Hello! Welcome to the next part of our series with the Pop Creators interviewing members of the PHB team. Meet Sporty Boa!
1. How were you first introduced to Poptropica?
I was first introduced to Poptropica in 2010, when playing it in elementary school computer labs made you one of the ‘cool kids’. Given that I was one of the ‘quiet kids’ at school, I opted to explore the game where I was most comfortable: with my family.
It started with watching my sister, then my brother, Fierce Flyer, adventure across the Poptropica islands, with me acting as a literal over-the-shoulder commentator. Together we worked through difficult puzzles and boss battles, or simply admired the creative stories and characters Poptropica introduced us to. It was only after seeing my siblings’ mounting medallion count that I decided to experience Poptropica hands-on for myself!
2. Who do you think is the most underrated character? Overrated?
One of the many things I love about Poptropica is its plethora of unique characters. When I first started blogging about the game, this was one aspect I could not stop talking about! I often would give my personal ranking of characters, including those which I considered to be the most underrated. Atop my list was Dr. Spyglass from Spy Island. Not only is he an excellent eye doctor, but he’s also the genius inventor behind iconic spy gadgets such as the chameleon suit and grappling bowtie! Despite this scientist’s creations being the means in which you save the island, I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I mean, I get he’s all secretive and spy-like, but it would be nice to see him pop up from time to time.
Speaking of popping up from time to time, I would have to say the zombies from Zomberry Island may be Poptropica’s most overrated characters. I may need to get my eyes checked by Dr. Spyglass, but I feel like I keep seeing them show up everywhere! Given their ambiguous purpose, do they really deserve so much of the spotlight?
3. What are your favorite scenes, aesthetically and to play through?
The first scene that comes to mind is the Jersey Devil jumpscare in Cryptids Island. This scene is just as fun to watch someone else play through as it is to play through yourself! The tense buildup is executed so well, from the unnerving bathroom stall directions, to the dark, creepy house in the middle of the woods, and of course we can’t forget the window peerin’, breath stealing, fate sealing Jersey Devil!
Aesthetically, I have a soft spot for the Nøkken scene in Twisted Thicket Island. On par with the Jersey Devil in terms of creepiness, the Nøkken’s luminescent red paw prints against the dark, verdant forest is just *chef’s kiss*. Absolutely terrifying, but *chef’s kiss*.
4. From your perspective, how have you seen the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and community change over time?
From my perspective, the Poptropica community has had its ebbs and flows. Since joining back in 2017, I’ve always viewed the PHB as not just a blog, but as a cornerstone of the community. While being a reliable source of information and news, the PHB helps bring together Poptropica fans, me included, providing space for people to share valued ideas, theories and stories. Through thick and thin, I’ve learned to appreciate the space we’re granted, and the community we share.
5. How has your PHB career surprised you?
During my time with the PHB, I’m always pleasantly surprised when it comes to our community engagement events such as the Tribal Tournament and the Poppies. It’s such an honor to be a part of these positive, unifying, and genuinely fun experiences in our community!
6. What inspires you?
I can be easily inspired by the natural world, my family, a kind word, and works of art. Though, what inspires me the most is actually the potential to inspire others. Knowing that I can plant a seed within someone that may blossom into something beneficial and beautiful is a rewarding feeling worth striving for.
7. What does the Pop community mean to you?
It means so much, honestly. Poptropica is a special game that has a special community. Both hold an equally cherished place in my heart.
8. How have your experiences with the community and Poptropica influenced you IRL?
IRL, I’ve always been a relatively timid person. The Poptropica community was the first online community I had joined and truly felt a part of. It allowed me to open up, both online and in real life, allowing me to recognize that my unique personality wasn’t something to shy away from, but value.
9. Outside of Poptropica and your PHB involvement, what are you passionate about?
Outside of the Poptropica community, I am an avid wildlife enthusiast. Whether extant or extinct, the diversity of life on Earth never ceases to amaze me. Conservation, education, and respect towards the natural world are things I’m quite passionate about.
- Island: It will always be Cryptids Island for me, but I’ll throw Shark Tooth Island and Reality TV in there solely off nostalgia and good vibes.
- Backstory/Lore: Mordred/Binary Bard is such an interesting character with a fascinating backstory. It just adds to the awe and epicness of Astro-Knights Island!
Character: Dr. Beev, Ishmael, Harold Mews… Poptropica has so many notable characters! Some of my personal favorites are:
- Shark Guy (Shark Tooth Island): Hilarious, relatable and educational all wrapped up in a shark-shaped package!
- Ishmael (SOS): As a fellow whale-lover, I vibe with Ish! (Also, if whale call gadgets are an actual thing, I’d love one!)
- Harold Mews (Cryptids): A kind-hearted millionaire with a passion for conservation, who would have thunk?
- Dr. Beev: Why wood’nt Beev be on this list?
- Director D (Spy Island): He’s got the drip, the wit, and the wig, what more could you ask for in a villain?
- Gretchen Grimlock (Cryptids): What makes GG stand out to me in terms of villainous characters is that she’s not just presented as a rival to your Poptropican, but also an imminent and dangerous threat.
- Black Widow & The Strange Man (Counterfeit): Poptropica really nailed it with these two! They had cool designs, wove into the story well, and their individual arcs of deceit and redemption were well executed.
Costume: An iconic symbol of do-goodership and courageous adventure, the Robin Hood costume has a special place in my heart… and my closet!
Thanks for having me! Be sure to catch this interview on the Pop Creators’ Blog too. This Boa’s gotta bounce!
– SB 🐍