Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Whyville, pt 2.

It has been over a year since I wrote the first article on this blog about Whyville, and I feel it is time for a follow-up. There are several new things that have happened over the last couple of years, and many things have changed. If you haven't seen my first article on Whyville, entitled "Why Whyville", I suggest you give that a look before continuing.

In my previous article, I mainly compared Whyville to Neopets, which is still incredibly popular. However, this article I plan to focus primarily on Whyville itself. That said, Whyville has never left my heart, which is anywhere from embarrassing to curious when considering my position in life. I am no longer a young man, but a late adult facing the independence of life, and yet I still find myself returning upon this website targeted to the preteen generation. I hope to capture the reason for this in this article.

I have been an avid gamer since as long as I can remember. When I first discovered the world of MMORPG's (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), I was absolutely fascinated by the fact that over a dozen people living anywhere on the world could be playing the same game, talking to each other and trading things to each other. Whyville was my first experience in this genre, and probably contributes to why I still return to it. Whyville was easy to pick up; to learn the ropes, so to speak. I was, and still am, an incredibly competitive individual, so I took to Whyville much like a person trains for a race. I admit I exploited the system slightly, but it gave me an advantage, and I built upon it and built upon it until I was comfortably ahead of my peers. Upon reaching this point, my natural leadership kicked in and I found myself constantly aiding new members of Whyville, giving them clams and advice. Soon I was accepted into a close ring of friends in the once-elite chat room of Club Why. Whyville was now my life. Every day was spent talking to my friends, living through the Club Why dramas, helping others while at the same time advancing myself. It was no longer a game, but a lifestyle.
However, despite the common opinion, this game becoming a lifestyle was not detrimental to me. I was constantly finding myself taking tests, and saying, "Hey, I've seen this before on Whyville!", or finding myself in a social predicament, commenting to myself, "This is a lot like Whyville!"

My advancements in Whyville were parallel to my advancements in real life, and I do not think that is a coincidence. I gained vital life experiences on the so-called "Kiddie Site", and I still have to tip my hat now and then to the City Workers for keeping the site alive when so many of us were gambling on the year it would die.

While everyone moves on from their online games, be it Whyville, World of Warcraft, Runescape or Gaiaonline, I cannot say I've moved on from Whyville since my last article. I've joined, played and retired from many games since, but not Whyville. Perhaps it is because going on Whyville is like taking a walk down your old school hallways. Maybe it's because it was something I was very successful at, and I like to revisit my success. But I think the real reason I come back is because at one point in time, Whyville was as much a part of me as school, play and sleep, and I cannot divide it from my being. If it were detrimental to me, I could easily take myself from it. I've cut off many negative influences on my life before, and no doubt I will cut many more things. But I cannot imagine leaving Whyville completely. It is my flesh and blood, my bread and butter, my childhood playground, and a host of other things.
I occasionally come on to give away clams on the account DarkFireV, so if you see me, why not start a conversation. It might earn you more than you think. And if you haven't seen, or even heard of Whyville, again I would greatly suggest you check them out. No matter your age, gender, color or creed, you are always welcome. There are always games to be played, things to be learned, and friends to be made. I hope I'll see you there.