Bread and Circus: Neopets and the Fall of Roman Democracy
In the twilight age of Roman democracy, it was common for the powers that be to, rather than actually attempt to fix anything, simply provide the public with free bread and hosting free circuses in order to distract the public from the problems surrounding them. This practice was decried as ‘bread and circus’ politics by the poet Juvenal, and the Jumpstart Neopets team appears to be taking a similar route to problem solving. Key Quest and Habitarium have been down since Jumpstart took over last September and they were both HUGE sources of neopoints. Keyquest is supposedly coming back but it’s been months. User lookups Neocash cards, and rare item codes have all recently had problems working, and the filters very publicly failed in the Neoboards after Jumpstart apparently (just a rumor) laid off the moderators of the forums. The Neopian Times, new colors for pets, and site events have generally been underwhelming since Jumpstart acquired Neopets as well.
Rather than working hard on many of the issues facing the site and fixing them, the Jumpstart team recently introduced a site event called Trudy’s Surprise, a new daily where players can spin a slot machine once a day and potentially gain large amounts of Neopoints. Instead of fixing any real issues, the approach appears to be to simply pump more money into the already rather inflated Neopets economy. And considering the lack of any substantial money sinks on the site, that doesn’t seem a terrific idea. One can only dream for the not-too-distant-future, when Lord Jumpstart will be playing a fiddle while the neopets.com burns to the ground.