Growing up, many have logged on without our parents’ permissions (maybe some did) onto kid-friendly game sites like Newgrounds, 8-ball games, but one that would hold dear to our hearts is Club Penguin.
Disney’s popular kid-friendly MMO is about to be laid to rest after 12 years of entertaining many online. The site and the app will be closing March 29, 2017. For those who are unfamiliar with the platform, Club Penguin is a site where users create an avatar in…well the shape of a penguin, where they can buy virtual goodies via virtual coins. There was even exclusive content to members who paid subscription fees.
“It was my childhood” said sophomore, Elaine Luc. “It was the first game that I actually used real life currency for. I made an investment on creating THE premium penguin.”
Club Penguin has been entertaining kids, making friends with complete strangers on the internet, teaching problem solving skills, and helping kids learn social skills since 2005. Penguins got to dress up as athletes, actors, secret agents, and ninjas while immersing themselves in the events on the island.
Many veteran penguins remember the days when there would be an endless search for Rockhopper, the red penguin pirate who would arrive every so often. Some remember the hunt to find Aunt Arctic, the journalist extraordinaire, keeping the island inhabitants updated. Others remember the hunt to find club owner Cadence.
There was also a time when the island had a first-person narrative where penguins would go on secret agent adventures. They remember the time working in the PSA (Penguin Secret Agency) hidden in the sports shop and the Nintendo DS spinoff starring the EPF (Elite Penguin Force) with the shocking crossover. Each mission featuring G, Rookie, Jet-pack Guy, Herbert the polar bear, and his clawed-companion Klutzy.
There were many events ranging from the seasonal ones like St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, to odd ones that helped introduce more into the lore of the island, like the Dojo revealing Sensei who helped you earn your belts and cool elemental ninja outfits. There was a time where each puffle (a virtual pet in the shape of fluffy ball) would be introduced, from green, to brown, to gold, to rainbow, to the new wild puffles that were recently introduced a few years ago.
Club Penguin was also a force for good in the world with the Coins for Change event every Christmas, where coin donations would be exchanged for real money for charities. At these times, penguins would play even more of the island games to help make a difference in the world, giving the kids behind the screens an opportunity to do their part to make a change.
“Club Penguin was a place to go online, and resonated deep within my childhood,” said freshman Adi Parvatharajan. “I remember that card game…I was a black belt in that game!”
“It’s sad now my kid won’t be able to play it,” said Kanalya Arivalagan, a sophomore. “I was lucky enough to be a secret agent and a ninja.”
As a last hurrah, Club Penguin has finally done what many have wanted to do since the beginning: tip the berg. Dozens of penguins can now flock to the iceberg to tip it, revealing a dancefloor with some hardhats. To complement these final days, penguins can get some last minute content by answering trivia questions till the very last day.
Club Penguin will always be part of our hearts and live on in our memories. Although it may seem like a childish thing to look at now,it reminds us that there is time to have fun and pretend to be who you want to be and that anything is possible.
Where one chapter ends, another begins. Club Penguin servers may officially go down March 29, but it paves the way for a new generation on Club Penguin Island! Until next time, keep calm and waddle on!