12 year old Neopian vs 28 year old Neopian
Some of us Neopet's elders are still lurking around the site, either following new found hobbies or interests or perfecting older ones. Some of us simply come on to lurk in our guilds and the chats and some of us just come on to be nosy, either way, we are still here. Sixteen years later and I'm still here, every evening when my twins go to bed. So what's the difference? What keeps me here now? How would 12 year old me react to certain scenarios vs 28 year old me? It's time to find out! Disclaimer: This may not apply to everyone.
TNT: A new plot is released, go and support this cunning Kacheek as he seeks to find what happened to Neopia
12 year old me: YES! It's time. As soon as I'm home from school I'm going to explore everywhere with this Kacheek and complete the plot, every time a new step is released I'm going to complete that bad boy straight away! *puts on Kacheek hat, updates user lookup and updates neosignature to signify that I'm taking part*
28 year old me: Oh no, I've missed a plot? I thought it started later. Why don't I read the news every day. I could've completed that when the kids were in bed! *Keeps same neosignature I've had for years on Neopets*
TNT: A new Avatar is released, go and show your strength in this game and beat this score to gain the avatar.
12 year old me: YES, A NEW AVATAR. Time to get on the guild boards and discuss whilst I play the game constantly and hope I have some natural ability. *Already read game guide and hopes to be the first in the guild*
28 year old me: Oh I better go check if any new avatars have been released. Oh, they have? I'll have a go when the children are in bed, maybe, if I'm not too tired. *Falls asleep during the game*
*Something has happened* you have received a new avatar.
12 year old me: Oh AWESOME. Finally! Time to go brag on the avatar chat and in my guild and tell people it wasn't too hard even though I spent hours trying *updates avatar and makes new font to show it off*
28 year old me: Oh cool, I'll use it now, I don't need to change my font because it's blue and there's a tiny spec of blue on the avatar so that's fine and totally works.
*Fellow Neopian* Do you do Foodclub? What's your best restock?
12 year old me: Of course, I don't restock though, please show me how? *Goes to read relevant guides and discusses in guild to see who else does these things* Oh wow, what about Food Club? I must take part.
28 year old me: No. *struggles to find time to simply login*
TNT: Altador Cup is finally here, who will you support?
12 year old me: YES. *speaks with guild and on boards about the various teams*. Time to make my decision. *updates neosignature and userlookup so people know who I'm supporting, stays up until 3am secretly behind parents back*
28 year old me: Oh, another one I've missed. *logs out because it's 11pm and I've been tired since midday*
Ultimately, Neopets is for everyone. My approach to Neopets many years ago was different to my approach now, but I still love the site. I love that when I sign on, my old Neofriends pop up in the side bar and I see some that are still enjoying the site we spent so much of our childhood on still now. I get flashbacks to certain moments every time I load up some kind of map on Neopets whether it is the classic main map or certain places such as Krawk island. I love that when I look at certain aspects of my profile, such as my avatars, I can place where I was in my Neopets career at that time.
I see my first avatar and think back to the guild I got it in, Avatar Cloud. I joined not knowing anything really about Neopets, I just used to come on and play games, and I eventually left when the guild naturally aged with lots of avatars and lots more knowledge around that. I met friends that I occasionally still message now.
I see my friends pop up in the online sidebar from time to time and I smile that they are still addicted like me, and that their lives are probably very different from when we used to talk daily years ago.
I see the chat boards and I remember the certain things that happened on there, from the Jazzy obsession to people wishing for lends (That still happens now), and people working on their avatar counts together.
Ultimately, you can't change what Neopets has done for you, whether it gave you your first sniff of HTML and you now work in some kind of computing job because of it, or whether you still come on now because just the sentimental value of Neopets is so great, that with that and it's awesomeness you are simply hooked. It is an amazing site, and every Neopian on here makes it so much better with their participation.
When I came off my hiatus everything had changed and nothing had at all at the same time. It still looked the same but there were so many new things for my to have a look at.
28 year old me may struggle with getting online or working around my kids to get some time on the computer, but 12 year old me still exists inside and gets excited for all the great new stuff that The Neopets Team is bringing out. Every time I eventually realise there's a new Avatar I get that butterfly feeling in my stomach, every time I see a new plot I get excited. I'm excited that the site is still here and I can't wait until my twin boys are old enough to take part. Thank you guys, it's been emotional, exciting and excellent rolled all into one, and I wouldn't have it any other way.