www.whyville.net Oct 17, 2007 Weekly Issue

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Frustrations of a Newbie

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Everyone knows what it's like to be a Newbie, everyone's been a Newbie. But how often does it happen that we forget what it is to be a Newbie? On other websites, I shamefully admit I forget the frustrations and the hassles and the headache it is to be submerged into a new place, trying to figure out what the normal conduct is, how everything works, where stuff is. I confess that I do get irritated when badgered with what I see as "simple questions" with basic, "assumable" answers.

The honest truth is, although I am a Newbie here (I think this is my second month here on Whyville) I am an older resident so I never really thought Whyville would be such a problem to get acquainted with! So here I am, writing about some of the mishaps I've already been involved in, and I suspect quite a few other people have too. For the rest of the citizens, this should probably merit a few laughs for you!

When I first joined, I of course had the generic little Whyvillian (which I mistook for Whyvillain) which looked very pathetic compared to quite a few other pixel peoples, except maybe a couple of blobs and people swathed in head bandages because they didn't get enough calcium. So the first thing I did was try and earn some clams to get a better appearance, and I attempted the notorious cafeteria game. Talk about impossible! I was such a hindrance to whoever I played with because I was so clueless. Only after a quite a while of messing that game up (and waiting about a total of four days in hand-washing) did I realize that game was so much harder with other people. It's absolutely true, even though the little Newbie handbook says it's impossible without other people. I've played with quite a few people who don't know their ABCs yet or will pick stuff up and not let it go. So I learned the trick to that and was quite proud of myself, but figured there had to be a better way to get clams!

Let's talk salary games. Oh, man, salary games. The advice given to you on any given game is basically useless. I've been stuck on the spin game for quite awhile and absolutely nothing is helping me figure out how to spin the fruit can fast enough to qualify for that one elusive clam. Plus, some of the games aren't even playable! The sunspot game never loads for me, solstice safari is always closed, and the whypox game isn't ever going to happen again (since it hasn't since 2003, I've heard). There is also irony in these salary games, I played zero gravity one time, spent 160 clams on projectiles -- I wasn't very good -- and only got to about level 5 or 6.

As I mentioned, I am an older Whyvillian and many of the games are very difficult! You have to know all sorts of random information that I never paid too much attention to, apparently, in history. I guessed my way through alien locator(you know that one game) so that was quite nice. I mean, I can't be the only one who has some trouble figuring these things out . . . can I?

Which leads me to another thing. Meeting people is difficult, as most people you see chatting are already involved with about ten other people and there's no real way to communicate beyond that. (Y-mail is for talking to people you already know, is what I've assumed!) Besides that, communicating is a frustrating process in itself! Any time I write anything of consequence, I am immediately told I'm either using "illegal" characters (yeah, that underscore is a real criminal!) or that I need to speak English. English?! I can't even speak any other languages! When people say to me, Si? I always say, See what? But apparently, I'm quite fluent at something, as I get that message a lot. So, while I have about one friend on here, let's go back to pixel people.

My person took forever to start looking decent, but it's not my fault! Many of the face pieces -- Can I get a witness?! -- fit very oddly or not at all! The bodies of many of the face pieces are extremely tiny, not to scale at all. And for a Newbie who didn't know you could actually take off the body by putting on a different face, I was very confused! I thought the face pieces would fit to scale in the fitting room but boy was I wrong! So that was a great way to waste the few clams I had. Yes, I did use the "try on" feature, but to hopeful Newbies as myself, we don't see that as the final product, though I should have. Another reason I was upset over that was because even though I could earn the clams back, it wouldn't get credited to me until the next day! Is that normal? I think that's the most frustrating aspect of being a Newbie -- you don't know what's normal.

One last thing I want to go over, and that is disease. And sickness. Why? Because I'm sick! Well, I'm not sick, my pixel person is sick. When I logged in today, went to the fitness zone to keep healthy, I was greeted by "achoo!" I had read the article by nerdishh about her friend having some sort of illness so I was slightly alarmed. Figuring I'd just ask Dr. Leila (she's a doctor, right? She should be able to help... right?) I went to her place and couldn't find her. I went inside, went on the patio (I was greeted with 'AHH! I don't want to catch that!' - exits the room - yeah, my self-confidence as a Newbie is skyrocketing . . . getting the leper treatment is the best!) but I had no idea where she was. My sister, who's also a Whyvillian, is asleep so I couldn't ask her about where to get help, so after a frustrating five minutes I decided to go to the Newbie center and ask about it.

Here, folks, is the whole reason I wrote this article. There was a helper inside, but the room was full so I tried room 2. No Newbie helper, fine, I ring the bell. After two minutes, a helper girl comes in but she's taped! Taped?! She poofs, I ring the bell again. And again. And again. Room 1 is still crowded. Achoo! Ring! Achoo! Finally, I just decide to wait in the horrendously long line and eventually, I was told I have the whypox. It should go away in a few days, no big deal (says he as he sneezes). I'm not reassured. But, that is how it is for a Newbie in a completely new place. Frustrating. This episode just reminded me of everything else I've experienced so far and pushed me to write this article, so that others can see they're either not alone, or that we new ones need a lot of explanation. May the experienced never forget and have sympathy on us poor, pathetic newbies! All we want is a little help!

Is this normal?!



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