Thursday, 21 August 2014

An Ode to Poupee Girl

Today I wanted to write a different kind of post - a post about my love of the Japanese dress-up game Poupee Girl and my immense sadness of the developers deciding not to update it any more, which happened a few months ago. This is a bit of a ramble so please, feel free to skip this post if it's not your cup of tea!   

I've been playing Poupee Girl for around 4-5 years now - I remember playing it when I lived at home with my mum but I didn't take many photos of my items and they were bad quality...once I moved in with my boyfriend, I had more time, space and a better camera at my disposal and my full love of Poupee Girl developed.

For those not aware, Poupee Girl is a Japanese dress-up game where, unlike other dress-up games where you just dress up avatars from predisposed clothing items, you earned currency called Ribbons by taking photos of your own clothing, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics and shoes and uploading them to your 'closet'. You also earned ribbons by commenting on other people's closet items and becoming Poupee friends; it became a very immersive community that had millions of users at its height and even real friendships blossomed from the site. You used the ribbons you earned to buy clothing and accessories for your avatar/dress-up doll. Poupee Girl had regular themed events in which new items were released so there was always something new to buy and save your ribbons for. They also had annual events for Halloween, Christmas, New Year, etc. and you could sell your Poupee's clothes and accessories on a marketplace if you didn't wear them anymore. They also had an in-game currency you could pay real money for, called Jewels - special events with super nice clothing and accessories were released for people to spend their jewels on and these were updated as regularly as the normal ribbon events. The website was constantly updated and thrived, up until a few months ago when the website developers announced they were discontinuing jewels and jewel items - then, around a month or so after that announcement, they announced they were no longer going to update the website with new events at all, but would not close the site entirely. Naturally the amount of users visiting the website dropped rapidly and now the website is but a shell of what it once was, with probably only a few thousand, or even hundreds, of users uploading new items to their closet, commenting on other Poupee's items and dressing up their doll, myself included.

Before Poupee Girl's 'closure', I went on it every single day. If you go on it and dress up every day, you get ribbons and a special 500 ribbon reward at the end of the month if you went on it every day without fail! My love was so strong that I felt so angry at myself if I forgot to go on it or log in at the right time (since the days went by Japanese time), thus forfeiting the monthly ribbon bonus and having to start all over again.

I even met new friends on Poupee Girl, namely my friend Suzy who I've now been friends with for years, all thanks to Poupee Girl. I also met a friend called Charlotte who participated in a joint Korean cosmetics order with me. With Poupee Girl, even if we didn't chat in private messages, seeing someone comment on your new items every day and returning the favour felt like a strong relationship bonded by Poupee Girl. I loved seeing Lolita girls' super cute new brand items, cool Goth and Punk items from my Poupee friends Nyamoo and Serarosa and finding new skincare products to try from other Poupee girls!

One of the first items I photographed for Poupee Girl compared to one of my more recent ones!

When I first started going on Poupee Girl regularly, I took great pleasure in taking photos of every single piece of clothing, jewellery, accessories, shoes, skincare and makeup I owned. I split it up into categories and would photograph skirts one day, nail polishes the next, hair accessories the day after, etc. At first I would just point and shoot but gradually I noticed other girls items looked a lot nicer and got more comments and 'Suteki' (likes), so I took more care in taking photos, waiting until the daytime to take advantage of natural light, and arranging the items to make them look the nicest. I'd then upload as many items as I could in one day. (Poupee Girl recommends you upload 5 items a day, as at some point it stops giving you ribbons and new items for uploading items.) I'd upload items until the amount of ribbons it gave me dwindled to one or two, then I'd anxiously wait until the next day so I could upload more. I loved writing descriptions of each item and telling its story and how it made me feel - it made my appreciate my wardrobe so much more and realise the renewed potential of items I'd grown bored of long ago.

When I started making jewellery and accessories for 8th Sin, I had even more items to photograph and upload - hooray! Again, my first photography attempts were appalling but that was something that grew and evolved along with my business. I was able to upload all colour and type variations of my jewellery and accessories to Poupee Girl and gain publicity for my brand too, albeit very small.

One of my first makes and photography styles compared to my most recent ones - how times have changed! I can't believe the top item actually sold with that photography, urgh... >_>

After I photographed all the items I already had, naturally you come to buy new things with time. Every time I bought something new, I couldn't wait to get home, photograph it and put it on Poupee Girl to show my friends! I thought about what categories each item would fit into and even part of the purchase decision was made because I wanted to buy it and put it on Poupee Girl! When me and Suzy met up or talked on Facebook, we'd chat about our new items ('OMG, that new bag you uploaded to Poupee Girl the other night is so cute! Where did you get it?') and let each other know when we uploaded new items, so we could comment on them! I found Lolitas I'd met on Facebook on Poupee Girl and loved checking out their wardrobes and commenting on their items.

I even found a LiveJournal community about Poupee Girl and had so much more people to discuss new updates, items and marketplace bargains with, as well as make friends with!

When Poupee Girl announced they weren't going to sell jewels any more, I wasn't bothered in the slightest. Somehow Poupee Girl had managed to avoid creating a class difference in the people who bought jewels and the people who didn't, though Poupees dressed in jewel items always got way more Suteki's than regular outfits. I never bought jewels as I've never bought in-game currency but I know it upset a lot of the Poupee Girl Liverjournal girls. They bought up as many jewels as their paychecks could allow and went on one last splurge in the jewel events and marketplace. After Poupee Girl announced it wasn't going to update the website anymore entirely, we all were devastated. We swore we'd still go on Poupee Girl, update our closets and comment on people's items as well as find new items to buy and keep ourselves entertained with on the marketplace. Sadly though, my love for Poupee Girl waned and I'm sad to say I forget to go on it for long stretches of time. I try to go on it, update my closet and comment on other girls' items whenever I can remember. I save my ribbons and make more expensive purchases on the marketplace than I did before, in order to update my Poupee's closet and dress up with new items. The number of items in the marketplace has dropped significantly due to the lack of players, and all the prices have gone up in all but the most common items (the ones you get free for uploading closet items and for throwing shells in the Shell Spring) but there are some rare items I haven't found before and I can make more ribbons selling old items I bought years ago, because they are now rare. In order to not get bored when dressing up my Poupee, I started making new outfits with every single dress, skirt and blouse I own, starting from the very first ones I bought when I first started!

It makes me so sad remembering how much me and my friends loved Poupee Girl and how much happiness it brought us. I always hope that if at least other users and myself keep going on the website, they'll eventually restart it again, and are maybe even updating or thinking about a new direction they will take it as we speak! At least it is still alive with the people who still visit it; with us, it will never die! I am uploading new items as we speak - if you still play Poupee Girl, feel free to add me and together we can keep it alive! My Poupee Girl profile.


  1. Wow, I didn't know! I got blocked for uploading something which I thought was OK but apparently was against the regulations (it was reallly confusing >.<), so I stopped going there... But I used to be just like that, even asking my brother or friends to log in on my behalf when I didn't have internet access, haha.

    1. OMG getting blocked is so easy yet so hard to undo haha...I got banned on my old account and literally all my items and ribbons were taken from me...I don't know what I was banned for since I didn't know what items they removed but I had to send emails in Japanese back and forth, then write a thing saying I read and understood the posting guidelines and will not break them again - a bit harsh for what is supposed to be a fun dress-up game! So when I got reinstated I found all my clothes and ribbons had been taken; I'd been playing the game around a year so had amassed a medium-sized wardrobe/ribbon collection. I was devastated and started a new account which has been successful up until now! I used to get my boyfriend to log in if I was away too haha!

  2. I'm in poupee since 3 years and I love it, my poupee is EunHyuk if you want to add :3

  3. This is Pixie Wildflower. Followed your post from LJ. I've loved Poupeegirl so much. It's a really fun place.

    1. Thank you Pixie! It is a fun place and I hope we can continue to enjoy it! I've added you back :)

  4. I'm a lurker on the lj community, haven't been active on there in a long time, same with poupee girl itself. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who's had a hard time being active on there! though I'm glad you found motivation in some way. I've tried many a time and have failed, so I haven't dressed my poupee up much in months and months. I'll add you. I should try to be active on there.

    1. Aww, that's such a shame! Part of my motivation has been other people continuing to use the site - I can imagine that if there were no one's items to comment on and check out, it would have been easier for me to leave the site since pretty much nothing would be happening then! But dressing up, buying new, expensive, rare items and commenting on peoples' new items have kept me interested! I hope to see you on there more often! :D