Hello! Welcome to the next part of our series with the Pop Creators interviewing members of the PHB team. Meet Smart Icicle!
1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?
Ah yes, the nostalgic times. I found Poptropica when I was around 10 years old. Me and my friend were sharing one Windows 7 computer, looking at ads on our games. We had never heard of Poptropica before, but we were in the mood to try something new.
So we created our first account together: Bronze Socks. (If the name sounds familiar to you, yes, that’s my Community Creations partner!) Anyway, this was during the peak of Poptropica, with the Multiverse, all the islands you could play, everything.
After a while, we each got a computer and didn’t have to share anymore, so me and my friend went our separate ways. I continued to play Poptropica as Smart Icicle (username: Target1051). Here’s me on the New You building of an older Home Island!
2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?
My choice for underrated character — I found many, but I would have to say the magistrate from Ghost Story Island. He’s nostalgic to consider, yet a bit villainous — after all, he did orchestrate a murder.
The most overrated character right now, in my opinion, would be Rumpelstiltskin. With all the Fairytale Island lore ongoing these past couple of years, including Rumpel’s possession of the Baron, and now being hunted by the Red Queen, it seems Rumpel is highly ranked among people’s villain tiers. Still, I wish each villain could get equal love in the community, rather than the hype often going to the same ones.
3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?
I love seeing Binary Bard’s and Dr. Hare’s dreams in Super Villain Island. Another one is the Imperial Garden from Red Dragon — at one point, I even set it as my phone wallpaper because I loved it so much!
I also liked most of the scenes from Arabian Nights, which have some of my favorites to play through as well: catching Scheherazade as a genie, and being in her princess room. And I enjoy a good villain takedown — although I didn’t get to witness them from personal experience since the gameplay was difficult, it was fun watching Captain Crawfish, Binary Bard, Dr. Hare, and Black Widow getting defeated.
4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?
To me, it’s an equation: Pop changes = PHB changes. Every time Poptropica changes, the PHB does as well. So much has happened to the game over the years, and the community has evolved too. I’ve seen this mentioned often and completely agree that, with the end of Flash in 2020, many people lost interest in Pop, including myself.
Perhaps the pandemic had something to do with the game’s momentum slowing down. But despite the shifts, I’m still happy to see the PHB keep going, and parts of Pop still hanging onto some of its OG content.
5. How has your PHB career surprised you?
I was really excited to see what would happen after I became a staff writer on the PHB. My PHB career surprised me because it sent huge waves of creativity that I never knew I had, plus it changed my writing style. Before joining the team, as a reader, I had zero creativity and zero interest in writing. I have to say thank you to Slanted Fish for this opportunity to write about something that I enjoy. After joining the PHB, I was inspired to continue writing, and even started my own blog.
6. What inspires you?
Music, video games, family history, movies, TV shows — they all inspire me. As the saying goes: Inspiration is the key to success. Even watching other people writing inspires me.
7. What does the Pop community mean to you?
The Pop community means a lot to me. It feels like another whole family to me. I love just watching everyone’s whole different approaches and ideas, and I feel like I helped inspire new guest writers on the blog.
8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL?
I would say Pop has influenced me a lot IRL. It not only brought back my creativity and love of writing, it also made me love trying out new games to enjoy on the web.
9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?
I love my family, friends, teachers, and writing. They all just make me feel me.
- Island: Skullduggery
- Backstory/Lore: Dr. Hare’s origin story as a lead scientist who engineered a malfunctioning mind control device that turned him into an evil hare-y genius
- Character: Harold Mews from Cryptids
- Villain: Dr. Hare, Captain Crawfish, Black Widow, and Binary Bard
- Costume: Dr. Hare costume
Thank you to the Pop Creators for inviting me to do this interview, which you can also find on the Creators’ Blog. I have had a blast playing Poptropica, keep up the great work!