The Neopets Swag Life
Start writing a post

The Neopets Swag Life

How a children's website helped shape the way I live as an adult.

The Neopets Swag Life

The year was 2010. Aged 12, bored and having nothing to do, I decided to fill the void Webkinz left behind and re-experience the euphoria of owning an adorable pet that would never die and always adore me. I logged onto, (after asking for parent’s permission, of course) and the journey began.

I created a Zafara, this weird kangaroo-rabbit thing with a dinosaur tail and named her Marine. I played games to obtain the site’s currency, (Neopoints) so I could feed her, buy her clothes and earn her unconditional positive regard.

This is her. She's so hip.

It was a simple process. For an average of two hours a day, I would become a budding cog in the capitalist machine known as Neopets so I could woo my pet over. Buy food, buy clothes, sell items I no longer needed and play games so I could buy more food and clothes. It was kind of like that one drug PSA back in the day with this businessman circling his desk stating, “I snort coke, so I can work longer, so I can get more money, so I can get more coke,” and then repeat himself as he circles the desk to make you feel extra uncomfortable.

I bought food, so I could feed my pet, so I could play games with her, so I could buy more food.

Over time, I grew more and more attached to Marine and the maintenance of her well-being, as freaking weird as she looked and as tedious as it was to constantly select food from my inventory to feed her, then refresh the page only to feed her again. It was, again, a cycle, but as I invested more in it, I began thinking it as less of a cycle and more as a concept.

Responsibility is something a preteen just begins to incorporate into their life. They’re still a dependent and can’t stay out of the house after a certain time, but homework starts piling and they start weeding out relationships; who you want to spend more time with, or who may wreck you in the end.

Taking care of another being and ensuring their happiness is something a middle-schooler conventionally doesn’t think about ever.

Meanwhile, I had a schedule with Marine. I made it a point to check her “hunger meter,” along with her established mood. Was she happy? Did she have crippling depression? Only regular visitations could help her. When she was elated, so was I.

My involvement in Neopets grew stronger as months went on. There was more than just feeding and customizing the pet, but there were also contests that encouraged self-expression. Neopets had an art gallery, a weekly poetry contest and even a newspaper publication with articles and ongoing stories written by active Neopets users.

It was the first place I was ever published.

That's my story on the far right, featured on the week's front page back in spring of 2011. It was a twelve-year-old's lifetime achievement.

I felt this feeling of importance I couldn’t get from a classroom or even at home. Not only did it feel like someone depended on me, but people were reading and liking my work. I never considered having a pet or even writing as a means of expressing myself before Neopets, this site that had much more meat to it than previously anticipated.

I worked HARD on Neopets. I started collecting rare items by playing more games, participating in contests, submitting publications to The Neopian Times and earning notoriety for it, all while caring for Marine, which eventually turned into three additional mouths to feed and pets to impress: Margo, Miko and Ronny. I even began giving each of the four pets personalities and back-stories.

They're all sad because I haven't fed them since freshman year of high school. So needy.

Ronny, the tiger thing, is pretty clumsy yet really good at soccer, but Miko, the weasel thing, prefers reading and being more secluded because he has a troubled past. Margo, the squirrel thing, has an unrequited affinity for Miko that Marine feels second-hand embarrassment from, as she is always third-wheeled and every time Margo talks to her while playing Mario Kart it always goes back to Miko.

All of this became…well, an outlet. Out of all things, Neopets became a muse for me to express myself and take initiative in both taking care of my well-being and the well-being of others. Being angry and scared as a child and growing up more introverted, I learned that I could use the site as a creative tool and a therapeutic experience. A couple of invested hours a day in four pets I knew I could take care of while juggling my newfound passion for writing and my addiction to the games and daily contests that reaped what was sowed.

Admittedly, this game nearly fueled a gambling addiction.

This motivation on the site, of course, didn't last forever. When life hits like a speeding train, there isn't much time for kiddy slot machines and fake currency to play with. Depressing as the thought is, Neopets taught me all about independence and enjoying myself in a healthy and positive way in methods that the mere time in school just couldn't. It helped me understand the importance of creativity and putting others before myself.

All from a kids game? Sure, man. At a malleable age, I learned life lessons from something that targeted my demographic to teach us responsibility, free expression, cooperation, confidence, etiquette and even HTML coding.

Just in case if you think I'm kidding.

So yes, the bored twelve-year-old me found something to do online, evolving into this affinity six years later to do things that will change my life and impact others. Write. Laugh. Go at my own pace and take action.

And if you want some elite journalism, please refer to yoshifan272's Neopian Times articles that are so cringeworthy you may actually die.

Us writers all pick up the pen for the first time at some point, just as all children take their first steps into reality.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection


Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less

50 Iconic Quotes From 'The Golden Girls' That Will Always Make You Laugh

"People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass."


"The Golden Girls" created history when it first premiered in 1985 setting the stage of strong-willed female characters who are aging gracefully with dignity. It is a treasure trove filled with humorous scenes and situations that will always be relevant to watch. I still rejoice in watching these spectacular women embrace life with full stride and the way they always strive to focus on the brighter side of life.

These 4 dynamic and awe-inspiring women taught us that age is indeed nothing more than a number and that we can set out to accomplish anything our heart desires at any time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments