I Returned To Neopets Only To Get Suspended Hours Later

Remember Neopets? It was that online virtual pet website that was really popular in the early 2000's, and it allowed you to play games, shop and even battle your 'neopets.' You might say Neopets was a step up from Tamagotchi, but a step down from Pokemon. And even though it's over a decade old, the Neopets site is still running — to my amazement.

For some reason, I decided to hop back onto Neopets last night. I stopped playing the game years ago, when I was in middle school, after becoming bored of having so many 'neopoints' — the in-game currency. Stuff becomes boring when you can have it all.

How I got so many neopoints is a "funny" story. And by funny, what I really mean is awful. Having just learned the wonders of HTML, I made terrible Myspace-like websites that prompted visitors for their Neopets usernames and passwords. Then I'd log into their account and steal their neopoints.

And bless my wretched little heart, I thought I was "hacking" because hacking is cool and I knew how to make websites. I was so damn cool I lost friends to Neopets, only to eventually lose interest in the game altogether. Hah.

I decided to try to log back into that original account, but alas, mentally going through all the embarrassing usernames and emails I've had over the years couldn't help me find my account info. So, I decided to make a new account instead. Which is probably just as good, because my pets would have been starving for years and years and years — as far as I can tell, pets don't die. At least Tamagotchi die!

Username? "thisisforworkiswear," yeah, that sounds about right. Now let's choose a pet woa-

I don't remember anything like this when I was around! The lead image was what pet-choosing looked like, and that felt more personal, you know? As personal as creating a digital pet can be for the early 2000's.

What an awful UI the game has, now — clunky, overpopulated, kind of tacky. But then again, this just seems to be a 'thing' all across Neopets. When I initially visited the website, I couldn't really tell what the logic behind anything on the homepage.

Truthfully, I wasn't sure if it was just that I'm getting old and damn kids with their stupid websites. You judge. But to me most of Neopets looks like the type of website that has ads for games you'd never actually want to play.

Anyway, I went with a Meerca as a pet — see right.

And I named it datassraccoon, because, well. They're making the same face.

I don't remember having to choose stats either, but you can now. A lot has changed in a decade. Did you know there's a paid version of Neopets as well?

Naturally I wasn't about to drop some money for this shit. I was here on a mission: to prove I could make a lot of neopoints the right way. The clean way. I wanted redemption. Neopets redemption.

Easy way to do that? Play games, of course. Playing games on Neopets gives you neopoints if you choose to submit whatever score you got at the end of a game. Each game gives out a different number of neopoints depending on how easy it is to play. I remember the games being much of the draw of Neopets, but memory and nostalgia are awful liars.

Checking out the games list, I was surprised to find that most of the games I played back in the day were still around — and still popular. What?

Meerca Chase II for instance is just a reskinned version of Snake. Snake, naturally, is a classic and a load of fun — but really, in a decade, nobody has come up with a better idea that would best a snake-knockoff in popularity?

The other two top games: a slot-machine game, and a game where you use a baseball bat to hit a creature as far as you could. The baseball game involves hitting spacebar twice.

They're all horrible games, and yet I would have found them riveting as a kid, I'm sure. It makes you wonder how much you can trust about what you liked when you were younger — a few months ago, I retried Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles and was saddened by how differently I remembered it. It was an amazing game in my head! Not so much in actuality.

Back to Neopets though. Beyond the Neopets games being bad mechanically — often simplistic reskins of other games — Neopets games also falter technically. It wasn't uncommon for the games to sputter and freeze for a second. And to top this all off, of course, comes the "wonderful" flash game aesthetic.

Why did Neopets explode in popularity when we were younger?

I probably wouldn't have kept playing had I not noticed a leaderboard. Then I was overtaken with a petty desire to overthrow the 10 year olds that now play the game. Mature, I know. After a couple of hours I will never, ever get back, I couldn't even come close to any of the scores. I logged off, humiliated.

Stupid flash games. Stupid 10 year old kids that are probably 22 year old kids like me logging on after years of abandoning their pets and out of a misplaced sense of nostalgia.

I came back a few hours later only to bizarrely be asked to make another pet. What the hell? Where did datassracoon go? I made him again, this time blue. I played some more Meerca Chase II because I'm old and I'm scared of new things so I stuck to what I knew (this also explains why this post is about Neopets and not the new hot thing for kids, Club Penguin.)

Eventually I got tired of that and I decided wanted to explore. I checked the world map. Nothing new. I check out the customisation options. I notice I can't make sense of anything there. Then, suddenly:

Um, what? Wait, wait, wait. Oh my god! datassraccoon was DELETED because of his name! And then I made a new pet and he was deleted too!

A pet will stay alive if you never feed or interact with it. But name it something wrong? Boom. Gone.

I just wanted to redeem myself. I wanted to make an honest living. I wanted to understand kid's fascination with a horrible game. Instead I killed two Neopets. :(

Needless to say, f**k Neopets.


Comments

    I looked up my old account and low and behold it is still there

    http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=_xx_fire_dragon_xx_

    I had another account that was much better but was banned for shenanigan behaviour similar to the type you described above.

    I see a tear on my Jetsam but not like I give a crap I use to zap the crap out of him at the Treasure Map Lab

    Ahh the memories.

    so nostalgic.

    I made my neopoint fortune by playing the trade markets. Every now and then someone will put up for sale something valuable for a very small asking price (probably by not knowing what it was), Be quick, grab it, and then turn around and sell it again for market value a few seconds later. once I had capital, I noticed the stock market to be basically random, stick with the stocks long enough and they will always go up. So all my NP went into that, and after about a year or so, I was one of the richest players at the time.

    A Hernandez article, where the character creation screen requires you to pick a gender - and we didn't get a lecture on how this is indoctrinating kids with gender stereotypes? Amazing.

    When i was 12 i didn't actually know anyone who played neopets (we all knew about it from magazines but noone could be bothered) the majority of us had played runescape since we were 8 mainly because it wasn't blocked on school computers, the majority of us also maintained large tamagotchi families i was not alone in have 8 tamagotchis(many of which ended up with such elaborate family trees all connected to each other that if they were a living animal they should have died of inbreeding by generation 16).

    Ok after searching for about 20 mins i finally managed to remember what my account name was
    http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=thegreatdragonslayer
    (what a horrible username... looks like i used a fake name too -_-)

    I'm surprised to find that my account is 11 years old!
    "Started Playing: November 16, 2001"

    I have gone back to neopets maybe 2- 3 times. But It saddens me that I will never get my original account back.
    http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=neomaster-dan
    12 years old!
    I've tried to get it back on multiple occasions... The issue lies in the fact that back when I signed up i used the - symbol in my account name. And it allowed it. But now if i try to sign into the account it says i have illegal characters in the name. About ten tickets later it became apparent that the bots didnt understand what i was saying. And can sadly, never play with neomaster shoyru (Or CYBUNNY! RARE OMG.. at least they were back in the day.) again. :(

      Also, does anyone remember when Lenny used to be MACY GREY... but then was changed for fairly obvious copyright / defamatory reasons?
      Oh the uproar when peoples Macy Grey pets had to change into an awkward lenny... the sex appeal was all gone...
      "I try to say goodbye and I choke."

    I remember playing neopets. If i remember correctly about 7 years ago i got pretty annoyed at how people managed to sit at shop restocks and get all the good stuff all the time so i used autobuyers to do it for me on a side account (because breaking the rules as a kid was badass as you know) after several months logged in to see both accounts banned but for having multiple accounts. Decided screw it time to move on and played Mafia Wars on myspace till facebook came along and updates stopped. A couple of years ago i sent a support ticket to try and open it up for nostalgia, being older and knowing right from wrong and the amount of effort and time i put into it as a kid seemed to have gone to waste. Had to fill out this ridiculous form that had questions i had no idea how to answer nor knew how it would prove it's my account and got a reply saying "sorry but there is insufficient data on our database to un-freeze it" or something on the lines of that. Oh well

    Neopets is mainly aimed at younger audiences. There are of course adults dropping cash to pimp out their own pets, but whatever, target audience is children.

    Even regardless of that. You name your character that in most online games, and you're going to have a bad time.
    You don't really get to be surprised that it was deleted.
    What's your thought process here-> "All I did was use suggestive/"naughty" words in front of children on the internet, and I'm getting punished? How dare they".

      I have to agree with this, and that is from someone who, Back In The Day, had a shark pet named ChumGuzzler. He's still around as far as I know. Ahh, here it is: http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=mwolf000

      December 2002. :)

      You would think that Neopets would catch it BEFORE you start playing, or atleast ban you from playing until you change it. If I chose to use my name, i.e. Michelle, notice how it has hell in it. Should I then be banned for that? Actually yes, lol, I have been banned on school sites for that. Neopets is not as friendly as we make want to think js

    dat "ass" racoon... overly cautious censors.. usually they employ people who are college kids or English is not their first language to monitor the censor logs.. anything that is even remotely suggestive gets a ban or block.. this is the same with a lot of censor things

    "Then I’d log into their account and steal their neopoints."

    Free crappy game or not, that kind of shit is contemptible.

      "Harassing females online is atrocious! Where is the accountability?! What kind of lowlife would stoop to such a thing."
      -Willingly defrauds dozens of people in exchange for meaningless points on a horribad online game

      Kettle, pot. Pot, kettle.

    Mine is twelve years old too! Even more nostalgic is my about me telling other users to also play Magewar! That was a super cool text based empire builder. Intense.

    http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=dangohi

      Wow, this is gonna sound super stupid, but would you be willing to adopt out your kougra?
      I'm still a player after seven years (I just find creating characers for the pets too ineresting) and I've been looking everywhere for a faerie kougra that still has the old artwork that website used to have before the pets were converted and such but it looks like it's impossible to trade for one with a nice name with character potential.
      If you're not a player anymore would there be any chance you'd be fine with rehoming him?

      Hey! I've noticed you don't play the account anymore, would you ever contemplate giving it away? I would love to have your faerie kougra! Thanks :)

      Hello What would you want for your lovely Dangohi. (;

        Hey guys, I actually tried to log in when I originally made that post and unfortunately couldn't, I'll have another crack though. First person to post a contact detail gets him (assuming I can figure out a way in!).

          Hey @Ted, did you manage to crack your account? If so, would you please send me your details? Thanks!

    Can't seem to find mine, looks like the username I used has been taken by someone else? Strange.

    Also tried looking for the pets I remember having - no dice either. Oh well.

    I remember I got pretty crazy into it when I younger - all of it (making $$$, battling, etc)

    mmries

      Your account was probably deleted in the purge. Every so often they go through and delete accounts that have been inactive for a long time to make the username and pets available for someone else.

    Stealing those accounts was a bloody horrible thing.

    ::Wrong reply::

    Last edited 31/07/13 6:45 pm

    Oh, you're a dirty scammer and got bored because you didn't play fair. You took a decade off and decided to make pet names with swear words in them and now you're SURPRISED they'd suspend you? YOU'RE AN IDIOT AND A JACKASS!

    I still play and I'm 21. Most of the appeal for me lies in the friends I've made on the chat forums, and as far as I've noticed at least half, if not more, of the people on there are college age or older.

    I had my account stolen in the great neopets christmas heist of 2010. I was so pissed i had alot of stuff. I'm still playing because apart from all the stuff that is pay now, it is still a great site.

    I find Neopets infuriating. Words are not accepted in the word games, pts. are not awarded (because someone has not validated them--what? I played this damn game!!!!) , auctions have denied anything under 200 pts., you can only auction 8 items at a time, and then there is the window that comes on after I have sat through an hr. of gaming stating pts. cannot be awarded, try closing the window + restarting a game. Oh, thanks a lot. I can't even mention the word password in my neomail when I advise someone else about a hacked account. Neopets truly sucks because their security is more demanding than even your bank account. Its pretty ridiculous you can't sign into your past account, simply because you were silly way back when + used another name, or another bday, or another gender--I mean how much could all that mean, anyway? I have to say, though, it is addicting to play + I have for many yrs. Don't get involved with new money stuff, or other recent additions, but I feel special when I get a happy birthday notice!!

    I decided to start playing again this summer. I was determined to get a Maraquan Paint brush for my Shoyru, after two years of not playing. I finally got 3 million Neopoints and Morphing Potion worth 1.5 million. I had a hacker steal the potion and 2.5 MILLION Neopoints. I tried to get Neopets to do SOMETHING. When they didn't, I tried to warn others, however, they ban you from talking about it. Yeah. Then, I went on and posted about how I was selling everything to try and get back up to what I had. I am now suspended. LIKE IT'S MY FAULT! Neopets doesn't want to help their users, yet blames those who are trying to be honest. Not the only person. Right before I was suspended, I had been talking to several users, like myself, who were also getting ready to quite. Such a shame. Use to be great site :D

    https://www.facebook.com/NeopetsAdults check em out!!

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