The day will eventually come when the world burns itself out and society as we know it collapses. In the final days, tin foil hat theorists will suggest many reasons for humanity's demise, ranging from Skynet to MMO addiction and everything in between. Regardless of how or why it happens, once we're gone, the cockroaches will evolve into a global hivemind and inherit the earth as nature always intended. All they will know of their simian Mountain Dew-guzzling predecessors of the ancient world is one thing: they apparently worshipped a cute little animal with an off-kilter pink bow, the cat-goddess Hello Kitty. The day they encounter her is the day they will know their new master, and labor to rebuild the world in her image.
It's true -- well, not the apocalypse bit -- Hello Kitty will remain an enduring aspect of our times, if the past 35 years of her reign as a cultural symbol is any indicator. The world's ultimate iconic character from Sanrio has adorned 'all our stuff' since 1974. Perhaps more than ever, kids (and quite a few adults) are absolutely in love with Hello Kitty. The estimated USD 1 billion per year she's worth confirms she's hardwired into our pop culture consciousness, a fact which isn't lost on the game industry. We've already seen a legacy of Hello Kitty games spanning multiple iterations of consoles and handhelds, as well as PC releases. Hello Kitty's involvement with gaming is about to enter a whole new era though, with her introduction to the world of massively multiplayer online games through Hello Kitty Online.
Although Hello Kitty Online (HKO) is still in closed beta, if you're an MMO gamer with children, or if you're just a fan of Her Cuteness yourself, you may want to check out what HKO has to offer. They're hosting a Valentine's Day event called "Happy Hearts" which runs from February 12-17th.
It's initially an exclusive Founders-only event, but anyone who registers an account at Sanriotown will be able to download Hello Kitty Online and play as of February 14th. A recent post from the HKO team states: "Everyone will be able to log in and enjoy the 'Happy Hearts' HKO Valentine's Day event. To join the fun, you simply sign up at www.sanriotown.com (it's free!) and download the HKO game client from www.hellokittyonline.com."
The Happy Hearts event will give players a chance to try out the revamped user interface and other features they've added since the Christmas event. As added peace of mind for those worried about their kids asking, "What does @#%& mean?", the latest game client features a keyword chat filter.
Again, the event is free and open to everyone. So if you're looking for a game to play alongside the kids or simply need your sugar fix from an MMO, head on over to the Hello Kitty Online download center to grab your client, and get ready to start running Valentine's Day-themed quests.
Sorry to Sanriotown users in Europe though, as they will not be able to participate in this event. Hello Kitty has not yet conquered your continent, but rest assured... she's coming for you next.