Sunday, September 23, 2018

Alphas and Shamans

Hey Jammers! I know yesterday's post was a bit more serious than what you might normally be used to with this blog, but I think it's important to take a step back from your virtual fantasy world and understand what's going on. 

Animal Jam is an online fantasy interpretation of the real natural world– wouldn't it be sad if one day all we had left of the world's plants and animals was just an online fantasy?

That being said, the fantasy elements of Animal Jam are still enjoyable, and this post is all about them! Yup, today we talk about AJ lore... and how it's changed over the years.

Introducing the Alphas... or should I say... Shamans!


This is Liza's original appearance. Some people say she looked weird during beta testing... all I can say is that I was very disappointed when the new design made her skinny. I get that Liza by definition is unrealistic because she walks on two legs, but a skinny panda makes no sense lol

And if you haven't guessed already, Alphas were originally called Shamans!

[Insert image that I've been searching for for 30 minutes but can't find. It's a screenshot of the Jamaa Journal or something that says "The Shamans now wish to be known as the Alphas, so we will respect that"]

...because I can't find that image, here is a related one:


This was in the Jamaa Journal in mid-August of 2012. Prior to this, there had been no mention of the Alphas for at least a year. This was a big deal!

So the Alphas began "arriving" in the form of Daily Explorer articles linked in the Jamaa Journal. These articles were rewrites of the Alphas' original backstories– yes, the Alphas you know today are not quite the same as they always were!

Here's Liza's original story:


(Click to enlarge)

Here's the current story:


The second one is alright, but a little generic...

I could go through all the differences between the beta and current Alphas, but it's late and I'm sleepy XD

The most dramatic difference is with Cosmo, who aged backwards from an old man into "one of the youngest Alphas". I actually talked about that before in this post.

Now that I think of it, I have made this exact post multiple times throughout the history of my blog, mostly to accommodate the newer Jammers who keep joining every day who might not be as familiar with the lore.

The post I linked above actually has way more information than this one... ^_^;

Here is that same exact link, except bigger:


I'm just gonna quietly back out of here right now, cuz I have school tomorrow and it's late.

More posts coming soon!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Rhinos Deserve Life

Imagine waking up one morning to find that the entire world is being destroyed by aliens, and only you and everyone in your neighborhood are the last humans alive.

At least three people you know are killed by the aliens every day. Imagine the pain and hopelessness as more of your friends and family are taken away from you every day. 

Food and shelter becomes scarce as the aliens tear up what was once a happy home filled with joy and stories. Every day, you feel closer and closer to death. Everything you ever loved is being destroyed.

This sounds like the plot of a dystopian science fiction book. However, this story is very deeply the reality for a creature you all know about, but have probably never met in person.


The rhino. All five remaining species are ancient, having grown alongside the Earth for 50 Million years of vibrant, mysterious history. 

Humans have only existed for a mere 200,000 years. 

We are the aliens who have only just arrived on the planet, but are already cutting short the lives of its ancient inhabitants, and consequently the lives of the countless other species who depend on them. 

On the map below in light orange is the rightful habitat of the Sumatran Rhino. Those tiny dark orange spots are the only places where the Sumatran Rhinos remain.


There are only 80 Sumatran Rhinos left on planet Earth. That's probably less than everyone in your neighborhood.


The Sumatran Rhino has been on Earth longer than any living mammal. Their species has seen so much that we cannot even fathom. What's happening today is wholly destructive and in no way natural. 

You will most frequently see poaching cited as the main terrorizer of these gentle creatures. Poaching is the illegal hunting of endangered animals for profit on the black market.

And that isn't wrong. Poaching destroys thousands of endangered lives every day.

However, it isn't the whole story. What is arguably an even bigger threat is the ongoing habitat destruction that has limited rhinos' homeland to a few tiny dots.

Most likely, you are not directly benefiting poachers. You are most likely not buying the horns that have been cruelly torn from the faces of rhinos for money. 

The reason why habitat destruction is not talked about as much is because you are directly benefitting it without even trying.


Industries all over the world are built on exploiting the environment for money. 80% of the Amazon Rainforest, for instance, has been turned into a flat wasteland to raise cows for their flesh (beef).

The more of a product you buy, the more of that product will be produced. This is called supply-on-demand. Because of this, the more meat you buy, the more land is destroyed to produce more meat.

Another destructive crop is palm oil. Palm oil is a cheap thickener that can be found in anything from shampoo to peanut butter. Along with being a major destroyer of rhino habitat, palm oil is also really bad for your health– another reason to avoid it.


Today is World Rhino Day, but today should not be the only day that you give any thought to this creature of whom we have hurt so badly.

Rhinos do not stand alone, but are part of a greater community of creatures who depend upon each other. As rhinos are killed, the untold thousands of plants and animals who depend on them die alongside them. What people are doing is a full-on ecocide of the planet for no reason other than to get rich.

You don't have to participate in that ecocide. You can read the ingredients of food you buy and stop buying products that contain palm oil. You can reduce your consumption of meat and other animal products, as those are arguably the most destructive and resource-intensive products in the world.

We need to change. If we all continue to follow the status-quo, and continue business as usual, we are only hurting the planet. 

One day you might be an artist, a writer, a doctor, or anything else, but the only thing that will truly change the world is the mark you leave upon the environment.

Thanks for reading, guys. I know this is a blog about an online game, but I love the real Earth, and I think you should too. 

Have a happy World Rhino Day. Hold these creatures in your heart– they need it.

~DoomyPanda

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Best Update in Months! :)

Hey Jammers, here I am!!! As I said before, I've been having problems managing my time now that school has started for me. Every day I just get home, sleep, and do my homework too late. I'm going to consciously try to stop that pattern now because I wanna post more often!

I can't believe it's only my second full week of school... it feels like it's been going on for a month :\

Even though you are probably very very familiar with the update by now, I still wanna talk about it because it feels like the first genuinely 100% cool update since the beginning of summer. It is a landmark that should be remembered.

We start with news of a genuinely 100% cool den!


Because AJ has reached 1 Million players (wow!) an autumn-themed small house den is here for all Jammers!



Even though it's just a themed version of the preexisting Small House, I love it for what it is! This way, it's easier to change with the seasons as the leaves gradually turn red. 

While the reason for this den's release is the accumulation of 1 million Jammers,  I wonder if there will be more seasonal NM dens in the future.

Leaves haven't turned red where I am yet, so I'll be leaving my Autumn Small House in storage until they do. :3

There is a cute new Jam-a-Gram to commemorate the beginning of Autumn:


I like the visual style of this. The colors are prettier and more natural than usual! Also, the tiger is from this image:


Nice.

While the new den is definitely a highlight of this update, a new long-awaited change has been made. While you're obviously aware of it by now, I'd still like to document it:


YEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

For those who don't know, free chat was originally available for everyone, but sometime around 2014 it was quietly restricted to members only. This restriction on nonmembers never affected me personally, because I had free chat as a nonmember long before, but I am very happy for all the nonmembers out there who have struggled to type out something. Your suffering is over! ^0^

Of course, safe chat isn't just defaulted to everyone now. You need to make the switch through your parent account.

But the update isn't over yet! The third highlight:


World Rhino Day is on September 22nd– in three days! Get ready, guys... I'll have a special post for you on that day :)


Rhinos are actually one of my favorite animals to play on AJ. Their horns are exaggerated, yes, but in a really cute way.

I already have a rhino, but because I'm nonmember and didn't choose to use it once my last membership expired, I had to make a new one :/ At least they're only 500 gems!

When I saw the above page of the Jamaa Journal, I thought the art of the red rhino plushie looked really cute, so I painstakingly made a transparent image of it for you:


His name is Rambutan, after the spiky red fruit that happens to be native to the habitat of certain Asian rhinos. Put him on your blog, graphics, or wherever you want! <3

To close this post, here is a message about the upcoming October festivities:


Leaves are changing, something's waiting in the dark. The Night of the Phantoms is sure to make its mark!

Be you vampire, witch, goblin, or ghoul, prepare for the month when Phantoms come to rule!

I celebrate Halloween, but I have no clue what I'm going to dress as this year. I've been a vampire... I've been a witch... goblin/ghoul/thing too... what's left? 

Oooo, what if I recreated some AJ Night of the Phantoms masks? Gonna add that to my infinitely long list of stuff I want to do when I eventually stop being lazy...


This update made me ridiculously happy. After a lazy summer, after hearing so many people feeling like AJ is in decline, we get a great update that erases almost all worries. It was my theory that AJHQ just went on vacation this summer, and maybe I was right! I like to think that things are back to normal now. :)

So yeah, just making this post to review all these cool things as proof that AJ isn't in a downward spiral. Yay!

See you guys soon! Posts should be coming more regularly now!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hey!!

Hey guys!!!! Sorry, I've had trouble with time management as school has started and have been really lazy lol

But I guarantee 100%...

POST COMING TOMORROW!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jammer Parties VS. Normal Parties?

Hey Jammers! ^3^

A while ago I put up a poll just for fun entitled "What Alpha do you relate to the most?"

Here are the results:


A large amount of Jammers relate to Greely, which I expected, because Greely is the wolf Alpha and wolves are the most popular animal on AJ. Greely is also very interesting because he works among the phantoms.

However, the most relatable Alpha is Peck! Perhaps because AJ is so full of artists. I wonder, are bunnies more popular than wolves on AJ? 

The least-related Alpha is Tavie– maybe because underwater areas are not as popular. I think that must be the reason, because Tavie's personality revolves around music, and most people like music.

When I first joined AJ as a member a long time ago, I'd love going to Crystal Reef just to stare at my dolphin doing all of the actions. It was endlessly entertaining XD

As to what Alpha I personally relate to... it's changed over the years.


When Liza had her original appearance and backstory, I related to her a lot– and not just because I've always played as a panda! 

While the other Alphas had their "bases" all around Jamaa and were never seen, Liza's base was rumored to be in the bamboo thicket of Jamaa Township, as she originally appeared to introduce new Jammers in that area. I related to this part of Liza because community is important to me.

However, when Liza's design changed, I was so put off by the idea of a skinny panda that I couldn't really relate to her anymore.


I guess right now I relate most to Cosmo, because I'm also really connected to plants.

My next post will be all about the Alphas and how they've changed over the years... stay tuned...

I created a new poll to replace the one I just overviewed, just to switch things up. The question: how do you feel about Jammer Parties?


I think this is important to ask because in my personal experience, I rarely see anyone at Jammer Parties. Even though the normal party list was moved off to the side, I always see a significant amount of people at them.

I also learned that two of my favorite parties were removed to make way for Jammer Parties– the Play Wild Party and the Trading Party:



I had originally consoled myself over the loss of Club Geoz by saying "at least we have the Play Wild Party." But we don't anymore! Instead, we just have underpopulated dance-themed Jammer Parties that people only visit to pick up items. 

Was our last piece of Club Geoz really worth exchanging for a bunch of boring Jammer Parties?

As for the Trading Party, we need it more than ever. Not only is it beautiful-looking (I love the snowy castle so much), but safe spaces to trade that aren't crammed into Aldan are very hard to come by these days. 

What I loved about the Trading Party was that you didn't need to be loaded with rares to trade. In Aldan, everyone ignores you unless you have a ton of spikes. Trading should be for everyone!

While I personally dislike Jammer Parties, I'd like conclusive evidence on how other people feel about them. That's why I'd love for you to vote on the new poll to the right of the blog! 

Also feel free to discuss your views in the comments. I love it when you guys comment :D

Ready... set... comment and vote! :O

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