Culture Feature

What Happened to the Virtual Pet Sites of the 2000s?

Enjoy this digital stroll down memory lane.

An Aisha from Neopets

Besides watching Pokemon AMVs on YouTube and messing with Kid Pix, the majority of my childhood Internet days were spent on one virtual pet website or another.

Back in the day there were so many options, from Webkinz to Neopets. Free time during computer labs in elementary school was often spent playing Webkinz when we weren't supposed to.

Looking back I can say that these websites were cultural events that were formative to my Internet experience. Lots of people feel this way, especially considering the widespread sorrow that came from Club Penguin shutting down in 2017.

It's about time we look back on the virtual pet sites that defined our childhoods.

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Culture Feature

4 LGBTQ+ Indie Games to Check Out

TLOU2 is far from the first video game to feature a lesbian protagonist.

The Last of Us Part II is one of the first large, mainstream video games to feature an LGBTQ+ protagonist.

Reviews are mixed on whether the LGBTQ+ representation in TLOU2 is inspiring or harmful, specifically when it comes to how the game portrays trans characters. Predictably, the game has also received a lot of homophobic backlash from straight gamers for simply including LGBTQ+ characters in the first place, perhaps showcasing why it's taken so long to get this kind of representation in AAA games.

But TLOU2 is far from the first video game to feature a lesbian protagonist. LGBTQ video games have thrived in the indie scene for a long time. Oftentimes these shorter games feel more personal and have smaller development teams, some consisting of only one or two people! In fact, the first ever LGBTQ+ game was created by one person.

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