Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Poupee Boutique: Cute-ifying Facebook Internationally!
I've been a Facebook addict pretty much since I joined in High School. I remember the days when I was turned away from registering because I didn't have a University network to join, but now it seems like everyone and their dog has a Facebook page - Tina, I'm looking at you! That may sound negative, but don't get me wrong: I'm all for any website that unites people (or canines!) with common interests from all over the Internet, so Facebook's growing popularity has nothing but positive connotations for me (except all of my weird aunts and uncles trying to add me - awkward...). Further proof of this international popularity is Poupee Boutique.
Almost all of the lolitas I know have tried out Poupee Girl, and I'd say it's split pretty evenly between girls who are totally obsessed and those tried it for a while and now only check back every few months to dress up and leave a few comments - I'm somewhere in between the two, personally. When I asked my friends who left the site why they did so, the answer was almost always that the confusion between the two monetary systems and the inflated prices that came with them had really turned them off to the game, even devoted followers with whom I'd been dressing up for years. The cuteness was not enough to keep them, it would seem.
Poupee Boutique kind of remedies that. Instead of having a doll that you dress up, you own your own poupee boutique, though you do have a shopkeeper you can attire as your please. You level up by racking up "hearts," which you can earn from selling items, suteki-ing your friends' shops, and even dusting your store or others'! Each level offers different items you can sell, and each costs a different amount and stays in your store for a set period of time, until it automatically sells. Once it's gone, a little Piyo-encrusted money bag appears on the floor; clicking it adds your earnings to your shop. You can decorate your store with wallpaper and shelves of knick-knacks, and the clothing displays are really quite adorable as well. Even though the clothing you can sell was chosen or created to appeal to a more mainstream audience, there are some really adorable and lolita-friendly looks you can create.
There are a few pitfalls of this game, though. There is a lot of down time where you just have to go do something else for a few hours or even a whole day; some of the higher-level items take hours upon hours to sell out of your shop, suteki-ing shops only gets you heart points once a day as does dressing up your shopkeeper, and you can only clean every so often for points. I like that Poupee Girl can always be a way of killing time since there's so much to browse through, so that was kind of a bummer. Also the entire application is in Engrish, which means that I don't even know some of the features it offers because I just can't understand their descriptions. If you're not used to reading Japonified English, you may be very confused and frustrated at first, but most of it kind of explains itself eventually.
As if I needed another way to waste my time on the web! This game is great for anyone who loves Poupee Girl in theory but maybe not necessarily in practice, or even anyone who just wants another way to wile away the hours on Facebook. There are some drawbacks, of course, but that's true of everything, and despite these I still think that Poupee Boutique is a sweet and fun game, for Facebook standards. Just make sure you keep up with your shop - don't want any of those unsightly cobwebs or broken mirrors!