PHB Special: 100 Years of Fashion

Over the course of the past century, beauty standards for both women and men have evolved drastically. From decade to decade, trends have come and gone, altering the perception of what the ideal human (or in this case, Poptropican) looks like.

In this post, we’ll be taking a glide through time, observing how such beauty standards have changed over time, and presenting them with Poptropica avatars. (Please note: This list is more specific to U.S. or Western society.) Let’s begin!


1910’s

In the midst of the Gilded Age, the end of the First World War had a huge impact on industrial production—and this decade witnessed significant beauty revolutions as well.

100 Years of Fashion 1910s

For many years prior to this time, women were pressured to adopt unnatural shapes by wearing panniers to widen the hips and corsets to slim the waist. For once, women were encouraged to embrace a more natural posture, and widespread corsetry ceased. Cosmetics also became more prevalent in the market. It was no longer frowned upon for women to use makeup. Though the popularity of makeup boomed, it was still used in a natural manner only. Full-lengthened dresses and large hats, often embellished with flowers, feathers or beads (or all), were worn like in previous decades before.

During the 1910s, men primarily wore suits that were fitted. Evening wear often consisted of a tailcoat, as it was said to have a slimming effect on the waist – thus making a man more handsome. Hats remained a fashion staple for both men and women, and top hats were common among the upper-class men. As for facial hair, mustaches were at the peak of their popularity, and styles like the chevron mustache and the handlebar mustache were popular choices at this time.


1920’s

100 Years of Fashion 1920s

In The Roaring Twenties, beauty standards changed completely for women. With a growing film industry, big actresses in Hollywood swayed women’s fashion choices. A noteworthy look from this time is the “flapper girl.” Flapper girls wore heavy makeup and short hair, which was contrary to the ideal woman in the 1910s. Now a slim, androgynous figure was the desired body type, and draped dresses with shorter hemlines became popular.

For men, the change was a bit more understated. Top hats and tailcoats became less common. Tuxedos with patterns like plaid or stripes were in fashion in this decade, as well as bowler hats. Charlie Chaplin, an iconic actor at this time, often sported a bowler hat. Beards and mustaches became less popular due to the commercializing of razors becoming more frequent.


1930’s

Despite the Great Depression, fashion was still flourishing in the United States.

100 Years of Fashion 1930s

In the 30s, femininity and modesty was en vogue. Fichus or kerchiefs were worn over the bosom for modesty. Skirts were lengthened and now favored over the shorter skirts worn in the previous decade. Makeup was toned down, though a dark, red lip was still very in-fashion. Short hair still remained common, but was often worn curled, rather than straight like in the 20s look.

Though hats were becoming less popular for women, they remained a man’s identity. The boater hat was an ideal choice at this time. Layering clothing pieces became very prominent in this decade. To achieve a larger build, men wore overcoats over their suits. Facial hair regained popularity with the pencil mustache being the most desired style.


1940’s

The 1940s didn’t bring any significant change for fashion trends from the 1930s. In fact, they were almost the same. There were a few minor changes, however.

100 years of Fashion 1940s

Women kept with the natural look women in the previous decade went for, but toned down their makeup even more. For makeup, a light application of blush and matte lips in a light shade of red was the way to go. Mostly women wore dresses as they did in the 30s, but tailored suits with skirts also became a casual look.

Because of WWII, fabric rations made men’s suits not as stylish as before, but fairly similar. Also due to rations, men’s attire became a bit more casual, but it still maintained a formal feel. The fedora was by far the most widely worn styled hat in the decade. As for facial hair, it became more uncommon. Most adult men were serving in the military, and having facial hair was prohibited. This custom carried on when men returned home and lasted throughout the 50s as well.


1950’s

100 years of Fashion 1950s

In the 50s, many young women began to dress differently than the older women who had a more glamorous look. A popular look for girls was the preppy style pictured here. Dresses with billowy skirts, and bandannas for the hair were very stylish at this time. A natural face, with the exception of a little blush and rouge for the lips, was all a young girl needed to look pretty.

Greasers were a youth subculture that popularized in the 1940s and 1950s. Rock and roll music and doo-wop music were huge parts of the culture as you can tell by the wardrobe. Greasers typically wore black leather jackets over white t-shirts with trousers or jeans. To get their hair in the iconic jellyroll pompadour style, men often used products like petroleum jelly to style it.


1960’s

The latter of the decade saw huge political and cultural changes, and fashion for both women and men were completely different from the start of decade.

100 years of Fashion 1960s

Although the day it was introduced is undetermined, the miniskirt gained huge popularity in the 60s, with hemlines as short as a few inches above the knee. Paisley printed or white poncho blouses were prominent among those affiliated in the hippie movement. Accessories like a pillbox hat and mod sunglasses made for a complete fashionable look.

The popular music group, The Beatles, had a huge influence on men’s fashion. Men’s clothing in the 1960s became more effeminate and colorful. Pants became tighter and sweaters became a popular clothing choice. It was more common for hair to be grown and layered, rather than short and sleek.


1970’s

This decade also witnessed a huge difference in fashion from the beginning to the end.

Disco culture started out as an underground movement, but with the release of Saturday Night Fever (a romantic drama with a disco-centric theme), disco culture became a mainstream fad.

100 years of Fashion 1970s

Wilder, feathered hair with blown out waves represented a mixture between hippie and disco culture, and became the ideal look all women wanted to achieve. Typical dresses worn in the 70s were shorter, looser dresses with yellow, red, and orange tones. A predominantly natural face with a glossy lip was the most common makeup look at this time.

In the previous decades, other than the 60s, men’s fashion changed very subtly. However in the 70s, fashion for men changed immensely. Like women, clothing was patterned and colorful. Shirts were worn tucked in and unbuttoned, collars were worn wide, and pants were worn high-waisted and tight. Aviators were very popular in the 70s, and made for a great accessory. They were usually thin framed with colored lenses.


1980’s

The 1980s were a time of experimenting with bolder fashion looks and self-expression. As they said “The bigger, the better!”

100 years of Fashion 1980s

Perms and mullets were popular hairstyles for men and women. Girls often accessorized with scrunchies and hair bows too. Bright neon colors for clothing and makeup were all the rage. Many people layered clothing items with a jacket or windbreaker worn over a t-shirt. Accessories like sunglasses, belts, and bracelets were also all vital in the wardrobe.


1990’s

80s fashion began to be viewed negatively, so trends were almost opposite during this time. In the 90s, bright colors faded away, and a grungy, subdued look was more in fashion.

100 years of Fashion 1990s

Many women wore their hair down, but many also wore their hair up with chopsticks due to the Chinoiserie trend of this time. Denim overalls were an iconic 90s trend, and have recently made a comeback. Another iconic garment was the choker necklace, which has also regained popularity. For makeup – a bare face with a dark burgundy lip was very common.

Tropical themed sports shirts were in trend for young men at this time, but mainly I took the boy band approach for the look of the guy featured here. With the gravity defying hair and hip-hop style 3D shades, he looks like he could almost be a member of NSYNC.


2000’s

100 years of Fashion 2000s

Celebrities on the red carpet had a huge influence on what many girls wanted to look like. For women, this decade was defined by fake tans and frosted lips. Hair was usually worn flat and straight, sometimes with bangs or poofs. Short denim skirts and ruffled skirts were very popular among young women at this time. Accessories like puppies, a small tie, or a flat cap made any outfit complete.

Many boys and girls also rocked the emo look. Emo is a genre of rock music, characterized by the emphasis of emotion. It emerged in the mid-1980s, but entered mainstream culture in the 2000s. As emo became a mainstream subculture, people who dressed in emo fashion and associated themselves with its music became known as emos or scene kids. Emos typically wore tight shirts and jeans in the color black (sometimes with skulls or emo band names on them), along with eyeliner and black nail polish. Hair was also worn flat and straight, but usually in black, with long bangs to cover the face.


2010’s

Celebrities, social media stars, and blogging platforms all play a huge role on the fashion choices people make. It is even theorized that celebrities are now driving the beauty trends rather than the fashion industry itself. Fashion trends of today are very much evocative of hipster culture. Normcore style has become a prominent aspect of hipster culture in the past few years.

100 years of Fashion 2010s

Popular clothing items for women these days include oversized sweaters, shawl scarves, leggings and high-waisted jeans. Hair with natural waves is also considered to be the most common hairstyle for women of today. In recent years, fuller lips have become the desired look for women. Lots of women will over line their lips with lipstick or consider injections as a way to achieve a fuller lip.

For men, it is a very similar look. Popular clothing choices include scarves, ocher jackets, casual blazers, fitted jeans, and beanies. As for facial hair — a faded beard is becoming a more popular style. In fact, facial hair has had an explosive growth in the last couple of years, and many men are now using their beards as a fashion accessory to showcase their personality.


A lot has changed in the past 100 years, hasn’t it? What’s next? We’ll have to wait and see…

That about finishes it. I hope you enjoyed this PHB special! Props to anyone who made it to the end. Let us know down in the comments which style was your favorite!

Thanks for reading as always, talk to you in the next one.

-Lucky Joker 🍀

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Poptropica Wallpapers for All Screens!

popwallpapers

A popular Poptropica community member and artist named napstachill has recently made a gigantic collection of — you read the title right — over 60 Poptropica wallpapers, taken from various scenes and parts around Poptropica. They’re 1920 by 1080 pixels, which is really good quality and standard for most desktop computer backgrounds. You could also crop them a bit to fit the screens of your other devices, such as phones, tablets, or other computers.

The zip file includes amazing backgrounds of tribes, characters, and islands! If you want any of them yourself, you can download them from naps’s DeviantArt (there’s a part 1 and part 2) by clicking the download button on the right side of the DeviantArt page, and if it won’t let you download from there, you can also download them from Google Drive.

This first set of photos is of the backgrounds you see in tribe common rooms. In addition to being just really cool-looking, they are perfect if you want to show your support for your tribe. Even though I’m in Seraphim, I love the look and feel of the Nightcrawler background; it would be very soothing to look at when you turn on your laptop or PC, and the colors in it are very complementary.

Next are wallpapers of Myron Van Buren and Omegon. I love how these wallpapers, especially the Myron Van Buren ones, aren’t too crowded and are easy to look at. Even though they are villains, they deserve some appreciation, which you can give by using them as a wallpaper! 😉 Perhaps not exactly what they had planned, but better than nothing, right?

With these backgrounds from Mythology Island, not only can you express your love for Poptropica, but you can also express your love for mythology and lore. Perhaps you want to honor Zeus or Poseidon while showing your love for Poptropica, too, or maybe you just like the scenery and architecture. Either way, these backgrounds would be great!

Out of all of the wallpapers, the ones from Super Villain Island have my absolute favorite. Binary Bard’s dream is absolutely stunning (although, a bit bright for a wallpaper) and is simple enough that it won’t look crowded with all your desktop icons on it. The two photos of the statue of Zeus can easily be put together and cropped to become a great phone background, too!

Then there are these are very fantasy-like, natural backgrounds from Twisted Thicket Island that would look completely magical as a wallpaper. The throne room scene has nice framing where desktop icons could go too, and the scene of the tree with flowers has non-harsh, cool colors that would be easy on your eyes. Of course, they are also beautiful backgrounds in general. Maybe you can somehow even set the throne wallpaper for the daytime and the tree for nighttime.

The largest group by far, Monster Carnival Island also has some of the best wallpapers; mostly consisting of pastel colors, the photos would be perfect as they wouldn’t cause a headache when on the computer all day, which most of us probably do all too often. Ringmaster Raven’s tent would also be great if you’re a fan, but I feel like the reds could become a little grating to the eyes over time.

If you love space and technology, these backgrounds from Lunar Colony Island would be a fitting choice. They’re not necessarily striking, but they make a statement, and the one with the world in the background adds a nice little detail to the picture. If you’re a fan of NASA (as I am!), the one with the “PASE” logo would be a small nod to the awesome agency, too.

Then there’s this collection of imagery from Arabian Nights Island – including one starring the mischievous genie Samhal!

If you’re in the mood for something more somber and contemplative, you might like this selection of scenes from Ghost Story Island. Spoooky.

Or, if you’d rather have something bright and beautiful, you might enjoy these nature scenes from Red Dragon Island, featuring traditional Japanese aesthetics.

These two don’t exactly go together, but they were the only ones for their island – Mystery of the Map and Vampire’s Curse respectively.

Last but not least, there’s the Part 1 batch (already included in the Google Drive folder), most of them with a strong focus on one Poptropican. If you liked these, you can find them on napstachill’s DeviantArt as well.

I hope you enjoyed! Leave your comments below! 🙂

-SW

A Decade of Poptropica: Party Recap and Reflections

10th bday pop

You’ve probably heard us say this a lot this month, but it’s a big deal, so we’re saying it again: 🎉 Poptropica is 10!!!!!!!!!! 🎉

That’s a pretty long time to be popping about. In fact, many of us here at the PHB have grown up seeing its progression over the years, from our pre-teens to early adulthood. Many others in this community are themselves just 10 years old, having been born right around the time of Poptropica’s launch! Whatever the case for you, whether you’re a longtime player or just discovered the game yesterday, you’ve got to admit it’s a remarkable thing to have made it here.

This past weekend, to celebrate the big milestone, the PHB threw a party on Poptropica and our chat server, the PHC. We brought our 10th birthday monkey hats and filled Multiverse rooms with laughter, head-to-head battles, and a standard dose of lag. Despite some hiccups with the party rooms, we still had plenty of fun meeting friends and hanging out on the PHC. Check out a recap of the shenanigans in the collage above, or this video captured by TallMeloniscool which recorded a portion of the events!


Here at the Poptropica Help Blog, we’re immensely blessed to have Poptropica be a part of our lives. This game and fandom – for all its whimsical complexities, hearty community of players, and skillful creativity – has made its indelible and unique marks on all of us who are celebrating its tenth anniversary this month.

To that end, the current PHB staff would like to share some reflections with you – our thoughts straight from the heart. You can also check out our “My Place in Poptropica” (MPIP) stories, linked below, for more about how the game has impacted our lives.

Brave Tomato:

bt1010 years? Wow, thanks for making me feel old, Poptropica. 😛 Anyway, I could never be any more grateful to be part of such an awesome community. Over the years, I have gotten to see numerous things, news, and such come and go as Poptropica evolved, and it has been great to get to experience it all.

It helped me gain new interests, build up my confidence to pursue an animation degree while in college, gave me an opportunity to share stories and artwork, and I got to meet so many amazing people through the fandom. I know this is weird for me to say, but being part of this changed my life. Thank you, Poptropica, for not being afraid to teach us not only educational lessons, but also to smile, laugh, cry, face our fears, and most importantly, bringing us all together.

Check out her whole MPIP story here.

Happy Lobster: 10bdayhl

Well, 10 years does seem like a very long time – but for me, playing since 2008, it strangely doesn’t feel like a very lengthy time looking back. As I grew older, I became more and more interested in Pop, ultimately leading up to my discovery of the community, and taking part in it since the start of 2016.

Since then, I’ve met so many amazing people, all of whom share a common interest, and made new hobbies that I almost definitely wouldn’t have began if not for the community – blogging, graphics, digital art. I wouldn’t change a single bit of my time with Pop and its fandom – and I’m very pleased to see Pop’s 10 birthday.

Check out his whole MPIP story here.

Lucky Joker:

lj10The fact that it’s been 10 years that these wide-eyed, formerly neckless characters have been around is still dawning upon me. I consider myself nothing more than privileged to have had this amazing game a part of my life for so many years. From mindlessly wandering around Poptropica in an elementary school computer lab, to secretly playing during the awkward years of middle school, and now to blogging on the biggest Poptropica fan site as an almost high school graduate, Poptropica has been with me all the way. It is with disbelief, but great joy as well, that I’m here today reminiscing on the huge impact Poptropica has had on my life, both online and off.

Looking back at the growth and evolution of this game feels so surreal. I remember earning my first medallion, purchasing my first membership, my first merchandise item… all like it was just yesterday. Because of this game, I’ve developed interests in mythology, astronomy, story writing, art, and journalism, and have also been learning to seek higher successes. This other world has truly influenced me, and for the best way possible. Anyway, I better stop before I get too emotional. Happy 10th birthday, Poptropica, and here’s to many more! ❤

Check out his whole MPIP story here.

Purple Claw:

pc10Poptropica is more than just a game, at least for me. Poptropica is an inspirational world that inspired thousands of people to make fan art, write fan-fiction, start blogging and writing, become more familiar with coding, and more. This game was what kept me sane through my teenage years (2014-2016, thankfully I’m much better now), my hard times, and whenever I wanted to be alone.

Joining the community is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, and I’m really thankful for every single one of my friends. Everyone here is so nice. Being in this fandom made me realize that Poptropica is my home, and I’m really happy to see this world become 10 years old. Here’s to many more! Stay poppin’! (:

Check out his whole MPIP story here.

Silver Wolf:

sw10Poptropica has become a huge part of my life, and I even remember the first time I played it, which was about 9 years ago (I was in elementary school!). I didn’t become part of the community, though, until 2012, and that was possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I only know some of my best friends because of how we met on Poptropica chat rooms or blogs, and I’m so happy to have them in my life. Even my family asks how blogging is going, and it’s become a conversation piece with others offline.

Poptropica has also always been a way to cheer myself up if I’m going through a hard time, and I’ve formed a personal connection with it over the years; it inspires me to be creative and express myself without judgment. I can’t believe it’s been so long, and I wish Poptropica a happy 10th birthday! I can’t wait to see what else the future holds. 🙂

Check out her whole MPIP story here.

Slanted Fish:

fishy10I’m greatly indebted to Poptropica for its being the source of creativity by which I do much of my writing. After all, there would be no Poptropica Help Blog without Poptropica; no Poptropica fandom nor all the fan art, blogs, friends, and conversations it’s inspired for ten years now. So thank you, Poptropica, for giving voice to so many ideas… and for giving me something to write about.

Blogging about this game over the years played a huge part in how I’ve developed my own writing voice, as well as a passion for sharing words with people that I’ll carry with me for as long as I have the ability for language. And it’s more than writing, of course: on Poptropica there are artistic worlds to admire, stories to dig deep into, and many more treasures than can be named – but suffice it to say, I’m grateful to have popped into these tropics. Keep on popping, Poptropica! 🎉

Check out her whole MPIP story here.

Slippery Raptor:

slip10If Poptropica was a kid, it’d be 10 years old today. Funny that it would probably play Poptropica as a kid, too! It’s cool to see how time had flown by so fast. I remember myself many years ago going to a friend’s house just to play Shark Tooth Island, and nagging him about a new island’s release not long after. This game has been a big part of my life.

Only Poptropica had the magic to make me feel like putting in so much effort, time, and dedication into a game. Even in the rough and crazy times, we’ve gotten through, and I’m pretty sure we can keep going through with just a little patience. And look, Poptropica’s already 10! Long live Pop! Stay poppin’!

Check out his whole MPIP story here.

Spotted Dragon:

sd10I still can’t believe it’s been 10 full years! I started playing Poptropica waaaay back in the early days and while I’ve taken breaks, I’ve never really stopped playing. Though I didn’t truly become part of the community until a few years after my very first medallion, I’m still amazed at how big our little fandom is. If I hadn’t started blogging, I honestly don’t know where I’d be in life right now!

I do get odd looks when people find out I still play Poptropica, but those looks almost always turn into a wholesome, nostalgic conversation. I don’t care that I’m a bit old for the game and I don’t know how long it will be before all of this starts to fade from my mind, but I’m 100% enjoying this while it lasts. I’ve made many priceless friendships and discovered absolutely incredible artists, and little things like that are what really made me stick around so long.

Check out her whole MPIP story here.


Well, that’s enough opining from us for now. We’d love to hear your thoughts on baby Poptropica growing up into big-guy Poptropica, and we bet the Creators would too. So we encourage you to share in the comments, even if it’s a simple “congrats!”

🎈🎁 Happy 10th birthday, Poptropica. 🎁🎈

😁 Thanks for everything. 💕

pop 10years

❤️,
– the Poptropica Help Blog –

Poptropica and Age, Part 3: When Are You “Too Old”?

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish.

In this post, I’ll be exploring the topic of Poptropica and age. This is a continuation from two previous posts, so if you haven’t already read them, be sure to first catch up with Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Once you’ve read those, continue on below to Part 3!

Are you ever “too old”? Is it weird for anyone older than 12 to like Poptropica?

Well, this might sound like a cop-out answer, but it really depends on your perspective. Ask a community of Poptropica fans, and they’ll probably tell you no. Ask another person whose tastes do not align with yours, and they might answer differently.

Is Poptropica a kids’ game? By many accounts, yes. Is it also an all-ages game? Though the most populous group will probably continue to be the group the game was made for, you’ll find players of varying ages in this community. By that detail, it’s okay if you fall outside the typical spectrum.

This is a cliche, but: age is just a number. (Or as the memes will tell you, “False! Age is just a word.”) It’s only a recommendation guide, and you are not obligated to follow. You may find an 8-year-old who hates Poptropica, and an 18-year-old who loves it. Stereotypes can be broken. What matters is whether you find joy in it – whether it’s constructive to you and the people around you. Taking this into account, the factor of age becomes less important.

Yujo, a longtime Poptropican who is now 20, says this about his commitment to the game: “Part of what has made me return to the game is nostalgia, I suppose. Another would be the storytelling of Poptropica, continually dishing out something new every now and then. Even with Poptropica Worlds, a new platform, I still find myself enjoying playing it. One other thing that has made me stay for so long, despite my age, is the amazing community. I’ve made some fond memories playing Pop, so I’ll probably make some more before I pop on out down the line.”

There may be people who look at an older player and go, “Really? Don’t you have better things to do?” and, yes, it might strike them as odd. But that’s just the question: if you do enjoy your involvement in Poptropica, whether it’s just the game or something more – then isn’t it something worth doing, despite what critics may say?

And here is another thing critics may overlook: the Poptropican side of Ye Olde Player may be the only side they are seeing. But the truth is that every person on this earth is a complex individual, which means, for starters, that we all have lives offline. We go to school, we hang out with our family and friends, we pursue our interests, the list goes on. Some of us are just a tad farther down the age line than others.

Will most of the high school and college-aged still be playing beyond the early twenties? That remains to be seen. This group has gone past the old recommendation of “6–15 years old” for a handful of years now, and who’s to say there won’t be more years? As long as Poptropica continues to be enjoyable and keeps coming out with new and interesting content, the oldies might just stick around a little longer.

Here’s the other thing: everybody finds things and activities they enjoy, or at least, something to occupy themselves with. If your life didn’t have Poptropica in it, it would have something else: perhaps other games, books, movies, TV shows, hobbies, etc. And these things are not mutually exclusive! You can enjoy Poptropica while pursuing other interests and obligations in your life, too – in fact, it would be pretty unhealthy not to.

Either way, you’ll find something to take hold of and be inspired by.

Why not let it be Poptropica?


Well, that’s my take on Poptropica and age – all three parts of it. In case you missed it, you can catch Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Do you agree or disagree with these thoughts? What has your experience been? Share in the comments below!

Keep on popping on, Poptropicans.

~🐠

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!

~🐠

Poptropica and Age, Part 1: Who’s Playing?

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish.

Here’s a topic we haven’t explored much on this blog: Poptropica and age. I’m writing this from my perspective as a 20-year-old who’s been playing for almost a decade, which means I’ve seen the game grow from its humble beginnings to the big franchise it is today. And, it means I’ve grown up with the game from childhood to adulthood.

It’s often purported that Poptropica is a “children’s game,” but how accurate is this description? The answer may be a little more complicated than it seems.

Since this ended up being pretty long, I’ve broken it up into a few parts that will be posted over the coming days. In this post, I’ll go over who the game is made for as well as what kinds of people make up the actual community. Let’s begin!

Who is the game for?

Strictly speaking, Poptropica is a game for kids. It’s got kid-friendly content, has cartoonish graphics, and is marketed towards young kids, particularly pre-teens. When you register for an account on Poptropica Original, the age options are between 6 to 15. But by popular demand, in Poptropica Worlds, your age can go up to 99 – suggesting that Poptropica can be for all ages.

Still, even with this notion of “all ages,” there is a certain age group that Poptropica aims at in particular. One Poptropica Creator, Mitch Krpata, said in an interview that “a kindergartener could probably play the game but might not get much out of it. The sweet spot is around ages 8 through 12, when kids can both read the dialogue and understand the larger story. After that, you may still enjoy it, but (laughs) you may want to move on to your PlayStation 4.”

So, who is the game for? Technically, pre-teens and maybe younger teenagers, but it’s not like there’s an Age Police Force to stop you if you’re older than 15 and want to play. However, as I’ll discuss in the next section, this snapshot is only scratching the surface.

Who else is playing?

Some of you reading this may know that I got into Poptropica (and blogging about it) at the tender age of 11, in 2008, when you could fit all the islands of Poptropica on one map page. Even though the game was much simpler in those days (no store, no membership, no customizer!) I enjoyed it a lot. So much so that I started a blog.

Over the 9 years I’ve been involved in the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB) and the wider Poptropica fandom community, I’ve seen this idea of a Poptropica “age group” been broken down many times. Although the 11-year-old me who remembers the day Super Power Island came out definitely fit into the standard when I first started playing, I no longer do, and have not for many years. Still, I’m far from the only one.

One of the first to join this blog’s staff team was Codien, who at the time was 16, an age that seemed old and far away to many of the PHB’s readers who seemed mostly to fit the 8-12 range. As years went by, it seemed many in the fandom community also got older, and it became more common to find Poptropicans who were 13, 14, 15. More years passed, and 16, 17 weren’t so uncommon either. In fact, right now, the PHC chat hangout has several regulars who are currently college-aged, including myself.

PHB surveys we’ve conducted in the past few years reveal that the readers of this Poptropica fan site are not all in the expected 8–12 range. Our 2014 survey reveals that the largest group has been 12–14, with 46% in 2014, a trend that continued in 2016 and increased to 60% in 2017. Ages 9–11 were the second biggest group of PHB readers in 2014 and 2016, at 30% and 35% respectively. But in 2017, they were overtaken by ages 15–17, which made up 28%, an increase from previous years.

Of course, although some people have aged with the game as I did, others are also new faces popping up. They may be only now finding Poptropica in their teens, or are re-discovering it from digging up childhood memories, as many have reported in their My Place in Poptropica stories. At the same time, other people will lose interest over time, and that’s fine too.

There is at least one age outlier, though, and that is the gaming YouTuber Thinknoodles, who recently hit age 40. In Think’s case, although he once was an avid Poptropica player, his more recent videos have prioritized other games over Poptropica, suggesting his own fading interest. As of this writing, he has yet to post his promised walkthrough video for Crisis Caverns Island, which came out over two months ago.

And of course, the Poptropica Creators will play the game too, at least to evaluate the job they’ve done if not also for personal enjoyment.

To be continued…


Thanks for reading Part 1 of “Poptropica and Age”! What did you think? Your comments are appreciated!

In Part 2, I’ll talk about why there are so many older kids in this fandom and how it affects the community. Stay tuned!

~🐠

A Lifetime of Headers, Part II

Hey Poptropicans! Slanted Fish here.

As we celebrate the PHB’s upcoming 9-year anniversary with the Poppies this month, I thought it’d be interesting to look back on how far we’ve come in a visual way: our lifetime of site headers.

About 8 years ago, then-PHB “graphics guy” Codien released a post reminiscing all the headers that had gone up on the PHB over the life of the blog, many of them designed by himself. He has since moved on to other things, but the PHB has continued his practice of adorning the top of the site with a graphic that tells who we are.

This post is here to commemorate the many designs we’ve had since his post, and as it’s been 8 years, there are many! Most were designed by me, with some graphic assets from Poptropica mixed into most. Other contributors have also been credited on their respective headers. Hover over each image for captions, click to see in full-size, and enjoy!

Well, there you have it! PHB’s headers from 2009 onwards. Don’t forget to catch Part I here, which in addition to Codien’s brilliant designs, includes my awkward attempts at a header from when I first created the blog in 2008.

How many of them were you around to see? Which ones did you like most? Do you feel like the designs have improved over the years? (I personally do.) Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments!

Thanks for sticking with the PHB. Here’s to many more years.

Keep on popping,

~/🐠