Plaques are very coveted items in Jamaa. They represent all the extra miles a Jammer may have taken to make Jamaa a safer, more creative home to to play in.
But, dare I say it, plaques are much more than a symbol plastered in gold.
Plaques were first introduced to Jamaa in 2011, with more being added on throughout the years. You can say the first plaque was the News Crew Plaque, since The Daily Explorer took off just a few months after the game was released.
It was first mentioned in the Jamaa Journal.
If your article is chosen for the latest News Crew assignment, you'll get a badge for your nametag (members-only) and the plaque for your den (all-Jammers).
One of the earliest known winners of the News Crew plaque is snowyclaw, an avid Jammer who owns the Animal Jam Spirit Blog. She even made a helpful video, instructing Jammers how to win the plaque itself and join the News Crew.
Another well known plaque is the Howl plaque. Howls can be shout-outs, mottos, quotes, and sayings.
You can earn it by submitting a how and having it featured in Jammer Central.
Here's a tip: don't submit random things, such as "It snowed very hard today." Also, make sure not to include your username and copyrighted sayings. It's against the AJ rules.
Next comes the Artist Plaque.
If upload and submit your artwork and it's shown in Jammer Central, you'll get this plaque.
Interesting story I have for you. I won this plaque before and a glitch took place upon my account that caused me to earn another one every time I logged in. I soon told AJHQ and they cleared up the problem.
You might be wondering why I didn't just let the glitch be and keep all those plaques to myself, but what's Jamaa without sharing? A lot of other Jammers deserved all those extra plaques, and I only deserved one. AJHQ, proud that I told them about it, let me keep the extra plaques. I eventually gave them away, and kept one for myself, the one I really earned.
This plaque is quite the feat to earn. Yes, I'm talking about the Video Plaque.
It's very rare in appearance. The only way to earn it is if either Dr. Brady Barr or Tierney Thys answers your question in one of their videos.
This may take a very long while to earn because, not only are there over 30 million Jammers in the game, but both Brady Barr and Tierney Thys have jobs, and they can sometimes be too busy to answer questions. During this time, AJHQ will usually recycle videos they've previously made, and slap on a a new sign. Take note of that.
Also, if you want to check if a question you have has already been answered, just check out the official Animal Jam YouTube channel! It features all of Brady Barr's and Tierney Thys' videos.
This next plaque is for those who commit to a safer online experience not only for themselves, but for others as well. It's the Online Safety Plaque!
The Online Safety Plaque is a reward for Jammers who get every question right while taking the Online Safety Quiz, located in the Conservation Museum in Appondale and the Chamber of Knowledge in the Lost Temple of Zios.
Another way to "earn" the plaque is to enter the code STAYSAFE. Honestly I can't say I very much like this method of "earning" the plaque because there are a lot of Jammers who don't play by the rules and ruin the fun of the game. I don't think it's fair to reward that kind of behavior with a code that gives you a free plaque. The good thing is, we (as in, me and YOU) can guide those Jammers to do better and make Jamaa a safer, more fun place. :)
This plaque was named after the team who designed it, the AJHQ Plaque!
There have been many methods to earning this plaque, and it seems as though AJHQ is always switching them around. At first you had to send AJHQ a letter (with an address and stamps) in order to earn it. Emails weren't valid.
After a while they changed from this method. You had to get featured in an Epic Den of the Week post back when the old Daily Explorer was around.
I can understand why they changed from the letter one. Animal Jam is played by many people around the world and it would cost a lot of money and time to send AJHQ a letter in certain places.
A long while ago, you could earn this plaque by winning a Jammer Snaps contest. That plaque has now been replaced and if you do win a Jammer Snaps contest, you'll get the News Crew Plaque. But according to this article in the help section on how to earn a plaque from AJHQ, you get it by winning...a Jammer Snaps contest. This is mind boggling.
I saved the most mysterious plaque for last. Some may know it, others may not. I'm talking about the Contest Plaque.
This plaque could only be earned if you won a contest. And I'm talking about a real contest, not the regular News Crew and Jammer Snap assignments. This plaque mysteriously disappeared from the list of plaques and AJHQ has never mentioned anything about it. The owners of this plaque is a mystery to this very day...
Many Jammers say the Video Plaque is the rarest. At one point I would have agreed with them. With millions of Jammers playing the game, your question could get lost in an ocean bigger than Bahari Bay, Deep Blue, Crystal Reef, and Kani Cove combined (metaphorically of course)! But in my opinion, I think the Contest Plaque is the rarest. You never know what AJHQ may be looking for in a contest entry. It's not just about skill anymore. Plus, since contests are barely ever held, it's much harder to get a hold of this plaque.
- There is a plaque that resembles a castle/tower. It is unknown what kind of plaque it may be, though it may be possible to earn by being featured on the Epic Dens list, according to the Animal Jam: Official Insider's Guide:
"Jammers can earn plaques from Animal Jam HQ (AJHQ) by winning contests, having their art and howls features in Jammer Central, being featured on the Epic Dens list, and more!"
- Page 36, Animal Jam: Official Insider's Guide
What are your thoughts on plaques? Are they a good way to encourage good behavior in the game, or do you think that rewards aren't necessary to be a good Jammer? Tell in the comments, I'd love to hear from you! :)
Have fun, be safe, and game on!