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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 7th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 53 > Articles > In Defence of Feeding Florg

In Defence of Feeding Florg

by benjamin51786

VIRTUPETS SPACE STATION - There have been quite a few editorials, articles, campaigns, crusades, referendum, and various other methods, both "nice" and not, to get rid of one game. What is the name of the game?

Feed Florg, perhaps the most controversial game made since the Ski Lodge Murder Mystery! For those lucky souls unfamiliar with Feed Florg, the object is relatively simple. It says, and I quote,

"Florg HUNGRY!!!! Keep petpets
on plate so Florg can eat them!!!
Click here to play!"

It begins starting sinister, though the object matter is… ah… well, slightly less than appetising. The mutant Chia, Florg, is apparently unable to keep his food on his plate, and relies on a helping hand, (pardon the pun), to aid him. That hand would be you, and you are rewarded based on the satisfaction of Florg, and how long you keep less than five Petpets from falling. Sounds simple? Perhaps. Is it? Not by a long shot.

With the understanding of ireallyamaloser, and others like her, I would like to present a case for how Feed Florg should NOT be banned from Neopets.

1. Quoted from Nayomii_ "I never even knew what this game was about or what happened!! Now I notice and thinks it's VERY cruel (<-- Now you see Neopians don't even know what they're playing!! They're like being brainwashed!!)"

Perhaps not. For me, at any rate, Feed Florg is like working in a Japanese restaurant. Some people can't stand the food. Some, like me, can't stand to see it killed and prepared before them. However, nobody says, "That's unethical!" Nobody proclaims with the certainty of a zealot, "That is morally reprehensible, and you're brainwashing people!"

No! Some people like their food… slightly more than raw. I have nothing against them, and neither should you. It's the way that they like their meals. And yet, what is the difference here, may I ask?

And, as for the brainwashing factor… No. Most people actually do know what they are getting themselves into, if they take the time to read the warnings. At the very top of the page it says "You keep Petpets on plate, Florg eat them." Where is the brainwashing here? Is this not a clear, unmistakable warning, "Do not play this game if you do not want to see Petpets getting eaten"?

Perhaps the problem is not a washed brain; perhaps it is a lapsed attention. In any case, the point is void, since there is no opportunity of brainwashing here, much less time needed to actually brainwash someone.

2. Again quoted from Nayomii_, "I have a mutant Chia myself and love mutant Chias and mutant pets are just like ordinary Neopets but Neopets make them look really bad here!"

This view is echoed by ireallyamaloser, who states, "Mutants are NOTHING of the sort! There are many VERY intelligent Mutant NeoPets!

Unfortunately, I have been somewhat lax in this regard. I have no mutant Chia, or any mutant pet at all. My apologies to the Neopets in question. However, I am left scratching my head in this. "What is the charge?" Yes, I can hear it now. Here is the first charge flung, again from ireallyamaloser.

3. "By using a Mutant NeoPet as the Mascot, people will come to believe that all Mutants, especially the Chia, are Petpet-eating, slobbery, fat (OK, so Chias ARE fat) NeoPets with bad grammar!"

Tell me, who would have been a better mascot? But, that's another point. The point here is, "Will this game influence how Neopians feel about a pet species?" Allow me to give some examples of other games.

- Extreme Herder. "Oh no, all Lupes must eat Petpets!" (And, if you point out that the Lupe is a very… unique, one, then where is the difference with Florg?)

- Carnival of Terror. "Oh no, all Chias are evil and fling pies at people!"

- Doubloon Disaster. "Oh no, all Krawks must be treasure-stealing pirates who avoid mines to get their loot!"

- Meerca Chase. "Wow, I didn't know that all Meercas run around eating neggs until they get the red ones!"

- Cheat! "All Neopets cheat in order to win? WOW!"

I could go on, but I desist. The point? Unless just about every game in Neopia is put under the same standard as Feed Florg, then we are all dangerously close to hypocrisy. After all, if a "n00b" will take Florg as an example for all mutant Chias, then what will they think of the other games?

4. Again quoted from Nayomii_, "Look @ the Krawks and Kadoaties and Babaas and Slorgs and Hasees going to waste... I mean people have Grarrls and Skeiths and they might feed Petpets to them! Petpets cost a lot you know!!"

Yes, they do. Boy, do they cost a lot. That's why I don't have one. But, that's beside the point. Now, I ask you this, what is a petpet to do? To be whatever the pet wants them to be, right? How is being a meal and being a co-inhabitant of a NeoHome really different?

Allow me to relate a tale. This is true, by the way, and it came from my very own Grarrl, Tyranosaur51786. He was hungry, so when I checked on him, guess what? He pulled out a dark faerie AND ATE HER!

…how evil! How vile and despicable! But wait! Is he not obeying his own instincts? Then, I submit to you, how is it different in this case? Florg eats Petpets, just as Tyranosaur ate a Dark Faerie. Trust me; there are worse things that a Grarrl can eat. *Sighs in frustration*

Now, one last word on this point. In this world, food costs a LOT. Gourmet foods can run into the thousands, nay even higher than that. Indeed, some gourmet foods are MORE expensive than Petpets. I submit that it should be the choice of the INDIVIDUAL to choose what he/she does with his /her Petpets. If they want to purchase enough Petpets to keep their beloved pet fed, then who is to say, "That is evil"?

5. Quoted from ireallyamaloser, "A large, slobbery Mutant Chia is anxious and flailing all over, waiting for Petpets. A small cage lowers. A cage! You gasp! This is CRUEL AND UNUSUAL punishment! Where are all of these Petpets coming from? A Krawk, Blue Kadoatie, Bearog, Slorg, Green Puppyblew, Hasse, Snorkle, Warf are lowered throughout the game. Krawk? Krawk?! Those sell for… for Hundreds of Thousands, MILLIONS of NP (Anywhere from 425k to well over 1 million)!!! They're just being dropped from a small, steal cage for this Mutant Chia to consume at your control?? And this is a GAME? People are ENCOURAGED to play this game?? You can't believe your eyes. What has NeoPets come to?"

Ah yes, the CAGE! How horrible! How terrible! How truly despicable! Except… is that not the usual fate for a petpet about to be transported? Or, do you prefer letting your petpet run wild, until it gets run over by a rampaging Skeith? But, I digress…

I submit here that Florg must buy/otherwise obtain his Petpets, or otherwise how could he get them all? He never leaves the room, so far as we can tell, and he certainly would be somewhat easy to spot going down Neopia Central, dropping into the petpet store, and saying, "Excuse me, I was looking for some takeout."

No, he probably buys his food fairly, and they are delivered to him. If he wishes to spend his money on Petpets, then who is to stop him?

And, no, people are not "encouraged," to play this game, any more than they are "encouraged" to do anything on Neopets If no one wants to play the game, then that is their choice. If they do want to play this game, then why stop them? Is it not their choice to play a game, and is it not the same person's choice to not play a game? Why take a decision from them like they were toddlers, barely capable of making choices for themselves?

Is this not selfish in the highest order? In declaring a crusade against this game, are you not saying, "Everyone else is too stupid/dumb/naïve to make their choices, so I, the noble defender of Neopia, shall smite down wickedness and take the decision from their hands, since they are nowhere near intelligent enough to make decisions!"

Perhaps that is a little extreme, but it does get the point across. Whether that is the vocalised motivation or not, that is what is implied. Why not boycott the game, and let it go the way of Feed Skeith? (Forgive me, the name fails me. The game where you controlled a Skeith, and had to manoeuvre kamikaze-type pets into its mouth?)

6. Again quoted from ireallyamaloser, "If you do not approve of eating Petpets, you will obviously disapprove of Mutants."

Nope. Say, rather, "If you do not approve of eating Petpets, you will obviously disapprove of Florg." Or, perhaps, replace Florg with "this game." Either way, that is the message being sent. If you don't like it, fine. If you do, that is also fine.

To pull an example, in China, cats and dogs are considered delicacies. Are these not "pets" in their own right? And yet, what is the difference here? The answer, put simply, is that a petpet is only a petpet when it is so desired. In effect, the pushers for abolishing Feed Florg are saying that there is only ONE WAY that Petpets can be, ONE WAY for you to treat them, for you to have them, basically that Petpets only serve one function.

And yet, is it not the greatest strength in Neopets, that you can serve whomever and whatever you wish? Is it not true that you can choose you wish to do in Neopia? In effect, you are changing the very core of Neopets, you are saying that not only must you agree to the Rules, but you must also obey the immutable law of the majority? And, I ask you again, why must it be this way? Why must a perfectly good game be thrown to the wayside, when there are others that are, perhaps, more deserving of wrath?

7. Quoted from ireallyamaloser, "But Slorgs are not good enough, are worth only half the normal 10 pts you receive for consumption of a Petpet? In Florg's own words, "Florg think Slorgs are yuck." Perhaps this is a lucky thing for our Slorg friends. But it is also saying Slorgs are under-average, only good enough for half. I think the Slorg is a PERFECTLY good Petpet."

Perhaps they are. Perhaps Slorg are the most wonderful, adorable, loveable, teachable, huggable, squeezable, etc., this side of Virtupets Space Station. However, that's not the point of contention. Why do the players get subpar amounts of points? Simply put, because Slorg taste bad.

To illustrate, I despise a certain kind of food. They're generally known as almonds. I think they are the worse thing I've ever tasted in my sixteen years of life. However, that does not mean anything's inherently wrong with almonds, or that those who eat almonds are somehow of less worth than I, I just don't like them.

Now imagine, if you would, that you and I are in a restaurant. The waiter brings me out almonds, and to you he gives your most favoured food. Obviously, you're going to tip him a little more than I will. It's the same thing here. Florg doesn't like the taste of slugs, and therefore he "tips" you less than if you bring him his more favoured treats. There's nothing personal here with Florg and Slorgs, just the former disliking the latter's taste.

8. Quoted from Nayomii_, "If you can't than please make a footer saying like "the Petpets are fake" or "no Petpets were hurt" and take off the disgusting sound effects?"

…barring the standard arguments I could make as to the "realism" of Petpets, I would like to add this. Is it true that, every single time you play in Carnival of Terror, you die? No? Yet, that's what's said in the very text of the ending screen. "Cause of death: Ran out of time," I believe is how one of them goes.

Now, obviously, one does not die in Carnival of Terror. The same goes for Dorak, surely he doesn't die in every game of Doubloon Disaster, or very soon he would be slightly less than living. What of the fate of Glubgar, the Scorchio stuck in the Volcano Run? In the animations, he turns into ash whenever he gets hit. But… does that mean that he is well and truly dead? Nay!

Or, perhaps the most famous example, is when the Neopets Team themselves become victims, as in "Sacrificers," or in the "Ski Lodge Murder Mystery." Obviously, no real people were killed in their production, and yet nowhere in the entirety of the production is that specifically mentioned. Why?

I believe that the Neopets team implies, in every single one of their games, "Nothing real was hurt in the production of this product." They don't mention this every single time, because it is generally superfluous to do so. I ask you, would you put this warning on a can of gummy bears, "No real bears were hurt in the making of this?" I would hardly think so. Why? Because it's so obvious that the point does not need mentioning.

And, as for the sound effects… I find them, while not "cute" or "attractive" in any stretch of the imagination, but at least they are true to life. So, I'm left wondering, Is it to be left in the hands of a few people to change a game because they don't like the sound effects? Personally, I like the sound effects. Obviously, there's a clash of opinion here. Who's to adjucate? The Neopets Team. But please, for the love of their product, don't force decisions on them. They've already had more than enough of that to last them for the rest of their natural existences.

9. Quoted from… uh… "Fhurr," "Florg even seems to be constantly... ugh... drooling on himself."

Really? I could have sworn that Florg was sweating… Darn these glasses. Anyway, the point has been made. I believe that Florg is sweating, "Fhurr" thinks he's drooling. Either way, it's in the eyes of the beholder. And, who knows? Florg might just drool at the thought of a meal, much like some humans do.

10. …the numerous points of bad grammar and poor punctuation in the game itself.

It seems that everyone is a stickler on this point. "Fhurr" states, quite emphatically, "'Slorg is yuck' is yet another painful point." Bad grammar is, unfortunately, a very painful thing to witness. Though, I'm left scratching my head at the very same things happening in the very articles that are condemning Florg for this! I leave it to the reader to see the two articles to which I am referring.

Is there hypocrisy going on here? …sources point to yes, unfortunately. I will cut this point short, and leave it to the reader to form their own opinions on this particular argument.

11. The last statement by ireallyamaloser, "Not only does it portray Mutants as large, scary, unintelligent creatures, but also it promotes eating Petpets and that Mutants are the ones doing it. Mutant NeoPets DO NOT eat Petpets. Mutants are not daft and do not speak in sentence fragments. They do not fail and drool. Mutants are WONDERFUL creatures."

First point: Mutants in general are not portrayed that way, Florg is. See above points for this. Second point: It does not promote the eating of Petpets. Aye, it may even reduce it. For, who would want their Neopet to turn out like Florg? A scary idea, most would agree. Third point: Mutant Neopets can eat Petpets if they truly wish, especially Grarrls and Skeiths Therefore, could you not be discriminating against those that do eat Petpets? And, if so, how are you better than the very game you are condemning? Fourth point: Unfortunately, there are mutants that do speak in sentence fragments, as Florg so clearly demonstrates. And, I hasten to add, he is not the only one. Some owners of Neopets, both mutant and none, speak in sentence fragments, and some do drool. And, as for if they are wonderful creatures… that's in the eye of the beholder. I leave the reader with this point.

Is it not possible that Florg is much closer to the truth than any would care to realise?

Disclaimer: I hold nothing against anyone, neither owners of mutant pets, nor owners of normal pets, nor pets themselves, nor Florg, nor the crusaders who wish to see Feed Florg die very quickly. I do, however, have something against those that would end a game for insupportable reasons. I am against those that would end a game without so much as a second glance.

Basically, I am against those that would squelch free will in one thoughtless blow. However, I am not against them personally, just against the actions that they commit. If you are one of the people that wish to see Florg ended, then feel free to contact me and tell me why you believe that way. I ask only that you are polite, and as flame-free as possible. I have taken pains to make sure this is as nonpersonal as I can possibly make it, though it's entirely possible that I missed something. If so, then please, tell me my error, so that I can correct it.

I hope to hear from you as soon as possible.

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