Pop-TROPE-ica: Exhibits for Education

Hey Poptropicans—this is a guest post by Beefy Dragon, who’s bringing back our “Pop-TROPE-ica” series with her take on Poptropica’s approach to education, particularly to the trope of exhibits more commonly seen on Poptropica Worlds. Enjoy!

trope ed

What’s up, PHB readers? It’s guest writer Beefy Dragon. Welcome to another installment in the Pop-TROPE-ica series. It’s been a while since the last one, so for the new readers, Pop-trope-ica posts discuss common threads that run through many Poptropica islands, a.k.a. “tropes.”

This time, we’ll be discussing education, a core feature of Poptropica, from Original to Worlds, manifested in exhibits and other fun forms.

Pop Art Screencap

Education has been one of Poptropica’s goals since the beginning. Heck, their About Us page even includes the word “learning.” The first island, Early Poptropica, features an art gallery, where you can talk to and learn about various painters, as well as view famous works of art. Since then, learning has been more seamlessly woven into gameplay.

About Us Screencap

On Counterfeit Island, you learn about some of the ways museums identify forgeries (and learn a few words of French, Ballon Boy’s native language). Time Tangled Island has you interacting with different points in history. Zomberry Island has you finding clues to solve a logic puzzle. Game Show Island has a quiz show teaching you about such topics as homophones, sports, famous landmarks, and pop culture.

These types of educational puzzles and games are on every Poptropica island in various forms, and they tend to be enjoyable and interesting.

Game Show Screencap

That’s not even getting into the many references to books and other pieces of popular culture scattered throughout the islands. On Vampire’s Curse, for example, we encounter lots of vampire lore, stemming from the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker. Not coincidentally, the island features Count “Bram.” (Eh?) The plot of the last two episodes of Survival Island is heavily inspired by The Most Dangerous Game, a short story featured in many a high school English class. There are also islands based explicitly on more modern books, such as the two Wimpy Kid islands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nabooti, and Red Dragon (based on the Magic Tree House series).

All of these examples are expertly incorporated into the plots of the islands. They all feel perfectly natural, and are important for completing the quest of the island. You feel like you’re doing good things by completing these games.

This brings us to Poptropica WorldsWhile looking for ways to continue this pattern of learning, the Creators have taken the concept of Early Poptropica’s Pop Art Museum and applied it to every single Island on Worlds so far (we’re not counting Dr. Hare’s Revenge).

The issue for me is, the Museums on Worlds feel considerably less fun, considering there is less interaction with characters. They’ve got many plaques you can click on to learn about whatever the island’s “thing” is—so far, natural parks, Greek mythology, and carrots. Thrilling.

The museums are not requirements for completing the island, and I personally find them pretty boring. (Seriously, real-life museums are more interesting, because you get to see the artifacts and exhibits they’re referring to in 3D Ultra-HD graphics.) I imagine it’s not uncommon for players to simply skip over most of the exhibits after reading one or two.

Now, imagine if the islands had found a way to incorporate this information naturally! Instead of a few minor changes to the quests, the remastered 24 Carrot Island could have featured a mini-game where you sort carrots by color, conveying information about different types of carrots in a much more interactive way. Greek Sea Odyssey could have revealed more about the characters and myths behind them while we actually talked to them, rather than just hiding it away in a little museum in the back of the ship. You see what I mean?

Hopefully Worlds will try a different approach that has the fun of what Poptropica Original offered. Maybe while remaking old islands, the Creators will begin to see the value in interactive and fun mini-games, and future original stories will include more of them. Looking forward to many more Poptropica adventures!

Beefy Dragon


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Beefy Dragon! If you did, be sure to check out the other posts in our Pop-TROPE-ica series.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!

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Pop-TROPE-ica: Venting about Vents

Hey folks, Cobalt here!

Listen, we all love venting, we all do it, it’s the only thing that keeps us from going Binary Bard crazy. Though, today I’m talking about another kind of venting… one that’s a common Poptropica trope. I’m talking about adventuring inside vents.

2016-04-03

It seems to me that not only does Poptropica love trash digging, but also loves making us navigate our way through vents quite a bit.

Let’s count the islands: 24 Carrot (the vent system in the factory), SOS (when you swim through vents because the ship is flooded), Night Watch (at the end, when you’re chasing the burglar), Monster Carnival (inside Honest Gabe’s, where you find the newspapers), and Escape from Pelican Rock (when you’re manipulating the air vents above the kitchen). Five islands!

Plus, an original concept for Shrink Ray contained a vent traveling scene as well, though it was later scrapped (though we still go through a trash maze).

bunnies

Spy Island and Super Power Island had some kind of vent scenes, but they weren’t exactly crawl spaces like these. (ex. The dogs’ hallway maze in Spy and Rat man’s sewer in Super Power)

So, whether it’s escaping prison, breaking into an apothecary, traveling secretly through an abandoned factory or capturing a burglar on your night shift at the mall, it really doesn’t matter. The Poptropica Creators obviously love to “vent”. 😉

Do you Pop-trope-icanos enjoy these vent scenes? Do you find them repetitive or annoying? Fun and enjoyable? Talk about it! Converse!

No, not the sneaker brand. Like, chat! 😀

Until next time, folks!

Cobalt

Pop-TROPE-ica: Trash Digging

Hey folks, Cobalt here! Man, that introduction is a total trope. 😉

Poptropica is a unique planet, that’s for sure. Every island is unique, as well. But sometimes, the gameplay tends to fall back on tropes. Enter Pop-TROPE-ica: a new PHB series focusing on common and perhaps overused Poptropica gameplay devices, also known as tropes. To start off, we’ll be talking about a common mechanism from several islands: digging through trash! Here we go…

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Nose picking, sharing gum, and trash digging here with my best buddy!

Trash digging. Let’s count the islands. 😛

Counterfeit, CryptidsWimpy Boardwalk, ZomberryVirus Hunter, and Mocktropica. Right off the top of my head, that’s it. Wait, let me check the island guides…

fiveminuteslater

Alright folks, I’ve checked the island guides. So far, there have been at least six islands involving rummaging through garbage. Does the statistic surprise you, or is it totally cool?

Whether it’s searching for tunnel tour tickets (Counterfeit), an old bathroom door (Cryptids) an empty popcorn bag (Wimpy Boardwalk), discarded Valley Rain bottle (Zomberry), letter not addressed to us (Virus Hunter – ok, is this ethical?), or an abandoned script (Mocktropica) – our Poptropicans are no strangers to digging through other people’s trash for our gain.

Cobalt there’s like fifty million islands, and you’re complaining that six islands have trash digging moments?

Yes, person that is the result of my schizophrenic episodes. Yes I am.

How is there any excuse for an act such as trash digging to happen more than once? How dare you, Pop devs? Do you care about me, clearly the only one finding this an issue, at all? 😦

Now, I’ve thought of all the possible reasonings behind this, and I’m sorry if you Pop Creators are reading this, because some may come off detrimental.

My first speculation is that due to the number of islands, they kinda just forgot. The second reason is what I’m all about, laziness. They have the structure for the code, why not just grease it up and slide it in? Working on Orb Legend, I can’t blame them for that. Third, the story. Now, I’ll just elaborate a tad bit on that. How would the islands go if they found the said items another way, or didn’t at all? Sometimes, the gameplay just calls for a trash-digging moment.

I want to make it very clear that I love Poptropica – I wouldn’t be working on this blog and be in this community for as long as I have if I didn’t – and I’m not trying to make them look bad in any way, shape, or form. Now, if I were to try to make them look bad in a shape, it would be a circle. (If you get that reference, I love you.) 😀 ❤

This post is just trying to compare similarities within various islands. Now that I’ve cleared the air, I think we can all agree that trash digging is not unusual in the quest for Poptropica adventure.

If you’re curious, we also have a PHB post covering the contents of Mocktropica’s trash bin.

What do you think? Is that a load of rubbish, or do you love getting your hands dirty?

Until next time, Pop-trope-icanos!

-Cobalt