The Fall of Neopets

With its recent attempt at NFTs, the world of Neopia sure isn’t what it used to be.


Episode Notes

Neopets, a kid-friendly site from the early 2000s that let users raise digital pets and play games with them, has fallen far from its peak popularity. The nostalgic luster of it also seems to be fading, following the site’s recent failed attempt at Neopet NFTs—not to mention its years-old, mostly broken user interface. On today’s show, Madison and Allegra look back at the happier times of Neopia past, discussing their early experiences on the site and exactly how it’s grown, or not, with the times. Then they interview concept artist Claire Hummel about her teenage years interning at the site, the creative freedom the staff used to have, and why nobody could ever get enough Neopoints to buy all those cool items.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Allegra Frank is the deputy entertainment editor at the Daily Beast.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.