This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Happy Lobster, whose Poptropica community started with kids at school, then the PHB. See the bottom of this post for details on sending in your own MPIP!
2008 – 2009 | Early Playing of Poptropica
I have very few memories of Poptropica before 2011, and even those memories are half-forgotten and very vague. I have no idea how I came across Poptropica. Maybe one of my Prep classmates told me about it, or my older twin brother discovered it and showed it to me, or maybe I just found it randomly on the web (which is very unlikely). The only way I know that it was late 2008 was that I remember imperceptibly that the Poptropica map at that time had an island on it called Nabooti Island, and in capitals over the island, it said ‘Coming Soon’.
However, I only played Poptropica for the first few months in 2009. I probably also witnessed the start of the Mystery of Monster Carnival, even if I can’t remember it. At that time, me and my brother would randomly go about Poptropica, trying to complete quests. Eventually, we figured out how to save accounts. I made two accounts, Orange Lightning and Shoeless Toes, and though their usernames and passwords have been forgotten, I can still remember their names for some reason (exceptional long-term memory I have, don’t I?).
Back then, my whole class was obsessed with an educational game called ‘Braintastic’ (though it was one of the only things we were allowed to play on our classroom’s old-fashioned computers) – so I was too. By 2010, I dropped out of my interest in Poptropica completely.
2011 | The Proper Kickoff
One day when I was in a bookstore, my twin brother found a copy of Poptropica: The Official Guide, which had detailed guides from Early Poptropica to Wimpy Wonderland, the first eighteen islands. It was the only copy left on the shelf, so we bought it. With this new book, my interest of Poptropica was sparked again.
Mainly using my Orange Lightning account, I completed fourteen islands (including Red Dragon, which was not included in the guide). The only islands I ever managed to complete without even glancing at the guide was Early Poptropica and Shark Tooth. The rest I managed to complete using minor tips from the guide, and only the hard islands like Astro-Knights and Skullduggery were completed by totally following the guide.
2012 – 2013 | The Birth of Happy Lobster
In early February 2012, me and classmates were having an ICT (technology) class. We had to do something on the computer, and when the task was complete, we were allowed to play games until the session ended. So I decided to play Poptropica. I made a new account, and did S.O.S Island, which was the newest island at the time. But I was only halfway through the island when the session ended, and I had to quickly save my progress, making my third character. In my haste, I made a weird username, which was the first thing that popped into my head. It was topkop88, and thereon in I was “Happy Lobster”.
I was in a combined class in 2012, with about 12 people from my grade, and about 13 people from the grade below us. Some of us were friends, and some of us weren’t. But what every single member in our class had in common was that we all enjoyed Poptropica, at least to a certain extent.
When recess or lunch was cancelled outdoors due to poor weather, everyone in the school would spend the rest of the break in their own classrooms. There were only five computers in our class, and usually there would be a frenzied rush to get a computer. I usually managed to get one. And at these times, there would be a small cornucopia of blue screens. No-one would choose not to play Poptropica when they had the opportunity.
Those who didn’t get a spot crowded around those who did have a computer. When the first Poptropolis Games arrived in mid-2012, each of the five computers would have a race to see who could finish – and win – Poptropolis first. A small amount of cheating was always ensured, for if anyone failed one of the tasks, we would usually hit the ‘back’ button, so that the task restarted without record of our previous game.
But even at home, me and my brother were avid players of Poptropica. 2012 was by far the best year of Poptropica in terms of new quests and adventure. But then, in mid-2013, the SUIs (sound updated islands) were made. They were exceptionally glitchy, with the annoying black screen with the moving Poptropica logo not loading the island. A few times, I managed to get onto Virus Hunter and Monster Carnival without too many hitches, but those occasions were so minimal that I eventually stopped playing Poptropica.
2015 | The Community
During very early 2015, I was bored. So I decided to go back to Poptropica and attempt going on the SUIs. And voilà, it worked without any hindrance! Immediately upon this great discovery, I got to work, completing the many SUI islands and episodes that I missed. But this time, none of my friends really played Poptropica anymore.
Eventually, after a few months, I left Poptropica once again, for the third time, since I had completed most islands, and there were other games I enjoyed, but this departure only lasted for about six months.
I don’t know exactly when I discovered the PHB. It’s most likely I did sometime during 2012 or 2013, when I was most active in Poptropica. Though I think I just probably briefly skimmed upon the outer layers of many of the PHB, probably only visiting it a few times, and then I almost certainly forgot about it for a while.
Then, on the eve of my thirteenth birthday, I was bored. There were no new islands in Poptropica to play, and I couldn’t be bothered re-doing islands. So I decided to visit the PHB once more. This time, I delved into the depths of the PHB, and I discovered their Halloween costume contest. I got to work onto making my costume entry at once, and I originally thought (having not read over the guidelines very well) that the winners would be announced on the first of November.
But as I went to comment and post my costume entry on Halloween, just a day after noticing the contest, the winners were announced. I was more than a little disappointed I’d missed my chance, of course. But from thereon in, I started to comment on the PHB. Not under Happy Lobster, but under another name, one that didn’t have a WordPress account. But in saying that, I wasn’t really a regular commenter – indeed, I actually only commented about two times a month.
The other thing that came out of doing my Halloween costume was that I had a new look. My entry had pale blue skin, and I decided it looked really awesome. So from then, my Poptropican always had blue skin. It’s now a sort of signature Poptropican aspect for me, like Fishy’s purple hair, or HPuterpop’s orange skin.
Eventually, at the start of December, I decided to join Xat, the PHB’s former chat system, under some weird name Xat automatically made for me. I discovered there were people my age – and even more who were older – still playing and loving Poptropica, which did encourage me to continue Poptropica. But again, I wasn’t particularly active on there, only saying something on the chat once or twice a week. Ultimately, I dropped out of Xat just days before the end of the year.
2016 | The Community, Part 2
And then 2016 got underway. So far I think it’s overall my best year of Poptropica, even if it’s only two-thirds of the way through, and the only reason that it is the best was because of the community. This year would probably be one of the worst in Poptropica if it wasn’t for the community, seeing as Monkey Wrench was the only island so far released this year, and all its poor attributes (even though I know it’s meant for beginners, but that doesn’t necessarily change my opinion) definitely did not make up for that fact.
Within the first week of the year, I discovered the PHB’s ASG page, which was very briefly just a short list of usernames with no pictures. For me (and many others), ASGs were one of the greatest things in Poptropica glitching, and it gave a chance for everyone to get some rares, without some people ‘hoarding’ them. But much, much more than that, it was there on that page that I first commented as HL. It was from there when my real road in the community was paved, and when I first started to walk it.
In March 2016, I went onto the new PHC, on Discord. I was now a regular follower of the PHB, and I went on about five times every day. I made many, many friends on Discord. Sometime in April, my first experience with blogging came along. I noticed the Explore Collect Compete blog, and I asked Mighty Gamer, who was the creator and owner of it, if I could join the blog. Surprisingly, she accepted, and my first ever post I made on a Poptropica blog was made there, about the new Pop map.
Then in May, I made my own underway blog, Happy Lobster’s Poptropica Blog (HLPB). But yet, for another two months, apart from designing the site and creating pages, it was totally inactive.
However, in early July, I invited the original five authors, who all accepted. It’s certainly not the most active blog, but I’m definitely still proud of it. Then in August, my first proper brush with the PHB arrived when I wrote a guest post about alternate realities of Poptropica, along with Shaky Skunk and Tall Cactus.
I am regularly on Discord, Poptropica, the PHB, and a lot of other blogs in the community. My titanic world of Poptropica is ever-growing, and it will for a long time to come. And make sure to friend me!
So that’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed it!
– HL 😉
Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story! Feel free to send in your own (please include a minimum of 550 words, type with good spelling and grammar, divide it into labeled sections, and include your username). Look out for more community MPIPs in the future!