe!
Thanks, everyone, for replying to my threads! This article was really inspiring to write, and I learned a lot about you all! It's always fascinating to pick your brains, since we're all so different, but are also united in our love for Neopets. I think it's amazing how Neopets has seeped into our real lives, and that instead of being sour or upset about Neopets taking over so much time, we're all happy, joyous and content to rearrange our lives! (And we even anticipate more addictions, in the form of new events, plots, and wars!)
You rock, fellow players! If you can think of other ways in which Neopets affects your real lives, feel free to drop me a Neomail! I'd love to write a second article all about our beautiful, crazy addiction!
Stay tuned for more articles from yours truly, and have an amazing week!