Neopets has been a part of my life for a very long time, as strange as it may sound to say something so sentimental about a website. Some of my earliest memories of using my family’s first desktop computer are of navigating the Neopets homepage at the age of eight or nine and creating the first of my digital pets.
Now, as Neopets celebrates its 20th anniversary and I get closer to celebrating my 30th birthday, I realize just how much of a constant Neopets has been throughout my life. I have grown up alongside the site and while Neopets has changed throughout the years and I have gotten older, and while it may not be with the same account I started with, I still log on.
It was through Neopets that I got my first taste of internet culture. Neopets was my introduction to interacting with other people online, how I was first introduced to fan-culture and how I was first encouraged to explore basic coding, among so many other things. In a myriad of ways, it was Neopets that made me a little more prepared to go forth into the rest of the internet as a prepared online citizen.