This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Striped Cactus, a writer who likes to play Poptropica Islands for story inspiration. See below for how to send in your MPIP!
Now there are about ten million and one ways I could start this, but I need something that’s going to hook my readers, so, um–
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
How I Discovered Poptropica
It must’ve been like 2009 when I first heard about Poptropica. I don’t remember where I first heard the name of it, exactly. But I remember that back then, when I was in elementary school, Poptropica was like “the cool thing.”
The kids I knew wore Poptropica t-shirts on a daily basis. They bragged about how they passed Astro-Knights Island by themselves to their friends (meaning they probably used the PHB, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t?). They showed off their memberships and bought ye olde Poptropica guide book.
Now, I was a very cautionary child growing up. I felt superior to any and all people who played video games of any kind. Pokemon was popular, and so was Call of Duty (yes, even amongst mere third graders!). I warned the boys in my grade (the ones playing the video games) about the dangers of gaming: how it was bad for the eyes, the body, and the mind. And then…
Well, one day at school I was on Funbrain, very obviously doing important school things, when I scrolled to the bottom, probably on accident, and saw a small blue link that said Poptropica. Instantly, I began freaking out. It’s that thing all the cool kids are talking about! Omigosh I found it!!!
Needless to say, that was the beginning of an obsession that hasn’t yet died out – which, for me, is extremely rare, considering that my other obsessions at one time or another haven’t lasted quite as long.
My Only Source of Computer Entertainment
The first island I played was Spy Island. Advanced for a third grader? Probably. But man, I did not stop talking about it for weeks. I told all of my friends that I was a real spy, that I had defeated Director D, and that they should all be calling me by my Poptropica name, “Striped Cactus,” now. Poptropica was literally one of the only things I did when I opened my computer.
Then, I got stuck on Wild West Island, and I was so frustrated. But then an idea came to my fun brain and I thought, I wonder if the Internet has the answer? Lo and behold… PHB had the answer. PHB had all the answers, in fact, to the next thirty or so islands I completed.
My dad and I played Mythology Island together, talking about Greek mythology as we did so (we’re both really big history nerds). He also helped me conquer Astro-Knights Island. People could brag about finishing it all by themselves to their hearts’ content, but I took pride in telling people that I completed it with my dad.
A Source of Inspiration
Something I didn’t mention, but perhaps you’ve picked up on it: I am… a writer. I write short stories, novelettes, articles, the occasional MUSICAL (that was a big one), and mini plays that get performed every other year at my local theater. As a writer, I get this virus every so often known as “writer’s block.” And yes, it sucks. But the only way to hunt said virus (see what I did there? okay, so it was a bit of a stretch) is to distract myself with something mindless and entertaining, but has the potential to punch me in the face with a fistful of inspiration. Sounds a whole lot like Poptropica if you ask me.
Whenever I’m stuck in a story and want to get out (see what I did there, musical theater superfans? ), I play the Poptropica Island that most resembles the theme of the story I’m writing. While writing a novelette retelling of Snow White, I spent a bunch of time on Twisted Thicket. While struggling in the middle of a Star Wars tale I was itching to tell but couldn’t quite figure out how, I slashed and stabbed my way through Legendary Swords. And when I was working on an intense but complicated story where the narrator gets kidnapped by the villain and has to be rescued, I continuously played Mocktropica. I swear, there’s a Poptropica Island for every story idea that comes to mind.
An Awkward Conclusion
Well, that’s my story. I know self-promotion is overrated, but follow me on Wattpad anyway (please?) or at least give one of my stories a nice big yellow star! 🙂 I’m @booky_wookiee.
Poptropica’s a great place, PHB is pretty awesome, and stay safe out there, everybody.
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