Sunday, May 21, 2017

Herbology Expert

Hey Jammers! I just found an old picture from the days in Jamaa when the achievement "Herbology Expert!" existed.


Basically, there would be plants around Jamaa with a little green leaf icon. If you clicked all of them, you would receive a now-deleted achievement.


Up until now, I'd only ever seen the above image of the achievement, never the plants themselves. Neat.

This was a pretty short post. Before I go, I just wanted to let you know that up until I get out of class on June 22nd, I won't be posting much at all so I can keep up my school work. But maybe it won't be any different from my normal posting schedule because it's already so spotty!

I guess you can look forward to June 22nd because this summer I am going to focus on this blog more than ever. You might even see daily posts!

But until then, you'll have to put up with the spottiness...

Peace!

~ DoomyPanda

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The First Item Codes in 5 Years!

S'up, Jammers. We have some new codes for you today-- and they aren't your ordinary codes. They're item codes!

But first off, I'd like to talk about a couple small things that have been going on in Jamaa. Just so we can save the best for last. :)

Over in Jam Mart Furniture are a few new items. But more eventful than that, the way the items are displayed is a little less than accurate:


If the items in front of the Large Nest aren't considered new, then I wouldn't think that the Large Nest itself is new. :0

It's not that crazy of a glitch, but I just thought I'd point it out. I remember the time before new things started coming out left and right where AJ bloggers would be attuned to any and all small changes, ads, and bugs. Ah, it was so much easier to stay informed a few years ago.

Eh, maybe I'm exaggerating. I can't go on AJ as often as I used to, so every update is just like a slap in the face because I don't know what's going on. XD

I hope I can use this blog to make things less confusing.

Next up, you're probably aware that the Summer Carnival is back in Jamaa. I checked it out this evening. It looks very summer-y and carnival-y as always. The consistency is nice. :)

There are a whole bunch of new items in the two prize stands. Many of which are recolored items of previous years. I believe the original ones now have rare tags.

Here's a new item I like a lot:


It's a monarch butterfly! A very beautiful butterfly. 

Here's a cool story: a few years ago, I was walking to a new school on the first day and I passed by a fence at the edge of a field. It was a sunny day, I think, and there were open flowers growing on the fence. I happened to look around at the other side of the fence, where the flowers were growing, and I saw... at least 7 monarch butterflies, all drinking nectar! They were beautiful in the sunshine, pink flowers, and green leaves. 

It's a rare sight to see, especially today. 90% of monarch butterflies have died only in the past ten years due to habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change altering rainfall and migratory patterns.

Just think about it... an ancient species, far more ancient than us, have weathered this Earth for millions of years, and yet just 10 years can bring about the erasure of their whole culture and history. 

It's not fair that we have that power-- and the rampant selfishness to abuse it.


But we also have the power to do good. If you'd like to help monarchs as a species (and bring some beautiful butterflies to your yard), plant milkweed where you can. It's a special flower because not only do monarch butterflies love the nectar, but they also lay their eggs there! And baby monarch caterpillars are so bright and beautiful to see:


Don't be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution! ^___^

And now, the moment you've been waiting for... the item codes.

Here are all the cool items you can get:


If you want the Reader's Sofa, use the code getready2jam!
If you want the Reader's Chair, use the code aj4ever!
And if you want the Reader's Lamp, use the code paws4friends!

As you can see, we have a book theme going on with these items. I like them a lot. Thanks, AJHQ!

It's a little interesting... Aside from the yearly AJ birthday cakes, we haven't had free item codes for more than five years! I believe the last item code was for the Gecko Plushie in 2012. Ah, I love my Gecko Plushies...


It was crazy how rare that orange one was. You could enter the gecko code on 15 separate accounts and not get a single orange gecko! I traded someone for the orange gecko a few years back because I just couldn't get one on my own. XD

Technically, it's still that rare, but because it isn't in as high demand as other items (even if they are actually commoner), the orange gecko is not considered rare. It's messed up. I partially blame The Forgotten Desert. :T

I have to go, but from this point on, I'm going to try make Animal Jam Stream as positive a blog as I can. There can be a lot of negativity in the AJ community, and in the end I guess it's best to just do your part to improve things rather than wait around for someone else to. 

That's all for now, Jammers. See you in Jamaa!

~ DoomyPanda

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hyped Up For Nothing

EDIT: I acknowledge a whole team of people worked really hard on this so I am sorry if this is rude. It probably wasn't the right call to call it outright ugly.


Hey Jammers! 

So, the Jamaa Journal changed.




This isn't just me being the stereotypical "AJ player afraid of change." I believe I'm reasonably justified in being annoyed when such change is uncalled-for and unnecessary. 

I'm really confused as to why AJHQ would change the newspaper in the first place. What is the advantage? The previous Jamaa Journal was charming and appropriate. It made updates so exciting to wait for its joyous banner to load in the crowded Jamaa Township. The page-turn effect was a lovely touch, too.

There's no joy in this new format. It's just a recycled den inventory list.

I haven't even mentioned the content of this new "news board." If you read through it, you'll see this new format makes it easier to only include one to two pieces of actual news with seven extra filler pages of stuff we already know.

And that whole "Winter is coming" stuff that AJHQ tried to hype up on their Instagram page? It's just the snowflake wolf. Not cool, AJHQ. (Haha... "cool"... ha... sorry.)

I hope this is a test. I hope this will be like the 3D map and the halted Club Geoz renovation and go away once AJHQ realizes it's pointless.

For those who don't remember, here are both of those things:




The 3D map story: One fine update, the map changed without warning from normal (how we know it today) to chunky minimalist weirdness. People were super annoyed and it eventually changed back.

The Club Geoz renovation story: One update on the Jamaa Journal page you see above, AJHQ announced that renovations would come to Club Geoz. Caution tape was around it and the door might have been blocked off. Not many people were upset, but for an unknown reason the renovation halted the next update without a word. AJHQ might have realized that Geoz is charming the way it is, even if it isn't visited as often. When it is visited, it gets almost crowded!

I guess you never really love something until it's gone, especially when it's a little thing.

See you in Jamaa! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Changing Weather - Snow is Coming to Jamaa?

Hey Jammers! We got some BREAKING NEWS up in here regarding tomorrow's update. *grabs mic*

According to AJHQ's biweekly update Sneak Peak, "Winter is coming." 


...Whatever that means, because I'm pretty sure it's Spring right now. Winter is not a season I wish to relive this early! Still, I wonder what exactly AJHQ means by "Winter." 



In AJHQ's Sneak Peak, the snowy effect was emphasized, even when the land it snowed on was warm and Spring-y. Maybe Winter is not coming in full, with snowmen and Jamaalidays and all that jazz, but perhaps simply with snow.

Or maybe this is something bigger...

Maybe AJHQ is not simply introducing "Winter", but new weather patterns! Maybe some days you log into Jamaa (like tomorrow) will be snowy, others rainy or sunny. 

Maybe weather will be a setting you can toggle and control.

We can't know for sure.

All that we do know...

is that Winter is coming. 

~ DoomyPanda

Monday, May 8, 2017

AJ Items w/ Advertisements!?

Hey Jammers! It's late and I have a bit of a headache, but I'm here!!! I actually do have a couple of things to talk about today.

First of all, we have an interesting Rare Item Monday today to start the week off. 


I like these. This pair of feather earrings is not rendered in bright and headache-y colors, as R.I.M.'s tend to be, instead adopting a light sandy palette. And is it just me, or does it look a little less 3D than usual? Just slightly. Overall, I appreciate this item's existence. 

What I really have to talk about might be considered old news, but I'm only just hearing about it now and it sounds pretty fishy. 

Yes, I'm talking about Sweet Magazine. Or you might better understand what I'm getting to by the AJ promo item advertising it.


The above images are credit to Nafaria AJ's blog, The Animal Jam Whip.

When I first learned about this, I was a little taken aback because I don't really see Animal Jam fitting in with all the, err, other stuff on that cover. It's a magazine that seems a lot like a walking advertisement of whatever toys, clothes, and kids movies might be popular at any given moment. To me at least, Animal Jam seems a little more... substantial, you know?

Then I realized that it's part of Animal Jam's new advertising push. Animal Jam is a game that certainly goes a bit deeper than just dressing up and trading, but it's latching onto popular trends to get the attention of kids who might not be immediately enticed by the idea of a game based on friendship, nature, community, creativity, and adventure. 

Basically, AJ's new ad technique is luring in kids who want pink plastic-y toys and tons of items, and the game and its line extensions gives them that, of course, but so much more. That's what separates AJ from the rest of the stuff on the magazine cover: substance built to last.

In the words of Mike Watson, the CEO of DC Thomson (the publishing company of Sweet Magazine), the magazine's primary goal is to "capture everything current and popular." 

Maria Welch, the head of publishing for magazines at DC Thomson, clarifies that statement, specifying that they're looking only for the "hottest licensed brands," presumably to maximize revenue by working with massive toy giants like Barbie, Shopkins, and Sanrio. 

Brands that are "hot" usually don't stay like that for long. So even if a trend fades fast, it doesn't matter because it made money during the time it was popular. That's why the trends keep coming. 

Animal Jam worked with Sweet Magazine, as evident by both their section in the magazine as well as two promotional items from codes in that section: a Sweet Couch and a Sweet Poster.

The Sweet Couch is pretty cute, I'll admit it! It's a nice staple for a dessert-themed den. 

However, I want to talk about the Sweet Poster. Not because it's cute, but because it directly advertises Sweet Magazine when Animal Jam clearly writes in its privacy policy that it is "free from outside advertisement."


Sweet Magazine is a completely separate brand from Animal Jam. If you look at the item image farther up above, you can see that the Sweet Poster contains the literal logo of Sweet Magazine. 

And because Sweet Magazine exists primarily as a collection of advertisements, Animal Jam is technically advertising all of them by advertising Sweet Magazine

It is understandable that AJ is trying to expand its brand by making all kinds of partnerships, but it needs to be careful about what it is endorsing. The materialism expressed in Sweet Magazine puts non-recyclable plastic toys in landfills and in the oceans, suffocating the wildlife that Animal Jam tries to teach kids about protecting. 

Another thing I have a bit of a problem with is Sweet Magazine's claim that it's "girl-powered." It says it is, but provides no information on how. It just repeats that phrase over and over again without reason.

According to Sweet Magazine's website, being "girl-powered" means downloading their desktop backgrounds:


I had thought that clicking the "girl-powered" link would tell me about the importance of women in the workplace, or something to make their magazine more than just a bunch of rich people sitting around in a room figuring out "what the kids are into these days." I guess not.

In a sense, Sweet Magazine kinda hijacks the label of "girl-powered" in an attempt to make themselves relevant. 

I wish that a magazine aimed at young girls would do more than sedate them with toys and clothes.

But that's just my idea.

See you in Jamaa, guys. Remember to be yourselves no matter what is thrown at you.

~ DoomyPanda