PHB Specials

Poptropica and Age, Part 2: Where Did the Older Players Come From?

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish.

In this post, I’ll be exploring the topic of Poptropica and age. This is a continuation from a previous post, so if you haven’t already read that, be sure to first catch up with Part 1 here. Once you’ve read it, continue on below to Part 2!

Why are there so many older kids/teens in the fandom?

Herein lies a kicker: despite the target audience, Poptropica is still quite popular with many older kids as well. What’s the appeal?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak from my own experience and observations. At age 11, when I was first introduced to the game, I was enamored by Poptropica and all its whimsical characters and worlds. At 20, I still enjoy checking out a new island when it’s released, but it has become much more than a game to me. Like many other Poptropicans have reported, it’s not only about the content (though that certainly plays an important role). The community surrounding Poptropica has also played a big part in continuing my interest, accompanied by my own personal passions.

For me, being involved in the Poptropica community has been a huge encouragement to my creativity. I like to write, and heading up the Poptropica Help Blog has been an amazing opportunity to do so with a large readership of fellow fans. I’ve shared before that this blog was almost created to be a fan site for another game called Club Penguin – and if it had been, who knows what would’ve happened?

However, that was not to be the case (fortunately!), and instead, I’ve been blessed by all of your encouragement to keep writing about Poptropica. My earliest work was not the most polished, but I’ve definitely improved over the years. More recently, I’ve been taking on the editorial role of proofreading for guest posts for the blog. Thanks in part to this foundation in my life, I’ve become more confident in my writing ability and it’s become something I want to keep pursuing in my life – not writing about Poptropica necessarily, but writing in general.

I also like to draw, and again, because of Poptropica, I have been inspired to create fan art based on the game and have a community take interest in that work via sites like DeviantArt. So have tons of other Poptropica creatives. Could we have written and drawn inspiration from other subject matter? Sure, and many of us probably have. But why not Poptropica? If we are especially taken by a witty character, a beautiful scene, or a creative costume from Poptropica, why not let it stimulate our creative side?

On that note, it’s amazing how many ways you can customize your Poptropica character, and the lengths some players go through to find certain item parts to complete their costume is impressive. That on its own is a fun creative endeavor, but what’s also cool is seeing some take it further by creating their own OCs, or Original Characters, based on their Poptropica avatars. These OCs (also called Popsonas) are given character traits and sometimes even stories about their lives.

Brave Tomato, who’s 19, creates fan art, fan fiction, and YouTube videos about Poptropica, and has been blogging with the PHB for over 5 years. She says this about her longtime involvement with the fandom: “I believe what kept me in the fandom for so long is not only the game itself, but the amazing people I have gotten to meet and get to know over the period of time. There’s just something really appealing about this fandom in particular that I don’t think I’ve seen in many other fandoms. The game doesn’t make its primary focus elementary education. Its stories aren’t elementary either.

There’s yet another aspect of the Poptropica fandom I haven’t mentioned yet, and that’s the glitchers. They’re the ones who enjoy digging through Poptropica’s files and code, looking for glitches to exploit and sneak peeks on future game updates. They’re the ones who brought the rest of us techniques and tools like the ASG and Custom Name Genie. And this, too, can be the beginnings of an exploration into how computers work.

Red Lizard, 20, is the developer of a glitching tool called Modify A Poptropican 2.0 and has also contributed to the Avatar Studio Gift, among various other glitching endeavors. He says he’s “more interested in the mechanics of the game and finding exploits. Also, Poptropica has given me inspiration to code a few apps.”

Santorno, who developed another glitching tool called iPop as a high-schooler, writes this on the front page of iPop: “Being able to exploit the game to my liking felt like pure magic. Ever since [being given access to Modify A Poptropican 1.0], I’ve always been interested in software development and learning how computers function. To this day, I still want to pursue a career in the field of computer science.”

To many players, especially teenagers and older, Poptropica is not just a game. It’s the breeding ground for forays into various fields like writing, art, and even computer science. It’s also a community of fellow players who appreciate and learn from the creations of these inquisitive minds, and befriend each other on social networks outside of Poptropica’s limited multiplayer functions.

Poptropica is shaping future writers, artists, programmers, and more. For these players, young and old, Poptropica – the game and the fandom – is worth it.

To be continued…

Thanks for reading Part 2 of “Poptropica and Age”! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

In Part 3, I’ll talk about whether or not it’s “weird” for anyone beyond the target audience to still be involved in Poptropica. Stay tuned!



39 thoughts on “Poptropica and Age, Part 2: Where Did the Older Players Come From?”

  1. One thing I like about the Poptropica community, or at least the Poptropica Help Chat specifically, is how many amazing artists there are sharing their art :). The glitching aspect is also sweet since we have those inspecting the code giving some info most wouldn’t have access to, possibly uncovering upcoming or unused content. Not to mention how kind most in this community seem to be with one another. I’m sure the community has played a large part as to why I’m still jumpin’ about in Poptropica/Poptropica Worlds.

      1. That remains to be seen. Red Lizard said his Weebly account was mysteriously deleted – and with it, the whole site – so unfortunately, neither of us can guarantee anything.

  2. Ya know, I actually understand this stuff. I’m 14 years old, and through this I’ve learned with the right amount of time put into it, not only will you grow up with the game, but it can also help you determine your lifestyle. Like, for example, I was reading about Orb Legends one time and decided, “Hey, I wanna make games too.” That’s how I started my small game development company, Raging Phoenix Studios. I saw videos from people like Thinknoodles and Lucky Wing and thought I should try that sometime, so I’ve got recording software installed on my computer for when I decide to record something with Poptropica (or livestream as well). The Nanobots common room’s beat maker thing made me want to have a career in music, and many other things have come from playing one simple Flash game. Poptropica – and video games in general – have impacted my life, and it could probably impact anyone else’s too. -Keiko

    1. I appreciate you sharing that, Keiko! There is just so much in Poptropica – as well as all the things created by people in the fandom community – that could inspire and lead another to who-knows-where. It’s cool to look back and see that this is where things started for many. 😀

  3. Poptropica And Age; where did the oldies come from? Answer

    They came from Poptropica when they were little. Back in around 2010 when everyone was playing Poptropica. Then around 2011 or 2012 or 2013 your friends quit Poptropica and you were the only one who still loved Poptropica while your friends moved on. Then you started finding some Poptropica Blogs and Poptropica youtube videos, then you found out about the Poptropica help blog. Then you found out about the Poptropica help chat and met many people and you are now officially part of the Poptropica communuty. Thats were the oldies came from. They came from being the only person who still liked Poptropica and found the Poptropica commmuniy!

  4. Our blog started as a hobby but evolved into a lot more. Not only did we become better friends, but we were able to share our thoughts with people who share the same interest. We love the pop community so much and we have no intention of leaving soon. So what if the game is aimed for kids? We get something great out of it, and we enjoy it and the people. Worlds may not be our favorite, but it’s still the creators who made Poptropica and we trust they can turn it into something great.

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