You know good and well what you did.
Back in 2003 or whatever, you took young, innocent Neopets under your wing. A Gelert, a Jetsam, a Scorchio, or whatever the hell the penguin one was called. You promised that under your tutelage, they would thrive. You promised you would feed them.
And yet you didn’t feed them, did you? Your Neopoints piled up and you spent them on plushies, faerie quests, paintbrushes, and you watched your pets deteriorate right before your eyes. Their pictures saddened; tears appeared in their eyes. Their hunger status changed over time — “very hungry” to “famished” to “starving” to “dying.” Every time you logged onto that cursed site, even if just to hammer out a few levels of Typing Terror, you were emphatically reminded that your beloved pets were on the brink of death.
This practice, of course, begs a number of philosophical questions. Does it give Neopets users a purpose in life, something to strive for in the Neo-world? Probably. Does it help prepare kids for adulthood, where they’ll someday have to face their own mortality? It’s possible. Does it warn people not to put themselves in charge of living things that they can’t care for? Undoubtedly. Is it ethical to plague children with guilt over the wellbeing of an entity that is — to be clear — entirely not real, fictional, and made-up? Well, who’s to say?
Hot Topic is, apparently. The store is selling a new T-shirt that’s clearly meant to remind us all just how careless we’ve been. It’s one of a number of Neopets-themed shirts that the store is selling. This one is emblazoned with the slogan “Your Neopets are dying,” as well as a picture of the most depressed-looking Neopet I’ve ever seen. The shirt costs between $22.90 and $26.90 depending on your size, but there’s a 30 percent off sale if you order one today.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go ahead and order this, and wear it in every public place I can find. We early-20s denizens have screwed the pooch when it comes to our own Neopets — but maybe we can redeem ourselves if we ensure that future generations never make our mistakes. Leisure time? Recreation? No such thing in the capitalist productivity machine that is Neopets.com. Your Neopets are dying, children. Feed them. Feed them!