The new version of Club Penguin logo after partnering with Disney.
|Developer||New Horizon Interactive|
|Publisher||Disney Online Studios (Canada)|
|ESRB rating||Mild Cartoon Violence|
|Genre||MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game)|
Club Penguin, commonly abbreviated as CP, is a MMORPG designed for children and teenagers fourteen and under (but it's open for all ages) that was developed by New Horizon Interactive. Using cartoon penguin avatars, players can chat, play mini games, and participate in other activities with one another in a snow-covered virtual world. Club Penguin was first made available to the public on October 24, 2005 on 12:00 PM (Penguin Standard Time) and has since then expanded into a large online community. Club Penguin shares similarities with other popular browser-based online environments such as RuneScape and Habbo Hotel. Club Penguin was also awarded the "Editor's Choice" award from Children's Technology Review Magazine.
Though the a large amount of the game can be played for free, some of features are not available unless a membership is purchased. These features include: upgrading and buying items for your personal igloo, buying clothes, hats, and wigs, visiting unique party rooms, playing different mini games and a lot more.
Club Penguin world
Club Penguin is essentially a chatroom that takes place in a 2D world (from an isometric point of view) divided into several rooms. These rooms can be either outdoor or indoor rooms. Outdoor rooms usually are more popular because getting there is much more easier (you can be transported to an outdoor room instantaneously via the Map) and they offer more links to other rooms. Outdoor rooms are also the gateways to indoor rooms. Indoor rooms offer a lot more to do within them; players can find books to read, minigames to play and missions to participate within.
Before Club Penguin, there was a game created by Rocketsnail (Rsnail) called Penguin Chat. Penguin Chat was the game that Club Penguin was based on. In 2005 this game was closed and the players were told to move to a new game known as Club Penguin. Ever since beta testing, Club Penguin has grown to one of the most popular online games and has over 35 million users worldwide.
After registering an account, users can create their own penguin avatar and igloo, initially only choosing their color. Each penguin also owns an igloo (igloos are not located in Club Penguin proper, and can only be entered through a buddy list or the house button on a player card; if on map), and users that have paid for a membership can further decorate this igloo. Pets known as puffles can also be purchased, and they can be kept in the owner's igloo or taken for walks.
The gameplay input of Club Penguin uses the mouse and the keyboard, players click where they want to waddle to within a room. Although the whole can room can hear what one penguin says, players often waddle near their friends or to people they want to talk to.
All penguins have the privilege to chat to one another, however filters have been introduced by New Horizon Interactive to prevent messages being sent that include certain blocked words. Messages appear in speech bubbles and a history of messages within a room can be seen by clicking on a drop-down at the top of the screen. Whenever someone swears or uses a swearing acronym, the message does not show up (asterik or direct censoring is absent in Club Penguin, in order for it to not suggest spoken swear words within the game) and pop-up message indicates that you have been banned for a certain amount of time.Safe Chat uses a variety of preset messages so players can communicate safely. Safe Chat is also available for players with Normal Chat. Numbers do not show up when chatting. This move ensured that players could not reveal their age or phone number to other players. When Club Penguin originally launched, there were no filters. The moderators would stay on most of the time to monitor. When they were offline, people could say inappropriate things freely. However, when the moderators logged back on, they would look at the chat history during the time they were offline. If they saw that a user said something inappropriate, they would ban them. In early 2006, the chat filters were introduced, making it easier on moderators. The moderators still look at the history to make sure there are no filter errors.
The Economy of Club Penguin revolves around mini games and the coin system. Money can be earned via playing mini-games, which can be both single-player, and multiplayer. Items such as: clothing, furniture or pets, can be bought to accommodate the lifestyle of a character in Club Penguin.
- See main article: Membership
Members are players who pay for extra benefits in the world of Club Penguin. Members can use coins to buy clothing, furniture and puffles - domesticated animals, which are kept as pets. They also have the privileges for VIP rooms and are more recognized in Club Penguin. However, non-members can still acquire items, which are usually given out at "parties". Members also can attend exclusive parties and events and get stamps that others can't get. There are more things exclusive to members now than at the start. From the launch to the start of the Stamps, players could play minigames without being prompted to buy membership.
Parties are monthly events that are immensely popular in Club Penguin. The island is usually decorated to fit the theme, and as aforementioned, free items are given to non-members. In some parties, members can gain VIP access to a special, exclusive room which is only available at the time of the party, and thereby called The Party. Parties usually last to around one week, but if it is of significance (e.g. Halloween, Christmas) the time is usually extended.
- See main article: Club Penguin Improvement Project
In Spring 2008, there was a project called CPIP when Club Penguin was upgraded to version 2. While the designers and programmers worked on the new features, penguins played the beta testing version of the new Club Penguin. The project was finished and closed on July 13, 2008.
Club Penguin is currently available in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish and German. There is a rumor that Club Penguin will offer more languages in the future. A common bug in Club Penguin is where the game files from two different languages are swapped around causing confusion. Sometimes, if your penguin's name might be changed to the letter P with your penguin ID next to it. For example, if your penguin's name was Penguin on the English servers, it may show up as P8209929 in the German servers. 
Although it has attracted some criticism, Club Penguin is for the most part well received. The Better Business Bureau gave it the “Kids' privacy seal of approval”. It has been praised for teaching children to "practice safe money-management skills". Club Penguin's userbase is rapidly growing showing that it continues to be successful.
However, concerns about the safety of Club Penguin have been raised. Caitlin Flanagan from The Atlantic Monthly said Club Penguin was “certainly the safest way for unsupervised children to talk to potentially malevolent strangers — but why would you want them to do that in the first place?". Lynsey Kiely from the Sunday Independent said: “we cannot guarantee that every person who visits the site is a child.". Club Penguin has also been called "childish" on numerous occasions.
Club Penguin has also been criticized for the “member’s only part of the game”. Non-members cannot acquire certain clothing items, furniture for their igloos, new igloos or many types of puffles. Most non-member items are found in parties and given out as free items, but most of them are head items.
On the administrative side, Plesk, ClickZ, WinHTTrack, The Web Developer toolbar (for Firefox), and Firebug are all used.
Club Penguin has sold many merchandise such as stuffed penguins (named Plush Toys) and sets of Card-Jitsu Cards.
Several books, such as "The Ultimate Official Club Penguin Guide Volume 1", "The Official Stage Playbook", "Secret Agent Handbook", "Stowaway! Adventures at Sea" and "Waddle Lot of Laughs" have been published by Club Penguin.
Several video games based on Club Penguin have been made:
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force (Nintendo DS)
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert's Revenge (Nintendo DS)
- Club Penguin: Game Day! (Nintendo Wii)
Sites supporting Club Penguin
Club Penguin can be played via five different websites:
- Club Penguin's Business Number is 1-888-861-4111. Only call if you have any serious questions or if you want to unban your penguin that has been banned forever (lots of users have successfully accomplished this before).
- For the Puffle Party 2012, "Club Penguin" was crossed out and replaced with "Club Puffle".
Club Penguin logos
The Club Penguin logo during the Puffle Party 2012.
3D development/mesh of a penguin avatar with a Chef Hat and Pizza Apron.
- Club Penguin Island
- Club Penguin History
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert's Revenge
- Club Penguin: Game Day!
- Basic Club Penguin Tutorial
Sources and References
- ↑ http://www.clubpenguin.com/parents/club_penguin_guide.htm#who
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://play.clubpenguin.com
- ↑ http://www.clubpenguin.com/membership/
- ↑ "The team finished testing and launched the new features yesterday! Thank you for all your feedback and help with this project. 2006 forever guys!" — BillyBob, CPIP Blog
- ↑ http://www.smartfoxserver.com/showcase/
- ↑ http://support.clubpenguin.com/help/technical/clear_my_cache.htm
- ↑ http://www.clubpenguin.com/toys
- Club Penguin official website
- Club Penguins offical music
- Play Club Penguin
- Wikipedia article on Club Penguin
- Club Penguins Old Website
- Club Penguin's official YouTube account