Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chloe, Bocopai and Gustav

When my son was a tiny baby, I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch nursing him, bored out of my skull.  I had run out of books to read, and I wanted something a little more creative.  At about that time, Dani and James mentioned the fun they were having with Pet Society, so I gave it a try, and created my bunny girl, Chloe.

I took her name from a line in Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, where the Bucks and Blades enter the little village and exhort the innocent country maidens to dally with them: "Come Amaryllis, come Chloe, come Phyllis..."  She didn't look much like an Amaryllis or a Phyllis to me, but Chloe suited her fine.

Is Hideeni a dashing "buck" or a daring "blade"?

Eventually, my little nurseling grew up enough to enjoy "helping" me play Pet Society.  He enjoyed it so much, I created a second account so he could create his own pet, whom he christened Bocopai for reasons that nobody can figure out.

Can you see the family resemblance?

This worked pretty well, until the day the little one figured out that if he logged on to my account, he could buy things with my coins and send them through the mail to his character.  He cleaned me out in about fifteen minutes, and I password protected my computer after that.

Because we were having so much fun (and to give Bocopai another revenue stream) my husband started his own character, Gustav, whom he claims is a Swedish Tiger

The Happy Couple

And so the three of us, Chloe, Bocopai and Gustav, played happily together with Scoop and Tizzy and our other friends.  We enjoyed it so much, we even lured my mother in law into creating a character.

The gender-bending mad scientist Louis/Louise

In all, Pet Society has been a charming and low-stress way to play together as a family and make new friends who are always so happy to see us.  If it goes away, our lives will be poorer for it.

Chloe could use a drink after hearing the bad news


Danine Cozzens said...

It's been delightful interacting with your little one onscreen and in real life! Such fun having him identify us with Scoop and Tizzy.

James Langdell said...

I remember when I first played Pet Society being impressed by how non-verbal the game was at that time. That seemed intended to enable the game to be played internationally. But I also wondered whether that would enable a child of a pre-reading age to play the game with satisfaction. It wasn't long after that when your son (at 3, was it?) was enjoying playing the game with you. That's proved out another of the many rare, wonderful qualities of Pet Society.

Christy said...

Yes. The iconography is simple and any ability to write actual words doesn't influence the game at all. I remember Bocopai used to send long "letters" to the Mayor and get gifts in return. He thought it was the best thing ever.