Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Culture: Damn Neopia!

Neopets, neopets, neopets. I had heard so much about these virtual creatures, I finally drew the straw and signed myself up for a study in "immersive advertising." I wanted to know what is capturing the world's young minds and imaginations (its in 10 languages), and not to mention marketing dollars (McDonald's shop, Firefly Zone, etc).

I logged-in a couple weeks ago but up until yesterday hadn't had time to tend to my responsibility, a young zen-like nimmo named BonkerBuster. I signed-in and realized my pet's hunger status was "dying" and he was suffering from boredom. In a state of panic, I played games until I had enough NP to stuff him with the unnutrious food and spoil him with the crappy toys they sell in Neopia. But it wasn't until I realized he was of average intelligence that I went through the roof. God forbid I have a dull, dumb neopet and was up until 2:30a buying him books.

But what was so interesting to me was the complexity of the site - putting a down payment on to reserve your plot of land for a house, putting your money in the bank to gain interest, getting a job (which seems to be based on some kind of caste system), a safety security box, among other things. Aside from the job part, I realized that I'm far more advanced in Neopia than real life...And I can't help but think of Chuck Klosterman's portrayal of SimChuck and his experiences with Sim People in Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs. What's with virtual worlds?


AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

Don't sleep on the Neo-Pets. NEOPETS (now owned by MTV) IS THE 2ND MOST STICKY SITE ON THE WEB.

Neopets has a staggering 25 million members worldwide. It has been translated into 10 languages and gets more than 2.2 billion pageviews per month. These dedicated Neopians spend an average of 6 hours and 15 minutes per month on the site. That makes Neopets the second-stickiest site on the Internet - ahead of Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and eBay, according to Media Metrix. What's more, its demographics are the stuff of marketers' dreams: Four out of five Neopians are under age 18, and two out of five are under 13.

read more at WIRED:

Lachlan said...

It's a perfect trainning ground for the next generation of psycho-parents, obsessing 24/7 about getting their kid ahead!