Important Importables: Poupee Girl

July 24, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Poupee Girl

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, PCs, Mac, Windows, Genres, Casual, Online, Game-Genres-Other, Web-Sites, Official-Sites

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Social networking sites around the world often have game-like aspects. Facebook is filled with all kinds of virtual games, and Gaia Online even developed a MMO (ZOMG) that runs alongside its popular forum and avatar dressup site.

Similar sites can also be found in Japan, and popular spot is Poupee Girl. Take your minds out of the gutter! It translates into “Doll Girl.” Poupee Girl has become such a phenomenon that it has even inspired its own video game, Poupee Girl DS, for users who want to have the same experience on their DS.

Let’s learn a little more about this fashion-forward look at social networking.

Poupee Girl

What is a Poupee Girl?

Poupee Girl is a social networking site that combines socializing with other users, showing off your real clothing, dressing up an avatar and virtual shopping in one place. It’s a fairly popular website, both in and out of Japan. There are over 500,000 accounts on the site, and thanks to the fact that you can access and play on the site in English, about a third of the players live outside of Japan.

The main allure is the virtual shopping. Players are rewarded with ribbons, in-game currency, by interacting on the site. Selling old virtual items, posting photos of your real-life wardrobe, commenting on other peoples’ items and dressing up every day earns players ribbons. These ribbons can be spent in the virtual Market, Katherine Shop or Amusement area to get more items. Players can also buy jewels with real money, which allow them to then shop in Celebrity Shops, which feature items inspired by real Japanese celebrities, the jewel section of the Katherine Shop or the jewel Piyo Catcher gacha machines. (Jewels can also be converted to ribbons.)

The idea is to give users a place to interact virtually with other fashion-minded people. Many events are held that coincide with real world occasions, for example there is a Summer Festival event running in the Katherine Shop at the moment, to coincide with the Japanese concert festival season. Also, Poupee Girl will collaborate with actual fashion labels and makeup companies to run promotions where virtual replicas of real items will be available for characters to buy. There was recently a Majolica Majorica makeup promotion, and Coach and Maybelline have run similar events on the site.

Poupee Girl Go Go Piyo Balloon

Dressing up and playing games

In essence, users who’ve registered with Poupee Girl are simply spending time playing dress up. Except, instead of paper dolls or Barbies, they’re using a virtual doll. A similar premise is used in the Kisekae Set System discussed previously in Hot Japanese Imports, except here users can constantly acquire new clothes and share their daily outfits with other users.

Poupee Girl also possesses one flash game, Go! Go! Piyo Balloon that users can play. For the cost of 30 ribbons, users can guide one of three little birds, called piyos, through the sky. Each piyo has different characteristics and speeds. Balloons are constantly appearing on screen, and popping one ends your flight. The higher you manage to fly, the better balloons you find. Plus, you have a better chance of obtaining more rare wardrobe items as you reach new heights. The key is to tap the screen to make sure the piyo is flying in the safest and clearest location.

There are also fashion contests. Usually once a week or so, a themed contest will be announced and players are able to dress up their avatar to enter. If a user makes it through all through rounds to the finals, and are picked as the winner (by popular vote), he/she will receive 1,000 ribbons to spend and a one-of-a-kind virtual item to use for dress ups.

Poupee Boutique

Poupee Girl on Facebook

Just last week, Poupee Girl expanded to Facebook with an online, browser-based game called Poupee Boutique. The app shares some commonalities with the Poupee Girl website and DS game, in that players can dress up their character each day for points. The main point of the game is to run your own shop, much like the character Katherine does on the website and in the DS game. In fact, Katherine is your very first “friend” in the game, and you can visit her shop to buy from her and collect points.

You buy shop displays, wallpaper, decorations and shop stock. Each type of clothing stock sells out in a certain amount of time, at which point you can return to collect experience and coins. You can also dust your decorations to make your shop more shiny and gain experience. As you level up, you unlock more clothing you can sell, more wallpapers and new displays and decorations.

If your friends also play Poupee Boutique, you can shop at their stores and vice versa. (You can only buy clothes that you’ve already unlocked in your shop though!) You may find the little bird piyo dropping off a coin for you when you visit, and you can suteki (like) their shop or buy from them to get more experience and expand your avatar’s wardrobe.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Arabians Lost DS.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports enjoyed the cuteness San X brings us.

Site [Play-Asia] Site [YesAsia] Site [NCSX] Site [Himeya Shop] Site [Strapya World]

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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