Tag Archives: Neopets

Millennials are Logging Back into Neopets

There is something about trying to live through a pandemic that appears to be encouraging people to give in to nostalgia. Some millennial have decided to log back into their Neopets accounts. If I were to make a guess, there must be something about Neopets that brings this group of people comfort.

The New York Times has an article in which they talked to people who returned to their long abandoned Neopets accounts during the pandemic. Some of the people who did this are in their 20s or 30s.

The New York Times describes the renewed interest in Neopets this way:

…Many former users returned to their dormant accounts in the last year of so, driven by boredom, nostalgia or a desire for escape – the site’s team reports a 30 to 40 percent spike in usership in the months following March 2020. For the uninitiated, Neopets is like Animal Crossing meets Pokémon meets early MySpace: The platform allows users to explore a charming, click-based universe and rear magical pets while building their own webpages and socializing on glittery chat boards.

According to The New York Times, there are a group of people who have been taking care of Neopets – even before the pandemic. The majority of these players are women, who got their first tastes of coding, web design, and animation on the Neopets site.

The discontinuation of Adobe Flash has had an effect on Neopets. It appears to have been critical software for the platform. The Neopets website says that Neopets is going mobile, and appears to be in beta at the moment and does not include the use of Adobe Flash.

Neopets was originally made for children. As such, users of the platform are not allowed to share identifiable information with each other. They cannot share real names or social media handles. Certain topics are banned from Neopets chat rooms (including Covid-19 and politics). Last year, adult players pushed to allow discussions of LGBTQ topics (which were previously blocked by “child-friendly” keyword filters).

I’m older than the millennials who have returned to Neopets, and have never played that game. However, since the pandemic started, I find myself spending a lot of time playing Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. There is something comforting about visiting a cheerful, safe, virtual world for a while.