Oh, hi! Sorry I haven’t been around much, but all my time has been sucked into that black hole of a Web site: Webkinz. If you have a child between the ages of six and nine your life, like mine, is potentially worth nothing more than how much KinzCash you can earn to help your child to feed and furnish the lavish rooms of his or her fluffy virtual Webkiz pets.
It all starts innocently enough, as these things do, with a trip to the toy store. “What a cute little beagle/leopard/chihuahua/red-eyed tree frog!” says your child/mother/sister-in-law. “Oh, I just get this as a treat for [your child's name here].” And $12.95 later, the pet is sitting next to your laptop looking at you expectantly as you register her at webkinz.com, print out her birth certificate, and go have a look at her unfurnished virtual room. Next thing you know, little Pouncey Paw has a $1,200 TV, a $400 bathtub, Wizard’s Den wallpaper, and a prancing elephant fountain next to her bed. (Kindergarteners are eccentric decorators, it’s true.)
My problem is that I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with one of the games you can play to earn KinzCash. (This Wikipedia link explains the whole phenomenon much better than I.) I don’t want to earn money mining for jewels or answering first-grade-level science questions, or go to the clubhouse and play Connect Four against some kid in Florida. That kind of small-mindedness will earn you $15, tops. No, Color Storm is where the big bucks are at.
I haven’t been this obsessed with a game since my boyfriend let me borrow a floppy disk with Tetris on it. Or, wait, there were the years lost playing Shanghai II: Dragon’s Eye, way back in the twentieth century. You can see the level of gaming I inhabit. Not for me, the Zelda marathons of my online friends; no, give me a line of simple, hypnotizing, storyless blobs and I will destroy my arrow keys to connect four of the same color so I can watch them disappear with a little *blop* sound effect. It is with Color Storm that I can earn, like, $150 in KinzCash and keep Jackson off my neck for at least half an hour. I know, I know, the point is for HIM to be doing it, not me, this is all wrong, I should be WORKING.
Jackson is going camping for a few days next week with his dad. “Who’s going to take care of my Webkinz while I’m gone?” he asked in a panic last night. Dude is going to have like $100,000 when he gets back. And a mom who needs glasses and a wrist brace.