NeoPets Are Taking Over

from the tamagotchi-online dept

I keep hearing and reading about these NeoPet things. It seems like they’re a very advanced version of the tamagotchi virtual pets moved online. But, apparently, they’re damn popular – beating out even AOL games in terms of user minutes. What’s most interesting about them is that the majority of players seem to be teenaged girls – which is a demographic that tech/content companies traditionally could not figure out what to do with. In the past we’ve posted articles about companies trying to make games or online content for teenaged girls, without any luck. And here comes a company without much hype/advertising at all, that seems to have succeeded. Of course, what’s success without a little controversy? The company is facing some angry folks (such as Ralph Nader) complaining about how they mix advertising directly into the “game” portion of the site, which they feel will make kids unable to distinguish ads from noncommercial content. I think Nader and his folks underestimate how smart most kids are. Besides, product placement is everywhere you look. Hiding kids from it in a game isn’t going to change that.

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