MovieStarPlanet

Written by: Semhar (Semi) Tesfazgy, Editor in Chief

For every fashion-obsessed kid who had unfiltered access to the web, there was no greater game than MovieStarPlanet.This “free-to-play” online social game had an absolute grip on me – I needed the latest accessory (most likely a moustache – it was 2014, sue me), hairstyle or outfit as a matter of life or death. 

Being able to make attention-seeking art books or movies begging fellow Moviestars for likes was groundbreaking, and this innovation meant the website at its peak saw on average ~150,000 users online at a time. With such a large volume of users, this meant the bustling chat rooms were…memorable. The words “Type 123 if u want 2 be my BF/GF ;P” are engraved in my memory, along with the countless arguments almost entirely consisting of the ‘*’ symbol due to the game’s censorship running rampant. This is a game that defined my childhood and is part of what shaped me (for better or worse) into the person I am today. 

Image: MovieStarPlanet Ap5

Neopets

Written by: Ada Carpenter, Senior Editor

The procrastination demon possessed me, recently, to log into my Neopets account from 2008. The legendary virtual pets website celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and after a tumultuous decade of uncertainty over management, it has recently been relaunched for a new generation. With over 55 types of pets to adopt (including my favourite – the squirrel/rabbit-looking Usul), and 20 lands of Neopia to explore, the Neopets lore is seemingly endless. From faerie quests to secret treasure maps, it’s easy to see how it captured the attention of millions of children around the world. By 2011, the website had accumulated one trillion total page views, and was consistently one of the “stickiest” gaming sites. 
The other attractive part was the hundreds of unique minigames (Hassee Bounce anyone?), and the totally unregulated neofriend forums. But it wasn’t just timewasters; it was through Neopets that I first learned how banking and interest works – not to brag, but I am in fact a neopoints millionaire – and I even traded virtual stocks and bid on rare items in auction. Neopets was so successful because it let us play at adult life through amazing fantasy stories. Now when I’m sick of reality, I’ll go and take care of my neopets instead.

Image: World of Neopia

The Sims 2

Written by: Gina Brennan, Staff Writer

Nothing sounds like the early-mid 00s like the whirring and clunking of a family computer firing up, and ours was a shrine to the Sims 2. It took four discs to install but from then on you could insert disc 1, grab a drink (or a five-course meal) in the time it took to load, before slipping straight into Pleasantview. My favourite part was always creating my new family and the mounting excitement of preparing to enter them into a world in which they, and so I, could do anything; an attractive concept for a small child with little power over anything else. Once the family was perfected and the house bought, my older siblings would shatter this illusion and forbid me from using cheats to earn money. I soon lost interest in struggling to afford necessities like a toilet. Now, however, whenever I want a blast from the past I’m happy to load up a shinier, newer version of Sims and motherlode with a vengeance.

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