The Gated Community of Animal Jam

Jamaa Township

If you’re reading this article, which you are, I already know what you’re thinking: “Animal Jam? You mean that one kids’ game where all the rich kids played as arctic wolves and pretended bunnies were wolf pups?” Yes, that Animal Jam. Believe it or not, the animal-themed MMO has preserved an active community for nearly 13 years. Despite the death of Adobe Flash Player, there are still eagles flying around, snow leopards pouncing, and wolves inviting fellow jammers to their limited-time den sales. Yeah.  Believe it or not, there’s capitalism in the Jamaa jungle.

Just like the real world, the appearance of a jammer represents their wealth. The typical low-income jammer is a panda or wolf with a star pattering on their fur. To stand out from the newcomers, they often have brightly-patterned fur. They stand in the middle of the Jamaa township, pummeled to ground by the cluster of rich jammers, pimped out with spiked collars, feather headdresses, bat wings, and pirate swords. Jamaa doesn’t like poor people, just like capitalism. 

Now, how exactly is wealth determined? Rarity. The more rares you have, the more you climb the pyramid of social class. If you want to host a party, just pay $6.95 a month, walk around with your exotic ferret, and type in all caps: “PARTY AT MY DEN!” You also have to pay $6.95 a month to join a party. They hate bunnies, tigers, seals, and koalas.  Those animals typically roam Jamaa, wearing rags and whatever else they can scrape up with their small pile of gems. They dwell in the bottom social class. Wolves are a non-member animal, too, but they are a step up because, well… wolves. Everybody thinks they’re cool. The people on the top are typically snow leopards and arctic wolves, the cooler wolves. Avians such as owls and eagles sit at the tip of the pyramid since they can fly there, unlike the people who don’t invest in a monthly membership subscription. Even when you invest in a monthly subscription, it’s hard to reach that peak. There’s a reason why the people who are famous on animal jam own items that are worth 24.99 USD on ebay. Aside from the eBay black market, the main method of acquiring rare items is trading. This process is extremely tedious. Aside from a few items, there are only a few that are discontinued. The re-manufactured spiked collars and bows and arrows are often muted in color or lack certain features that make them appealing. Just like life, it’s hard to climb to the top. And once you’re at the top, the struggle gets worse for those below. If you don’t pay money, you can’t even say “I love you.” 


I spent a few minutes in Jamaa, hopping around as a white, naked bunny. The poorest of the poor. In the fullest server, Congo, the little friendship hut was crowded with snow leopards, owls, and foxes. Among the rich, I, a little broke bunny, managed to hop around them. I wanted to get adopted. But man, is it hard to get adopted. Another non-member, a wolf, approached me. I didn’t care who I was getting adopted by, I just wanted to be saved. My eyes weren’t naturally red. As a little baby bunny, I suffered from a serious eye infection and haven’t been able to afford treatment due to Jamaa’s medical care consisting only of smoothies for the poor. Jamaa may be vibrant and colorful, but it’s a cruel world.


A prime example of classism in Animal Jam.
Capitalism is cruel when you’re a white, naked bunny.