29 March 2017 marks an important date in my life. Nope, it’s not my birthday, nor is it the day I will be receiving my final results. Instead, today marks the demise of my longtime bestie, Club Penguin. Yes, the much beloved online virtual game site, Club Penguin, is shutting down.
Club Penguin was published in 2005 by Disney Interactive Studio. It was designed for children aged 6 to 14 years old, which probably makes me the one of oldest existing players. But I’m not ashamed to announce that I’m still hooked. Club Penguin is the game that has made up most of the childhood memories of people my age. Of course, players have different views about the game, especially when closure is imminent, and they start offering tributes to this long-time companion of theirs.
Personally, Club Penguin has offered a indelible childhood experience with its “uniquely penguin-themed ” games, such as fishing, skiing, and sled racing. These games mostly involve ice and water, which is natural to the living environment of actual penguins. There are several games that are unrelated to penguins per se, such Card-Jitsu and Cart Surfer. Nevertheless, such variations inject novelty and enhance the players’ gaming experience.
The game that I enjoyed most is Card-Jitsu, where players challenge each other or the Sensei to progress up the ranks denoted by different coloured belts, white being the lowest and black being the tippy-top. The game is similar to ‘rock-paper-scissors’ but in the form of cards. Being one of the oldest players, advancing up the ranks to obtain the ninja title was a little too easy. Still, the thrill of consecutive wins does motivate me to play frequently.
Lastly, what could be a more fitting farewell for Club Penguin than the tipping of the infamous iceberg? In fact, the iceberg finally tipped a few weeks before its closure — the first time ever in 12 years! Participants from across the Internet donned their blue worker outfits and construction helmets, and collectively “drilled” the edge of the iceberg to make it tip over. It was a overwhelming moment to witness so many “penguins” working together, spurring each other on, demonstrating the strength of the “penguin spirit” in creating that one historic moment. If only we could constantly display such robust community spirit beyond the virtual world.
The only regret I maintain for this game is that in all my years of gaming, I have yet to chance upon Captain Rockhopper, a rare encounter NPC. I still have a few hours left, so fingers crossed!
But let’s not bemoan Club Penguin’s closure. Its revamped version, Club Penguin Island (for mobile), has already been launched! Pre-register an account to preserve your wonderful Club Penguin legacy!
No goodbyes for Club Penguin as it will definitely be back, stronger than ever. Remember Penguins, keep on waddling!