One year ago, around this time, millions of child-like hearts were broken as the best game in existence was shut down forever.
Club Penguin was a massively popular online game where kids from all over to world created their own little penguin avatar to waddle around the island. But shortly after Disney bought the game, the company decided to shut it down and release a new version–a remake of the old game, with “improved” sound, gameplay, and graphics. Personally, we miss the old Club Penguin and want to take the time to reminisce about our beloved game.
The safe and fun environment
Club Penguin was a highly social game, involving meeting tons of penguins, being able to “friend” them, and play different games together. There were a lot of games and items or statuses to achieve, and every month there was an event, which really made you feel like a part of the community. You had events ranging from fantasy stories with medieval knights, princesses, dungeons, and dragons, to events where the whole community had to get together and fight Herbert, the evil polar bear, and his sidekick Klutzy the snappy crab, who both wanted to destroy the island and all of its inhabitants.
The most played game was Card-Jitsu and its different elements. First, the player had to reach the black belt level in a slightly more complicated and competitive rock-paper-scissors game. After all that hard work, you would gain access to games featuring three elements: fire, water, and snow. Getting the black belt and then completing all of the elemental suits felt like such an accomplishment.
It may sound weird, but the game would teach you life lessons. Even if it may not be that obvious, your subconscious still learns. To get an object in the game, you had to play a lot of games to earn the coins necessary. And many of the items were expensive, so when you finally bought the item, even if it didn’t mean much, it was important because it came from your hard earned money. Life also wasn’t fair for everyone since many of the fun parts were only available to paid memberships.
The heartwarming community
Playing the game gave you such a unique feeling, unlike other games. You really felt like part of something since everyone was really nice when you did things together to feel like a big community of penguins. The game also truly brought the people together. When they announced the coming shutdown of the game, many people, most of whom had already grown up, came back to enjoy the game one last time. In the last moments of the game, all of the servers were full and some even crashed, but everyone was filled with nostalgia and joy from old memories.
Above is a picture of the last moments of the game. Every room was filled with penguins. This shows that the game really brought people together, many of them being 18 or even older, but still enjoying the warm feeling of meeting new people and making a temporary friend, or in some cases, actually good friends, even if they started by hitting each other with snowballs and then running away.
The shut down made a lot of people very sad because it was a large part of their childhood. YouTube user Korvo Atano commented on the last moments of Club Penguin, saying, “This is truly one of the saddest moments of 2017. I’m not kidding when I say this made me cry, not only because of Johnny Cash’s beautiful voice but also because of all of the happiness and love that was going through all the Penguins even though they knew everything was going to come to a close… But even so, those Penguins were happy, this was many people’s children’s and seeing it go like that could bring anybody to tears. I can say that it’s a lot more than just some PC game, it’s a life. it’s happiness, it’s joy, it’s a meme, a good one. Thank you Club Penguin and may you rest in peace. Waddle on! See you later Space Cowboy.”
Damaged hearts and souls
In an interview with Gal O., a 9th grader, he stated that he liked the game for the same reasons, and when he heard about the shutdown, he:
“. . . felt very sad when they announced it because it was part of my childhood and it got shut down. I liked to go back and create a fake account and play for the nostalgia, but Disney could not support the game. While I was devastated i went through the 5 stages of grief.
- Denial. I thought it was a prank . . .
- Anger. Because they shut down Club Penguin . . .
- Bargaining. Oh, Club Penguin Island is gonna be ok and stuff not that bad . . .
- Depression. I realize that nothing is gonna replace Club Penguin and i was very sad . . .
- Acceptance. I was sad and Club Penguin was shut down … “
The news of the shutdown even affected those who didn’t really play it, because they had heard of it and always wanted to get into it, but never got the chance, as 9th grader Tudor I. stated in an interview. Even though he didn’t really play the game, he really liked the idea of it and fully supports it being revived.
Don’t hope for a revival, because it won’t happen
Every hope that the game may be revived slowly gets crushed by Disney, who keeps stating that they have no intention of bringing the game back. Many programmer groups who are fans of the game have tried to revive the game by creating different versions. The most popular remake was Club Penguin Rewritten, which was recently closed because Disney threatened to file a lawsuit.
Slowly, most of the sites have been taken down due to copyright claims, even if the moderators gave credit to Disney and added their own personal changes. All that we have left are the memories and the community…Rest in Peace, Club Penguin. And as every penguin said in the last moments of the game: