I know you are probably playing Kass Basher or maybe you are just too busy looking for the hidden tower (keep trying, you will find it!) but let’s just stop for a moment, pause the game and stop looking for the tower, it won’t run away, I promise. Let’s just ask ourselves: why are we here, playing Neopets? What brought us here? And, well, why are we still here, with our lovely and beloved pets?
Nowadays, many of the habitual players are young adults who came back to this magical world after years and years of blurred memories of our childhood. Most of us used to play Neopets as a child, then probably stopped for some reason and for some other reason came back years later. I don’t know about all of you, but I honestly completely forgot this place until something (maybe a weird animal or a grey and gloomy sky or a little girl dressed up as a cute fairy or even a paint brush held in the hand of a painter) triggered me and made me remember that I once was an innocent child who used to play with some pets and who used to dream about their incredible and infinite colors.
Coming back here, on Neopets, was the ultimate crumb of nostalgia I was craving and longing for. No, the ultimate crumb of nostalgia we were craving and longing for, we were all starving until we made a step forward and wandered through Neopia Central, flew between the towers in Faerieland, walked tiptoe between the spooky trees in the Haunted Woods, swam with some water faeries in Maraqua. Everything changed but nothing really changed, if you know what I mean. There were new species, new poses, new paint brushes, the world could even rotate, many new places to explore, new games, new experiences, new plots, everything was bright and brand new but, at the same time, familiar and nostalgic. I smiled while creating a new pet, which was not really new though, since I picked my everlasting favorite species - aren’t Xweetoks just the most adorable pets ever? - . I smiled while playing an old flash game that I used to love but completely forgot its existence. I smiled while adventuring and tasting the new world, because I just couldn’t believe that I was there, again. Okay, I didn’t smile while some new plots were going on, but only because that purple fog was a bit annoying sometimes, like when you wanted something from the money tree but everything was too slow. But it didn’t really matter, because everything felt like being the protagonist of an adventure book, set in a magical and invented world and being back after so many years felt exactly the same: magical. With a sprinkle of the memories of the past childhood, which give great taste to feelings and emotions.
While starting again my new life on Neopets, I remembered my old goals. When I was a child they seemed so unreachable and I think a lot of people felt the same way about their Neopian goals and dreams. Well, I’ve been here for only four months and, guess what? I managed to paint my favorite pet in my favorite color. This is, obviously, not the end, just the beginning, but I bet my inner child is so proud of me, for reaching something that at those time seemed like asking for the moon. I made my past self happy, and so am I. And I’m sure that many of you nostalgic people experienced the same thing: the satisfaction of wanting something for forever and finally getting it, years later. Only Neopets could give us a present like this, it’s even hard to find some words to actually explain this odd sensation but I know that whoever is reading this article can understand what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being children again, I’m talking about understanding that nothing is impossible, and it doesn’t apply only on Neopets, I’m talking about being genuinely happy about our progresses and achievements, even the tiniest ones, even the ones that don’t seem so important and life changing, even just buying the first paint brush or even just getting a nice and shiny trophy for our cabinet or even just being able to use that rare and beautiful avatar on the Neoboards and brag about it with everyone we meet between the topics (and probably annoy them so much to make them leave the Neoboards for a while).
Something took us back, maybe the fate or maybe just a triggering event, and now we are here, remembering what our childhood was all about, remembering what it feels like to live again a reality that seemed so far away, a reality that seemed forgotten and forbidden to the present but it’s not, it’s still here to make us wander and wonder everyday.
Neopets is our world, it belongs to the nostalgic, to the time travelers, to those who still are children at hearts, to the adults who want to see the reality with the eyes of a child, to those who are never tired of imagination and fantasy and magic and dreams. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not a bad type of nostalgia, it’s not negative or sad (well, it can be sad but c’mon, don’t cry now! There are worse things that could happen!), because it leads us to bring to the surface our vivid and lucid creativity, because it lets us feel again what it’s like to be a part of an incredible and amazing world.
So, why are we here? Because we are still those innocent children with big dreams and seemingly unreachable goals we once were, we’ve only grown up a bit
What brought us here? Our past, our blurred memories, our distant childhood.
And why are still here, with our lovely and beloved pets? Because even if we quit, we will always leave a piece of us in this place. Plus, we can’t really let our poor pets starve and be forever depressed, now can we?
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|Guide to Planting Neopian Flowers|
April showers bring May flowers! We have already suffered through last month’s rain (although if you ask any Koi, they’ll say it was quite pleasant, actually), and now is the time to reap the beautiful rewards.
Written in collaboration with sunshine482