What’s the Big Deal with Superpoke Pets?

Superpoke Pets may be gone but Habi Makeover let’s us decorate and play with our pets

Look here to see our messages to google 

EDIT* – Even CNN Money has an article – Your virtual cow could be worth $0

When Google announced that they were closing all Slide applications they ruffled quite a few feathers, namely the players of Superpoke Pets.  So much so that many sites including Tech Crunch (Hell Hath No Fury Like a Superpoke Pet Player Scorned) , WebPro NewsSlide, Super Poke Pets Fans Furious Over Google’s Planned Shut Down, & Super Poke Pets Users Not Impressed with Google’s Halloween Costume Comparison), Business Insider.com (Slide Users Are FURIOUS Google Is Shutting Down The Company), All Things D (SuperPoke Pets Saga: What’s the Long-Term Value of a Virtual Good?) , Krank.ie (User uproar as Google kills Slide, Super Poke Pets), Games Blog (Google axes Slide, takes many Facebook games down with it), APPAdvice(Google Kills Superpoke! Pets – Pisses Everyone Off Again ), The Washington post (Hell hath No Fury Like a Superpoke Pet Player Scorned) and even the New York TimesGoogle to Shut Slide Apps as Slide Founder Departs) have been inundated with unhappy users. But, why are they so unhappy?

Though many players complaints dwell on the money they spent buying virtual “goods” to decorate their habitats, the core of the problem is not a tangible one, but an emotional one. However, it is easier, and more socially acceptable, for players to express their dismay about something more tangible, like the money, than it is to declare that they feel as though a friend has been condemned to death.

To non players, that may seem like a bizarre, even ridiculous comparison, but to those who have been tickling, poking and decorating their pets for years, it’s pretty close to the truth.  And why shouldn’t it be? Think of your friends on facebook and count how many of them you’ve never met in person. I know I have quite a few. We all tell ourselves “there’s a real person behind those pixels” but we never see them. We see a still photo or, if we’re lucky, maybe a voice over a phone or a chat. Yet, it is acceptable to be attached, even to “love”, these “pixelated” people, who are no more “real” than the pixelated pets on Superpoke Pets. Yet, it is not acceptable to be attached to a virtual pet. We live in a virtual world with virtual friends, virtual goods and virtual pets. The human condition requires emotional connection, and so we connect to these virtual things. THAT is what the real outrage is. It’s the same as if someone were to delete your facebook friends – and I don’t mean their accounts, I mean delete them completely so that they cease to exist in your world; in other words they were essentially dead. That’s what players are really upset about.

Other gamers find Superpoke pets to be “boring”, “unchallenging’ and even “quaint”, but it is precisely these qualities that have given it it’s fanbase. Many of the Superpoke Pets players are disabled people who finally found a game, and a community, they could participate in. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. When even sweeping your own floor is impossible because of a physical limitation, then decorating that pet’s habitat suddenly becomes a major accomplishment – no different than the hundreds of out of work people sitting at home playing playstation, x-box and Wii so that they can feel they’ve accomplished something, too.

Superpoke Pet fans have a number of things going in an effort to save their game, that a good dose of organization would certainly help.  If you’re a superpoke pets player then check the links below.

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About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

26 responses to “What’s the Big Deal with Superpoke Pets?”

  1. Brianne Lane Baker says :

    Finally someone gets it! Thank you for this! :c )

  2. Kitty Kurburski says :

    We are also having people who are not using accounts let us take them and adopt them out so they are being used. Active account numbers are down so we are trying to show them that we are serious about wanting our game to stay.I am one of the disabled who play this game and visit with my friends when I can’t do anything else. When I am in severe pain it helps to poke and try to forget the pain.

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      I have health issues, too and yes! When I am feeling really crummy just poking my pet or my friends pet, hopping on the forum or decorating can make a huge difference in my day. It’s a shame Google can’t see the human element in this!

  3. Tina says :

    You did a wonderful job explaining how we feel. THANK YOU

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Thanks! I’ve seen so many negative remarks from non players who just want to dwell on the money “you spent it, too bad” and can;t see that we’re really upset about our pets being killed!

  4. Terri says :

    Thank You very much for explaining how we feel. You did a wonderful job. 🙂

  5. kisstheskykneel12 says :

    Finally, somebody gets it! Thank you!
    I want to add that in addition to the pets, multiple habitats and a zillion different items to put in them there is much more. A player has the option to join a club, post in one of the numerous forum threads, make trades with other players, buy from the marketplace or store, buy from one of several shops which spp was kind enough to allow for a secondary market on their stuff, personal email etc. Most games do not have so many levels within them.
    Blessings, my sad heart thanks you again!

    • Clarice's TeeTee says :

      there as so many levels of how wrong the decision to shut spp down is! the creative outlet in a safe environment for 1. the friendships formed 2 the money spent 3, the time it takes to get to where we all are in the game 4, the shame in the waste of the graphic design 5, the itmes are just beautiful and must have taken so much work to design and now they all just disappear, i can go on and on, it is just heartbreaking on so many levels

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      yes! and there are contests, club contests, games, parties and even some role play threads going on! *whew* – it’s a multi-layered community that I can’t believe is being dismisses do easily!

  6. Theresa Savoy says :

    I’m a Stay at Home Wife (Caregiver) to My Disabled Husband. I don’t get out much,so I went on Facebook to find a Game I could play. And I’ve Been Playing Superpoke Pets Since 2009! IT WAS A WAY FOR ME TO RELAX and play with a Virtual Pet and Buy Items to Decorate different Habitats! But Most Of All Meet People , Some Disabled, Some Not! From All Walks of Life! I’ve Made Some Awesome Friends, Playing This Game! It’s A Shame A Big Company Like Google Has To Pick on Us Little, Disabled People! They Lied to Us SAID,They would NOT Shut us down when they bought out Slide! Now less than A Year, They Are Doing Just THAT! They Don’t care about People, JUST MONEY! THAT’S What’s WRONG WITH THIS WORLD, GREED!!!

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Exactly! I understand that a business has to have a bottom line, but google makes SO much from everything else it can stand to not make a killing on one or two items. That’s how most companies balance things out – they make a LOT off of one thing and a nominal amount on something else, but guess they want to make a lot off of everything… I find it bizarre to buy it and then disband it. It’s just so weird! Even the news media articles comment on that!

  7. Ibraim says :

    We will not allow our pets to die without a fight, I’m from Mexico and have a group of Fb gamers in Spanish, we are willing to help
    grateful to receive future information


  8. Penelope Whitehead says :

    its heartbreaking to know the site will be shut down. google just makes me sick. when i hear the word google i think liar and run..google = evil

  9. Juli Hoffman says :

    I am so sorry about the loss of your pets as well as the disrupted friendships. I hoped something can be resolved from all of this. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to have years worth of time, friendships, and belongings, thrown away by Google. I hope I’m not being too presumptuous, so take this for what it is. Worse case senerio, if and when you or your online buddies want to try a different gaming platform, you might be interested in trying a site called second life. My hubby has been using that site for five years now, and used to volunteer his time as a mentor for their site. He goes by the name Shorgin Ruml, and lately he’s been running arond their site dressed as a dragon. He likes to give away tons of freebies and teach others how to create and personalize avatars and their belongings. I know the two sites are NOTHING alike, but second life is interesting. There’s some odd stuff going on in their “mature” areas, but they also have online churches for people who aren’t able to attend in the real world. There are people who put on virtual plays for those who enjoy the theater. If you can imagine it, it’s out there or you can build it yourself.
    Good luck to you and the rest of your Super Poke Buddies. I hope something can be resolved.

  10. moonvapors says :

    I have done everything on the list and I am glad to see we are getting publicity. i hope it at least makes Google think about how they treat the consumers.

  11. Save Pet Society says :

    Hi Jolene. I am the author of the Save Pet Society blog and just found your blog which sounds so similar to mine that it’s almost shocking.

    Until recently, I had no idea that Superpoke Pets players had gone through what we have been and are still going through with Pet Society.

    I am trying to find out whether Google did or did not provide Superpoke Pets players with a downloadable version as that is something we are trying to convince EA to do for Pet Society.

    Was the Superpoke Pets Lite app provided by Google or created by a member of your community?

    Thanks, and great blog. I’m sorry you weren’t able to save SPP, but am glad you managed to preserve your pets with the export app. The Please Save Pet Society Facebook group is still trying to convince EA to change its mind even though the game went offline this past Monday.

    • Joleene Naylor says :

      Oh no! so sorry to hear about that – I know it is heart breaking! I will cross my fingers that EA will listen to you!

      Yep, Slide/Google actually provided us with the spp lite application. What it allowed you to do was to download your habitats and open them so that all the animated items would still be animated and the pets would also be animated – you could interact with them such as petting, feeding, etc. though it does not allow for decorating new habitats. But it’s better than losing the pets altogether!

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