Ahh Foo-ey!

Last January when I was semi-shut-in and restless I signed up for my first Foo Pet.  A Foo Pet is a virtual pet–they began as a FaceBook app called GoPokey.  I didn’t know much about them at all–I barely have a FaceBook presence–and I don’t remember how I first discovered the site.

I got a beagle and he is fun to take care of. I somehow figured out the basic beginnings– instructions aren’t clear. I needed to earn points to feed and give my beagle flea treatments and I was offered extra points to validate my e-mail address and post a profile picture. I rarely post pictures of myself online, but this is a pet site, for heaven’s sake. I saw a couple of other photos of grown-ups, so I posted a head shot of my sweet middle-aged self.

A meebo chat popped up and I immediately began getting harassed by children, begging me for foodollars, telling me they were bored and insulting me as a freak for being on a kid’s site and not having a life. Off came the photo and I blocked meebo.

After awhile I found the forums. Not having much experience with forums, I was horrified at the rudeness and bickering that went on. Scamming by children. Adults getting into arguments with children over texting and taking poor care of the pixels that look like pets.

What I did learn was a little more about playing, decorating scenes and obtaining more pets. It was a needed break from real life for me and I began hoarding more pets.

There are other adults on the site but I haven’t made any friends–something that has always eluded me online. Yet, I continued to log in every day, bred a family of Siamese kitties and bought virtual antique furniture for my scenes.

Not being much of a gamer, I had no idea that the rules and play could change so drastically and often. It was confusing. There were usually no heads-up or instructions and there were a lot of glitches and problems with the new plays.

It amazes me how angry other members became. The outrage in the forums that have gone on for months now is contagious. I realize this isn’t a life-threatening situation in a third world country going on.  There is very poor communication between the members and customer service.

There have been ongoing, drastic changes in the game economy. Many folks feel manipulated and set-up to have to spend more money to continue. It’s becoming very expensive and many are leaving. Really, it’s hard to know whether there are a lot of happy players who don’t bother to voice opinions in the forums.

There are suspensions, members being banned, big-brother-type spying (or so I’ve read) and planned strikes and revolts. For me, it’s kind of like trying to look away from a train-wreck. I keep returning because I’m a bit fascinated and want to see how this turns out.

It really does seem that FooMojo despises their customers. It isn’t totally unlikely that they will try to sell the company or file for bankruptcy or that some other apocalyptic  thing will happen to the game. I am embarrassed that I’m involved in a site like this but I’m not ready to walk away. Conflicts and arguments online are such a total waste and I don’t have the energy to get involved in them. No one would miss me if I left–I could easily just delete my accounts. Yes I’m sorry to say, I have signed up for more than one account. I did that back when they were free. I really would not let a child of mine play after what I’ve learned about the site.

Today, that thing where I have difficulty with my nervous system was going on. I was clumsy and shaky and had poor manual dexterity. It doesn’t frighten me as much anymore because my healing is not a linear thing and this is just a part of a cycle. I adjusted my plans for the day accordingly–a good day for solitude.

A used book I ordered arrived–a book about face-reading. This isn’t the “Lie To Me” expression reading but part of a thousands-of-years-old system for reading features. Skimming through it, I noticed and felt validated that I have the burnt-out wrinkle of someone who works too hard. That may be hard for someone who happens to be reading my blog posts to believe.  There is also an anger flag about my personal life and suffering grooves. I know those facts to be true although I certainly don’t claim them as my identity or care to have people to perceive me in that way.

What it does is remind me again that experiences have lasting effects and choices do matter. I’ve developed a lot of character. In a quiet way.

So I have my own permission to play with virtual pets as long as it’s interesting and fun.

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. January 19, 2011 at 8:10 am

    i too am an adult who tripped over the FooPet app in the course of totally unrelated research – ain’t popups wunnerful? – and became involved with my virtuals back at the end of 09, when the site was still a source of innocent pleasure.
    carrying a model of my RL rescue work over into the site was a natural next step, so i founded a virtual cat shelter (which is now up to 5 profiles and still cannot keep up with the rate of new abandons).
    seeing no instruction or site education offered by the company, i then was incautious enough to start a member service page…and the fireworks began. up until then, i had been blissfully ignorant of the Forums, and they of me…i had my share of spats with youngsters insisting that the site was for UNDER 13’s only (at that point the site had only just begun allowing under 13’s to join at all…), whom i simply chuckled at and directed to the TOS and FAQs. fortunately i saw the intrusive possibilities of meebo almost immediately and never opened that door.
    presently the member service site runs a foosletter onsite attempting to stay on top of site changes and member needs, and we now have a WordPress blog as well in hopes of finding out just what in the world FooMojo’s plans are…we have had some success in winkling out the new management, at least.
    yes, these virtual creatures are interesting, and fun – and we need no one’s permission or approval but our own to enjoy them. FooPets started out as a relaxing site for adults – and that option deserves to remain. given half a chance, the site could become a marvelous place for the young to learn and the grown to enjoy…we’ll stay on it.
    hey – it’s a learning experience.

    • silvercannon said,

      January 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Thanks for stopping by. My FooPet experience continues to be bizarre. I avoid the forums unless I am curious about some weird new thing happening. Recently I put one pet up for sale, the first time I’d ever done that–something different that seems to have triggered my inability to log into three accounts. All of a sudden my credentials were invalid and when I attempted to change my password the site didn’t recognize my e-mail addresses. That’s just one example. Words that come to mind–insane, pathetic, creepy, stupid—and I am a patient, tolerant person. Still I enjoy the virtuals and remain curious about how this turns out. But I have no trust whatsoever in the company and arguing about anything regarding it seems draining.
      I did not realize my post could be so easily found. It’s still a game, just on a weird different level than I expected.

  2. Annonymous said,

    April 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I’m also an adult FooPets member and I joined back when it was a decent, fun, free game. And I paid for a membership because it was fun back then. I’m very glad that I used paypal to pay for it, however, as I really don’t trust the company either.

    My trust in them started slowly depleting months ago with the first few negative changes… then when I found out that the one who ran the site was a known criminal then my trust in them went out the window.

    Anyone who would have willingly funded a company run by a man who was known for scamming people must either be insane or perhaps so incompetent that they didn’t bother looking into his past.

    The sites been run on lies and ignorance for some time… starting from when the founder apologized for springing on foopets on the gopokey players on christmas day without any warning. The day he admitted to a previous scam and said he’d never do it again and decided to mention the name of a site which was the site of his newest scam.

    FooPets is a site which could have been so much fun had it just been run perhaps by someone different… But now the fun is gone and most of the players are getting kicked off the site because they don’t pay the company each and every single month.

    It doesn’t matter how much money these people may or may not have invested… they are no longer welcome on the site unless they pay for a monthly membership. These are children and animal lovers… kind, generous, loving people who have done nothing to the company but be loyal.

    Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the point where the players have seen that their loyalty isn’t wanted… so they’ve begun to rebel to the point where they are going as far as talking about sex and swearing all over the site because it’s the only way they can find to be heard by the company.

    This is supposed to be a kid friendly site but it’s not… the company running it doesn’t care about who it hurts and the customers are so upset that they don’t care about breaking the rules and saying whatever it is they want to say no matter who might be reading their posts.

    • April 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Yes, I am horrified when I read the ugliness in the forums. Most forward-looking companies are attempting to be more transparent now about why they are doing what they’re doing–as though they value and trust their customers. There is much they are not telling us….like how much trouble they might be in or whether they are wanting to go bankrupt.

      The curious thing is that with all the ranting and unhappiness, there have only been 25 complaints filed with the better business bureau in the last 36 months and on the sitejabber review site only 6 or 7 people have rated and warned about this company.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: