I got my first computer in the 4th grade and with it came the magical and terrible world of the Internet. I remember when I used to randomly type in website URLs, hoping it will be a fun website when it loads up. I spent a lot of time on the websites of Barbie, Polly Pocket, and Archie Comics in a time before Youtube, Facebook, or mobile game apps.
Once I hit middle school, these were the 5 websites I spent the most time on:
I spent at least 6 years on this site. I first made an account because I wanted to have a virtual pet, but afterwards it became a whole other life. I was so obsessed with it, I even made my elementary school speech about it one year.
Neopets is where I learned very basic adult life skills. I learned how to collect interest at the bank, stock inventory for my store, gamble (Cheat!), invest in stocks, read the newspaper (Neopian Times!), support “wars”, and more. It is also what inspired me to learn basic HTML/CSS and photoshop, especially when I started to get involved in guilds and the chat boards.
I joined Habbo Hotel as I was transitioning out of Neopets. It took me awhile to gain furniture and coins, since I didn’t want to pay actual money for anything. I played a lot of furniture drop, murder hotel stories, and joined a lot of clubs, where I eventually made some online friends who would chat with me in different Habbo Hotel rooms.
This was the game site to be on. You have free time during computer class? Everybody was on AddictingGames – unless we’re talking about Elementary School, then everybody played CrossCountry Canada.
My all-time favourite game was the McDonald’s Video game. You get to control the entire McDonald’s corporation from creating pastures, cow farms, fast food stores, and headquarters. Get ready to cut down some rainforests and deal with protest groups, all the while trying to keep your profits in the green!
Roiworld used to be a Korean site where I played dressup games. The site was later taken over by Lifetime.com and all the games were re-branded to English. The quality of the games decreased and when I went back to the site after a few years, it simply vanished. But for those who are interested, StyleUp is a Korean dressup game site that is very similar to what Roiworld used to be!
Nexopia was my Facebook back in the day. All my classmates were on it, even though it was a pretty damn sketchy site with questionable forums and strangers. I remember my middle school principal came into our 8th grade class to talk to everyone about the dangers of Nexopia.
You could only post up to 8 photos (I think?), but I was more obsessed with making my Nexopia page, which basically consisted of basic HTML codes, images from Photobucket (the Tumblr or Pinterest of the 2000’s), and vague quotes that 13 year-old girls liked to use to talk about relationships. I even had strangers (let’s say “friends of friends”) request to draft their profile codes for them because they liked my page.
So these were the sites I spent several years on. Some, I never miss (-cough- Nexopia), and some will always have a soft spot in my heart (Once a Neopian, always a Neopian). Were you on any of these websites in the past?