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Neopets Are For Life


by nyxienyx

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Remember when you first started playing, and your first pet you created that was called something like xx_Fluffy_12?

Okay, so maybe you didn’t name a pet something silly like that, but you probably still really liked your first pet, because it WAS your first pet you ever created, so maybe you felt some connection to it. You were fond of that pet, despite the not so great name, even if that pet was level 1, had a cardboard petpet, and was a red Aisha... so nothing that special, really. But that pet was special to you nonetheless was it not?

So now imagine you worked really really hard to earn some neopoints so that you could paint Fluffy faerie. Everyone can make neopoints, whether it is by playing games, restocking, hoping Coltzan’s Shrine will give you 1,000,000 neopoints, or waiting for paint brushes to fall from the sky. So you decided to play games like crazy until you could finally afford to buy a paint brush for her. And then one day you painted Fluffy into a faerie Aisha. Pretty, isn’t she? You would probably feel even more proud of your pet; she started off as a red Aisha, and now she is a faerie Aisha, your favourite pet in all of Neopets, and you worked so hard and your hard work finally paid off!

You might think faerie Aishas are the prettiest pets on all of Neopets for a few months, but what happens when you get bored of the colour? Neopets are not a beauty accessory that you throw out when they go out of fashion. Instead of kicking out Fluffy, you can morph and repaint her, as many times as you want! And because you plan on keeping Fluffy for the rest of your Neopet life, you can train her and read books with her and win Beauty Contest trophies with her, or perhaps give her an interesting character and petpage. The possibilities in making your pet even better are endless, and best of all your hard work will never go to waste! And if you really like your pet like you might claim you do, you will only want the best for her, so if her colour is not the best you can think of, then of course you will go change it! Right?

Sadly this is far from the truth for a large portion of Neopians.

In fact, an alarming number of Neopians do not even bother earning the fancy colour for Fluffy. Many choose to try to adopt pets instead...

Now imagine that someone gave you this same pet. It was not the pet you created at all, but it was someone else’s pet to start off with. You would be thrilled to get a pretty pet, right? But what else would you think about this pet? You adopted it. But how did it become faerie? What did you do for her? Do you really feel proud about owning this pet, and are you emotionally attached to it because it was your first pet? I do not think so. Even though Fluffy now has a nice new owner, she won’t be as loved as she could have been. There is not as much emotional value in her for you, because you have not done anything at all to make her into what she is. You didn’t create her, you did not earn the neopoints to paint her, you did not choose how to make her look. You probably just want to stare at a cute pet and let other people look at it sitting on your account. You might think she is special, but she is nowhere near as special as she could have been, had you worked hard to make her what she is.

As soon as you get bored of the way Fluffy looks, instead of working hard to make her look more appealing to you, you decide it is time to find another pet. And to your great satisfaction, you realize that it is not even hard to get a new pet! Why stick with the same pet, when you can simply trade Fluffy for another pet that you like more? And when you get bored of the new pet, there is nothing stopping you from trading again!

So now tell me, did you really love Fluffy? If you did, then why did you trade her away? Are you really going to be a good owner for the new pet, or are you just going to trade that one away too? Why should I give you my pet after I saw what you did to Fluffy? Why would you not trade my pet for another? Maybe you don’t want to do it now, but maybe in a week, a month, six months, a year? And what do you plan on doing with my pet, just let it collect dust until you find a better pet to trade?

Fortunately, not everyone adopts pets to neglect them and trade them at the first chance they get. Some Neopians are truly happy with adopted pets, and instead of just adopting them and doing nothing with them, some Neopets get trained, entered in contests, or are otherwise just involved in different activities and are very well looked after.

But the fact that trading pets is now allowed makes it much easier for Neopians to start treating their pets like fashion accessories that go in and out of fashion, that they can just trade for a new one when they get bored. Yes, not even earn and buy a new one, but trade for a new one.

Like people used to trade horses and chicken for sheep and cattle hundreds of years ago, Neopets are being traded according to their colour, species, statistics and name. Even if the Neopets have no price tag on them, they are being treated like they do.

Neopets have become like a new currency, and it might be a good time for us to step back and consider what our Neopets really are to us.

As once the great TNT said, “A pet is not just for Christmas or any other time of the year... a pet is for life! Let's keep it that way!”

 
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