One game I have played for many years has been a little online pet site called Dragon Cave. It’s a simple concept, and it’s unlike most virtual pets you will find around the internet. The concept of the game is to collect dragon eggs and grow them into full sized adult dragons. Each one has its own sprites from egg to adult, and you can paste them into forum signatures and websites with specialized HTML codes. The reason for this is because unlike a Tamagotchi, the eggs on Dragon Cave will only mature with views and clicks from other internet users. The more views your dragon gets, the larger it grows.
One of the reasons I enjoy this site so much is because of how low stress it is. I can peek in on my dragon eggs once or twice a day to check on their growth, or just go to my deviantArt page where I’ve pasted them to watch their progress. It’s also not much trouble to get them the views they need. The community for Dragon Cave has created several hatchery sites for this like Egg Drop Soup and Allure of Neglected Dragons where users can place their eggs and hatchlings for others to click. Of course, if your egg receives too many views, it may get sick. The same can happen if they receive too little by the time their death counter reaches zero. These are the only ways a dragon can die unintentionally. To avoid this, it is best to add your eggs to hatcheries(but not too many) once they reach 6days and 0hours.
Speaking of community, the fan base surrounding Dragon Cave has been responsible for many of the dragons on the website. Users can sprite their own dragons and submit them for approval in the forums, hoping to have them added officially. The site isn’t grabbing much cash from it players either, probably because of all the clicks it gets from users viewing eachother’s dragons and thus the ads on the page. This makes it easier to collect and grow dragons than something like Dragonvale where one must pay for rarer dragons or to speed up breeding and growth.
Now, along with the good does come the bad. In recent times view bombing has been a largely harmful activity that trolls have been using against the site and its users. The goal of this action is to oversaturate an egg or baby dragon with views so that it will die of illness. Because of this, a popular hatchery site called Eggs Around the World was shut down when a view bomber used bots to kill many of the dragons that were currently on the site. The community is still recovering from this blow, but is starting to flourish once again. The problem of view bombing is also being dealt with and I have the feeling that a system will be put into place soon to make it a thing of the past.
In conclusion, Dragon Cave is a shameless click generator, and a fun one at that. It is a site that I have come back to many times over the years and a place where I have accumulated many different kinds of dragons.