To The Girls I Caught Playing Webkinz

As a student, I find myself frequenting the dorm Jefferson on Ohio University’s campus for their market, cafe and large study areas. To set the scene, the study spots are divided by individual rooms, as well as open spaces with ¾ wall dividers allowing for a hallway like a walkthrough. On an average Wednesday night, I was doing some homework with my friends at a table like we do most nights. In the distance, I hear a familiar screeching and pickaxe sound. It took me a second until I realized they had been playing one of my favorite childhood games, Webkinz. Sure enough, I heard the voice of Arte in his Curio Shop and the girls had been playing the gem hunt game.

For those who may not be familiar, Webkinz were stuffed animals that came with a code to allow for an online counterpart. Your stuffed animal came to life online with players able to care for, feed, build homes and play games (with hidden educational value for children) with their animals.

As soon as I realized they were playing Webkinz, I laughed and told my friends. I guess I was too loud because the familiar sounds of the game coming from the other side of the wall divide stopped. Soon after, I left with a friend because she wanted to show me the mold growing in her room (that’s another story for another night). As we walked past the people in the next study area, we saw three embarrassed girls, all with their computers off. I felt awful.

Games such as Webkinz, Club Penguin (rewritten), Poptropica or Toontown (rewritten) are great ways to relive your childhood, while also relieving stress you might be facing in college. It’s important to find an outlet like a game, coloring or playing with toys to help handle stress and take a break from the pressure we face every day. I felt that my laughing ruined their stress relief, while in reality, I laughed because I haven’t heard the sounds of Webkinz in years and was shocked at how quickly I was able to recognize them.

I personally know friends who still play Toontown as a break from college. I like playing with kinetic sand, finding old Disney games online, or coloring children’s coloring pages (because adult coloring is too serious for me). Nobody should be ashamed of their own way to find relaxation.

To the girls I caught playing Webkinz, keep on playing. Because I know I’ll probably be joining you too.