Log in ....Tribune

Monday, October 21, 2002
Dotcom World

Adopt penguins and polar bears
Gaurav Sood

People respond better to inanimate objects if they have human characteristics.

J. Lileks


The Website is an orphanage with a difference. The orphans for adoption, Mr. Coffee Nerves, Cudahy Sam, Super Dan, Plywood Pete and Undead Lard-Can Man are of varying age, sizes and shapes. Actually the site promotes the concept of virtual adoption. The cyber space has many sites on virtual adoption; each Website woos the users with something different. For example the orphans at www.lileks.com/institute/orphanage/index.html, are characters originally used as mascots for consumer products of the forties and fifties. While most products are closed, others have had made new mascots. So there is a bunch of mascots waiting for a home online.


The site lets the users adopt penguins and polar bears from the Arctic. The adoption process is easier than the real life, just right-click on the image and save it. Virtual adoption is broadly classified into two categories. In the first are sites, which offer pets to grace Website. Sites in the second category offers popular and in demand pets. The second category pets also demand a share of attention, games and - in some cases -food as well.


Here you can select your pet from a number of pets and also name them. While selecting a name, a considerable amount of creativity is needed, as common ones have already been registered. You can do everything from teaching your pet a few tricks, to playing games with it. The site also has statistics and progress charts, which are fair indicators of the way you have been treating your pet.


The site is also very popular. The pets from this Website if uncared, could also die a virtual death. Even the sky is not the limit here. This site claims to have built a community of over 30 million virtual pet owners across the world! Neopets has many things to offer including games, trading, auctions, greetings, messaging, and much more.