Not What TNT Intended!
I have to admit, the foods on this website look really yummy to me sometimes. I remember a few times where I collected a piece of omelette from the Giant Omelette and felt my stomach rumble. I am also a fan of Gross Foods, because a lot of times they don't seem gross to me. I would love to try Sugared Meatballs, for instance, or an Anchovy Loaf, or a Minced Beef Pretzel. And some foods, like Tuna Stroganoff, seem so ordinary and delicious that I wonder why they're labeled "Gross" at all! I look forward to TNT creating more Gross Foods that will fascinate and intrigue us!
I also look forward to buying more music tracks for my pets! The poverty of choices at the NC Mall has whetted my appetite for Neopets music, which is probably not what TNT intended at all! Right now, I have the Time Tunnel Music Track, and I would love to buy 10 more music tracks, but the selection simply isn't there!
After musing over these aspects of the site, I wondered, what else about this site has happened that TNT didn't intend at all? I decided to rush over to the Neoboards and ask my fellow Neopians. I got many interesting replies!
One interesting reversal that happens with a lot of people on this site is their love for species wearables, instead of the species themselves! Rather than adopt or create a painted pet and dress it up afterwards, many people search Jellyneo's Item Database for their favorite species clothes and THEN create, paint, and dress their pet. I think this is quite an interesting reversal! I don't think TNT realized how much we'd adore the wearables on this site. We love them so much that we choose the outfits first, and then the pets!
TNT probably didn't realize how popular pet trading would become, and that the players would invent bizarre tiers and hierarchies that would dictate the worth of their pets. I, for one, am an avid fan of pet trading, and (having already accomplished my own pet goals) I find great pleasure in trading my zapped pets to other people for my Neofriends' dream pets. TNT probably didn't intend for pet trading to become the burgeoning activity it now is (many people log on to Neopets with the sole intent of trading pets), but I love pet trading, and I look forward to getting more of my Neofriends' dreamies!
Another interesting aspect of the site is that many players leave their pets sad and sick, because their faces become beautifully expressive that way. Some pets look mournful, others look fierce, and others look disgruntled. My favorite sad pet is the Malevolent Sentient Plushie Poogle because it looks like it's growling, its sharp and shiny fangs on display. There's no other pet like it! Deliberately keeping our pets sad and sick was probably not something TNT intended, but that's what we users do!
Another magical thing that happens on this site (that TNT probably never intended) is our love of collaborative projects! A few years ago, I participated in the Brightvale University edition of the Neopian Times, a project where people sent in articles, stories and comics all about the fictional school of Brightvale University. This idea was totally user-generated, and not created by TNT in any way. TNT probably never expected us to come up with such collaborative efforts, and it's really cool when TNT becomes inspired by us, rather than the other way around!
Several players noted that TNT probably didn't realize how popular the Neoboards would be. Rather than being dry forums where we simply ask and answer questions, the Neoboards are a magical place for us to chat, unwind, and discuss the events of the day. We greet each other, crack jokes, and encourage each other as best we can. The players that frequent specific Neoboards also have loyalty to their Neoboards, calling themselves "HCers" (Help Chatters), "PCers" (Pound Chatters), etc.. TNT probably never intended for us to act so fiercely loyal to our favorite Neoboards!
Something else that TNT probably didn't intend was the creation of hoarders! After the unveiling of the Charity Corner event a few years ago, people vowed that they wouldn't be caught by surprise by future events, and decided to hoard every item that they got from dailies and contests. Last year, it paid off! People were able to donate hundreds, even thousands of times, because they'd hoarded so many school supplies in their Safety Deposit Boxes. And now, they're addicted to hoarding! It's 2016 now, a brand new year, and people are anticipating the next Charity Corner with happy smiles, as well as SDBs that are full of hundreds of random items!
(The most popular idea floating around the Neoboards right now is that the next Charity Corner will be food-based. This makes sense, since real-life food drives are always prevalent around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The prices of cheap foods on Shop Wizard have already spiked, with many foods worth less than 10 NP shooting up in price to over 1,000 NP.)
Many people agreed that TNT probably didn't mean for rare items to become so unachievable. There are stamps, for instance, worth over 100 million NP. I hope TNT creates an event where extremely expensive items are given out as prizes, deflating their value and giving hope to those of us who want to finish our avatar and item collections with said items. (My own personal dream is to complete the Faerieland section of my Stamp Album.)
Some humorous players noted that TNT probably didn't realize that Trudy's Surprise would make us all lazy. Why play games when you can just click the big blue box and get 19,000 NP? I have to admit, I count myself amongst the lazy. Ever since Trudy's Surprise was unveiled to the Neopian public, I've never forced myself to play difficult games anymore. Instead, I just play the games I enjoy, like Bouncy Supreme and Fashion Fever!
Concerning the NC Mall, we all agreed that TNT probably didn't realize what a huge hit the Mall would be, and that a lot of players would happily fork over $5000 for the awesome wearables contained therein. And we all had to admit that the NC Mall is a great way for TNT to earn revenue, and that if someone is willing to spend a thousand real-life dollars, well then, good for them! They keep the site alive for the rest of us!
One incisive player noted that when TNT discontinued the sale of real-life Neopets plush dolls, our desire for plushes soared! Many other players chimed in, saying that they'd love to purchase real-life Neopets merchandise. The most popular desires were: plush dolls; notebooks; stickers; baseball caps and t-shirts; pens and pencils; and posters. (Goodness, what I wouldn't give for a Desert Lutari poster! I'm even thinking of drawing my own!) TNT probably didn't realize that by discontinuing the sale of real-life merchandise, we'd become simply ravenous for them!
One player said that she keeps a "Neopets shrine" in her room. It's a wooden dresser with four drawers on which she's painted every pet species. The drawers are filled with various Neopets projects, such as Beauty Contest entries and abandoned Random Contest entries (that she hopes she'll still be able to use in future contests -- cross your fingers!). The top of the dresser is littered with Neopets plush, and Neocash cards are taped all over the drawer fronts. I have to admit, her shrine seems heavenly, colorful, and so creative! I'm pretty sure that TNT never intended us to be such addicts, but addicts we all are! (Especially since this player has inspired me to create a Neopets shrine of my own!)
On an inspiring note, TNT probably never realized that the programmable aspects of the site, such as our User Lookups and Petpages, would help us to learn HTML and CSS. They probably never realized that many of us, having been bitten by the coding bug, would go on to study graphic design and computer programming in college…and we have Neopets to thank for it! This is definitely something that TNT never expected!
And one player said that TNT probably never intended for Neopets to replace all of our other gaming sites, but that is what it did! For instance, this player admitted that he used to have accounts on four other gaming sites, but cancelled them all to focus exclusively on Neopets. TNT probably expected us to play on other sites concurrently to Neopets, but the opposite has happened! We now cancel our other accounts because Neopets is simply the best!
This was a really interesting article to write! The players that I spoke to on the Neoboards came up with a lot of odd, quirky ideas, and it was fascinating to pick their brains. There are a lot of ways in which TNT didn't expect us to behave on this site, and I'm already looking forward to writing a future article all about the ways in which TNT is surprised by user-generated content!
Thanks for reading (and contributing to) this article, my fellow players! Stay tuned for more articles from yours truly, and have an amazing week!