Social gamers already know that Electronic Arts will be shuttering several of its popular Facebook titles on June 14. The decision is controversial for a number of reasons, but my primary issue with the decision is very personal. Quite simply, I love my Pet, Hedwig, and her little kitten and unicorn petlings.
When I heard that the game will be going away, I decided it was time to get some use out of the hundreds of outfits, pieces of furniture, and food items Hedwig’s amassed over the last four years. I’m still in the midst of a mad dash to screen cap every inch of her oddly-designed little Sarah Winchester house, a veritable Pet Society Llanada Villa. Heck, I’ll probably be Screen capping up until the second they shut down the game servers.
While Flash glitches and real-life work and social obligations have kept me away from the game for long stretches of time, I still cherish the quiet, comfortable neighborhood-world that Pet Society offers me.
My favorite in-game activity was – and is – building rooms and gardens in which my pet – and my friends’ pets – could frolic. I loved decorating for the holidays, and while Halloween and Christmas got the most room space in the game, I managed a Thanksgiving kitchen and a Valentine garden, too.
I didn’t throw lavish theme parties every month like Danine, and my room designs were always more aesthetic than deeply conceptual, like James’ and Christina’s rooms. Still, the creative potential presented in every beautiful item and theme was inspiring. In many respects, the home atmosphere presented in Pet Society picks up where the “Classic” Neohomes on Neopets.com left off; it’s gentle, it’s pretty, and it’s a unique platform for sharing quirky ideas with online friends.
At the end of the day, it’s been nice knowing that Hedwig and pals would there for me when I needed some quiet time away from my everyday stress. I’m going to miss them when they move on.
For more on Pet Society and its last months, see Danine’s and James’ Pet Society: Last Call group blog, a collection of Pet Society musings and memories.