Hey, Poptropicans! Welcome to a new PHB series, “My Place in Poptropica”, where people tell their stories of how they got involved in the Poptropica community. Over the next 9 days, we’ll be publishing some of these tales here on the PHB. Without further ado, here’s the first MPIP: HPuterpop!
In 2007, I discovered Poptropica.com, and created an account with the username ‘puterpop’. 8 years later and I’m sitting here, writing this post on the largest and oldest Poptropica fan blog ever. How did this happen?
2007 to 2008 | beginning of Messy Sinker
It all started back in 2007 when my kindergarten teacher directed me to some educational sites, one being FunBrain.com. At the time, FEN had just started promoting Poptropica on their sites. After milling around on FunBrain for a bit, I decided to (daringly) click on the Poptropica advertisement. The ad promised exploration, collection, and competition – plus some kooky looking googly-eyed characters next to what appeared to be a balloon stand.
Clicking on the ad, I created a new player and started playing the available quests every afternoon after school. Originally, I created new characters every time I played but eventually convinced my mom to let me make an account.
My mom helped me out with designing my character (this was before the costumizer, so initial character design was important), selecting the hair and suspenders reflecting a younger version of my dad. The username was chosen for my love of computers and Poptropica. The password was chosen for my love of puppets. And so, Messy Sinker – ‘puterpop‘ – was born, and still remains my main account.
When they added Monster Carnival Island to the map with the ‘Coming Soon’ text, I was surprised – I was surprised even more so when it disappeared, being replaced by 24 Carrot Island. Looking it up some time later, I found this post on the PHB. It was the first time I had ever seen the blog.
2009 | a new account
After finding the PHB, I was a passive viewer of the blog, not commenting but viewing and enjoying the game as it was updated. I made the foolish mistake of sharing my password with “friends”, which worked for a while until one of them changed the password and wouldn’t tell me. Assuming that the account was lost forever, I created a new one, ‘puterpoptropica’ – similar to the other and with the same costume. Bashful Whale is now my secondary account and has most of my original medallions and some unattainable items.
2010 to 2012 | Puterpop to HPuterpop
The first sign of a ‘puterpop’ in the community was in August of 2010. Using a friend’s email address, I commented ‘Love the guide!’ on the Steamworks Island guide. From there, I continued to comment – not frequently, but steadily. I began to post little theories, similar to what I do now.
Eventually, I realized that WordPress comments do not check if the email submitted is legit – so email@example.com became firstname.lastname@example.org
During this time, I changed my screen name for accounts from Puterpop to HPuterpop – you can read the full story here. In a nutshell: I thought that HP meant high definition. It did not, and it was long after I had set the accounts up that I realized my mistake.
But the name stuck, and HPuterpop lived on!
2013 to 2014 | blogging
This is where things got interesting! After years of using Bashful Whale as my main account, I finally got the idea to contact Poptropica and ask for Messy Sinker’s password to be reset. It was some time later that I got the account back!
I also created a WordPress account and set up my first blog, “HPuterpop’s”. While the name was highly original (disclaimer: sarcasm), I closed it down shortly after creation. However, soon after it was put up, a then not well-known blogger, Nameless Undefined, found my blog and asked me if I wanted to be an author on her new blog, Poptropican Awesomeness.
I agreed and started to post there. I quickly became the most frequent author on the site. During this time, I was looking to become an avid writer on many blogs, requesting authorship on the ATP and even on the PHB – however, I (obviously) was declined.
I’m only going to touch lightly on the drama that ensued on PAw – I’m not proud of what happened there. I and Nameless are ok now but at the time an incredibly ridiculous feud happened. There were people who supported Nameless and people who supported me. I’m still unaware of how far that war stretched, but word got around, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people knew about it.
However, I was on the PAw for quite some time, and it was the blog that I started a special series on: Poptropican Portraits. While I haven’t had much time to work on that series, I plan to in the future, after the wiki project comes to a stopping point.
Around this time, I found a leak to the 24 Carrot Island BETA Carrotene project and sent it to the PHB. My first brush with Poptropica fame was fun, and it got me started on a journey of coding that I would never have imagined. In fact, one of the PHB’s frequent commenters (CC) even mentioned that I may be the next Coder Kid!
In December of 2013, current authors Samwow5 and Blake were added to the team, and I saw an opportunity. Emailing Slanted Fish once again, I asked if I could join – she must have seen something in me because she sent me an invite!
I didn’t post for two days- I was working on the best post ever. From the title to the outro, it had to be perfect – my first post on the world’s largest Poptropica fan blog! I posted ‘Where the Wild One Is’ on December 10 of 2013. I soon after officiated the Poptropican Portraits series and began to make that a weekly endeavor.
One of my first posts on the PHB was ’10 things you DIDN’T know about Poptropica!”, which basically encapsulated what I would post about on the PHB for years to come: 10 weird facts that I had brewed on and found over my entire gameplay experience.
Now, remember how I mentioned that I leaked the BETA Carrotene project? That inspired me to look further. For days on end, I tried to find a way to get into the files of Poptropica. I wanted to be the next Codien. And soon, with the help of Inspect Element, I hit the answer. I found how to look at Poptropica’s file database. I posted this finding to the PHB soon after, and over the two years that I’ve known of this I have learned much of the filing system they use – that’s how Spotted Dragon creates her BTS posts!
The post containing my findings also sprouted another venue for me – theories! I theorized that Kyle Fox, a musician intern for Poptropica actually was Gamer Guy on the PCB. This turned out to be false, but I knew then that I wanted to make theories – and boy did I get started soon.
My Mocktropica Island review is one of my first big posts. It contains 778 words, a good amount of pictures, and took me a couple days to finish. I really enjoyed this type of post and went on to create many reviews after that.
My first live stream happened after a Poptropica blog claimed I faked my Poptropican Portraits (somehow…?). In order to disprove this claim, I live streamed the making of a portrait of the owner of the blog! I got a lot of viewers and the live stream in general was a success. It pushed me toward making more… 😉
2015 and forward | a clear direction
Things just escalated from there. Mid 2015, the Poptropica Wiki contacted me about joining forces with the PHB – to which at first I didn’t want to do, but with further thought and some input from the other team members, I accepted. That was a good decision. Along with help from some key people, I completely “flipped” the wiki, making a better logo, redesigning the layout and theme, reformatting pages, and just about every other task imaginable. I’m happy with what we have now at Gamepedia, even though we’re far from completion.
From there, we brought back a big facet of the Poptropica community – the Poptropica Help Network, abbreviated as the PHN. This was a network in place years ago but faded after a while. Tying together some sites, we formed something even grander than the original network!
Finally, my most recent large project: the PoptropiComic and the orb timeline! A grand compendium of a few community members’ creative efforts – the ultimate fan fiction. The PoptropiComic is a graphic novel while Giant Hawk Adventures is a written fiction – I’m excited to see where it leads!
My largest achievement so far, in my opinion, is when Christopher Barney, a Poptropica developer (better known as Triton!), referred to me in a conversation as “one of the best-known players”. That’s crazy – I was definitely a fanatic whenever I was younger, but I never thought I could achieve that accolade.
This year has definitely been my best – I’m perfecting my craft and am even looking into some game design! (more on that later 😉 )
There’s one more thing I’d like to mention… I’ve glossed over my accomplishments, but it’s important to note that without the help of my friends that I’ve met along the way, none of what I’ve done could have been possible. You’ve changed my life forever.
Paul, Ylimegirl, Justice, Sam, Sydney, Juyo (SlantedFish), Brave Tomato, Blake, Slippery Raptor, Joshua… to the entire community… for the ones I have unintentionally left out… THANK YOU!
I continue to work on my many projects to this day – designing logos, cracking codes, writing posts, and organizing databases. 🙂
And that’s My Place in Poptropica.