“Warrior Cats”, Playground RPG and Roblox

Welcome to “Nostalgia Nook”! In this column, I revisit popular children’s literature from the early 2010s. I’ll discuss the book’s strengths, examine the culture that grew around the book, and check out where the books are at now. I hope I can remind you of iconic books, forgotten moments, and rekindle your love for children’s literature.

In the early 2010s, there were two types of kids on any middle school playground: kids who played Warrior Cats and kids who thought having fun meant “playing tag” or “use the swing” or “literally anything else, what’s up”. Earth you do?! “. With “River (Warriors: A Starless Clan #1)”, the first book in the new Warrior Cats saga, released in April, and a second installment expected in November, it looks like the Warrior Cats role-playing game will continue to be a staple of the playground for a while.

For those not in the know, Warrior Cats is a series of children’s books, first published in 2003. Under the pen name Erin Hunter, several authors have contributed to the series, including Cherith Baldry, Kate Cary, Vicky Holmes and Clarissa Hutton. The series follows four clans of cats that live in the woods. Tension between these clans is high and battles between cats occur frequently. In the nearly twenty years since the first book was published, between 89 and 109 books in the series have been published, depending on how the books are counted. The hugely popular series has spawned a large fan base, including but not limited to role-playing cats on the playground. For younger fans, role-playing can come in a variety of styles, but fans usually involve creating their own characters and stories set in the Warrior Cats world.

But the playground isn’t the only place where today’s Warrior Cats readers play the role of beloved cats. The official Warrior Cats game on Roblox released in August 2019, giving kids a whole new way to role-play. The game, which according to its Roblox webpage has had over 237 million hits, lets players create their own cat, explore the world, and become a warrior or medicine cat. The Warrior Cats hunt and defend their clans in battle, while the Medicine Cats use herbs to heal sick and injured cats.

I was extremely overwhelmed knowing Warrior Cats Roblox game. I begin to fear that I will never be able to sleep again. In my youth, the Warrior Cats were not video game avatars, but ourselves. While I can honestly say that this technological development seems like a fun way to engage with the world of Warrior Cats, I also doubt that it can capture the pure, primal joy of pretending to be a Medicine Cat, by looking for “herbs” in your local playground. . But the next time I see a ten-year-old on an iPad, I’ll now choose, for better or worse, to believe he’s playing Warrior Cats on Roblox.

Beloved black cat Ziggy (above) lays on a chair. Ziggy is the model used for the Mini Cat Maker, shown in the title graphic above. His black fur, round yellow-green eyes, and sideways-facing triangular ears have all been captured in the Mini Cat Maker’s customizable features.
(Photo courtesy of Bella Meyn ’23)

“Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition” is just one of the official Warrior Cats online games. The Warrior Cats website offers quizzes, activity sheets and of course a page that allows users to design their own Warrior Cat. This latest feature was present when I first read Warrior Cats in the early 2010s, but has since been updated by the older cat maker. Warrior Cats Mini Maker, the cat maker that’s now featured prominently on the Warrior Cats Games page, creates cats in a style that’s generally cuter and friendlier than I remember from my youth. Like the old cat maker, Warrior Cats Mini Maker lets users design their own cat, customizing everything from color to markings and eye shape. However, unlike the old cat maker, Mini Maker does not contain a section where users name their own cats.

I will not share the name of the chat I created on the old chat maker, because there is perhaps no more intimate knowledge one can know about a person than what they have named his original character Warrior Cat. However, I still remember his name. A friend of mine from college had introduced our whole group of friends to the cat maker, showing off the cat she had designed, so of course we all came home that day and brought a printed version of our cats to school the next day. Even then, there was a significant amount of judgment about which cat had the coolest name and design. Moments like these, little things that are still remembered over 10 years later, are a big part of what made the Warrior Cats so important to me.

Another online feature of the Warrior Cats website is the Moonpool, where visitors can answer a yes or no question and receive advice. To test this feature, I asked the Moonpool if I should drop STATS 60, and was told “stars shine in favor of yes”. While I’m not sure whether or not to follow the advice of the random answer generator on the Warrior Cats website, I suspect that Moonpool’s answer doesn’t mean anything good for the results of the stats quiz I took this Friday . Personally, I would blame the emotional toll of knowing Warrior Cats Roblox game. Going forward, I’ll have to try to spend less time ruminating on Warrior Cats and more time studying stats.

When I read the series, there was something so appealing about the sheer drama of it. Scandalous relationships and constant deaths were disguised as something more childish in the guise of a series about cats. It allowed me to read something with an increased level of drama that I wouldn’t have been allowed to read otherwise. I think the combination of these two elements is perfectly represented in the official Warrior Cats family tree. (If you click on the cat icon with the star, you can see which of the cats in the family tree are dead, the vast majority.)

Between “Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition,” the new book releases slated for this year, and the many features on the official webpage, it’s clear that the Warrior Cats universe is alive and well. With eight sagas and several spin-off stories, the Warrior Cats universe is constantly expanding. Each saga builds on and explores the world in its own way, giving readers more material for their imagination. I’m glad to know that the next generation of readers will continue to experience the drama of Warrior Cats, even if they do so through a Roblox game.

About Johanna Gooding

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