Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why Yes, We Have Lives

A common (and annoying) response to loyal Pet Society players who still miss the game shut down by Electronic Arts in June, is "Why don't you people get a life?"

My husband and I are not gamers. Pet Society came into our lives unexpectedly. It was as if a door had opened into some magical world out of childhood, like the wardrobe leading into Narnia. Pet Society was a place where our imaginations could run rampant, unfettered by practical considerations of time, budget, or physics.

We found ourselves seeing images out of Pet Society as we shopped, or observed store signage. Adorable children aged 2-3 have the proportions of a pet, with the large head, big eyes, and sturdy torso. We would smile at each other and murmur, "Pet," or "As Seen In Pet Society."

The bleed-through worked the other way as well. Our pets began to do "shout outs" to our friends and the events we attended with them. Even friends who did not play Pet Society got a kick out of the photos we shared on Facebook. Some of them wound up getting pets of their own!

We love going to Maker Faire,
and think Tizzy and Scoop would feel right at home.

After seeing a museum retrospective of designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, 
with real-life pal Agnes,
our pets paid tribute to the designer as well.
(If you saw that exhibit, these outfits are spot on.)

Scoop's tribute honoring the life of Lucille Bliss,
creator of Crusader Rabbit cartoons in the 1950s.
(A great childhood favorite of James.)

One of Scoop and Tizzy's first ventures "out" 
going to Kali's birthday party. (Kali got her own pet.)

We had tickets for a production of "Lady Be Good."
Tizzy was being a lady and Scoop was attempting to be good.

We've been putting on Regency era balls for over 25 years, 
so when Pet Society introduced Jane Austen style gowns, we were on it!
Fellow collaborator Christy's pet Chloe.

It was so convenient when everything went orange and black in October,
as the Giants won the World Series.

In real life I've helped put on many historic events.
The Art Deco Society's Gatsby Summer Afternoon is the biggest one,
with antique autos, a live band, and over 500 costumed revelers.
Tizzy naturally had to hold a Petsby Picnic each September. 
The vintage cars, the stage, and musical instruments the pets played
all cost real money but gave cute interactive animations.
The real money also bought a 7-day party with three different
pets showing up at each log-in.

Scoop set up a permanent gallery tribute to Phantom City,
 our friend Steven's rock band. 
Steven finally created his own pet, Mr. E, to come join the fun. 

We were heading out to a gala concert (Max Raabe)
and birthday celebration at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.

Another Art Deco event, the Flying Down to Rio Ball,
which Scoop has taken perhaps too literally.
(Although that film is pretty wild!)

Of course there was a Titanic centennial dinner.

Our friend Chris set up this room,
so evocative of the hotels for many science fiction/fantasy conventions.
His pet Gustav wears the classic propeller beanie. 

Our life is not all champagne and balls. 
One year ago, James had emergency eye surgery for a detached retina.
He had to lie face down for a week, no computers,
but asked me to put Scoop in his PJs with bandages for company.

Our FB friends were happy when Scoop was up and visiting again!

Our pets also did things we will never do in real life,
like go to Burning Man. But that's another story.

Note: The photos were all taken within the game. The elements and backgrounds were available for purchase within the game. The creativity was in how you combined them. The animated pets had a mind of their own, and could not be posed. You had to wait for the right moment for a good shot.