Club Penguin is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that launched in the month of October 2005. It was created through Club Penguin Entertainment and purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 2007. The site is comprised of online games and other activities that are aimed at children aged six to fourteen. The website is designed with the typical Disney-like look with cartoon-like penguin characters that kids can customize as their online avatars. The game also inspired physically-based video games that are available for Nintendo along with books.
Children can test the website for free. However, it limits the activities they can participate in on the internet. Paid memberships begin at $7.95 US per month. Six months costs $39.95 US, and 12 months costs $59.95 US. A paid membership gives users unlimited access to the entire range of games, themed parties, as well as priority access to servers and new and exciting activities. One of the unique features of the site includes its Coins for Change program. This is an online charitable organization where participants donate their “coins” to various charitable causes in the real world. The site is accessible in a variety of languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German.
Club Penguin exists in a winter-themed virtual world in which children select an avatar in the shape of a penguin cartoon. Become their online avatar. They select a home for their penguin, which is an Igloo. Both the igloo and penguin are customizable by adding accessories to match the person’s style. Igloos are listed on the world map, so other players can see them. The players can also have pets, known as Puffles. If they do not care, they can escape and need to be replaced. Club Penguin Times Club Penguin Times is a virtual newspaper that allows players to send in art, writing, and jokes.
When players sign in to their game, they initially arrive in the town that hosts the typical shops found in every town. Parties themed around Halloween or Christmas are held every month and are open for members only. The primary goal of this world of virtual reality is to allow players to earn coins through playing games. These coins let players purchase their avatar’s food, clothing, shelter, clothing, and other household items. Chat was initially only a small portion in Club Penguin but has recently been extended. Members can talk about their penguins and other members in chat rooms and meet other players. Emoticons are an essential element of the conversion feature.
Club Penguin is a reasonably innocent site that appeals mostly to children below age ten who are looking for the company of other children as well as simple games. The penguins have been designed to appeal to children who are just beginning to learn. The facial expressions are gentle and inviting – like the ones you would see on a show for children. Disney and its creators have succeeded in creating a natural environment for children. There aren’t any adult themes in the online universe or even on their site. There’s no open violence, drinking, smoking, using drugs, sexual sex, or explicit language. The games make use of math and reading to help develop the basic skills of a child.
Disney deserves to be praised for putting in a lot of effort and time to keep the chat platform secure. Ultimate Safe Chat allows only pre-scripted messages. Standard Safe Chat prohibits any profanity or inappropriate behavior even when users attempt to circumvent the filtering. Any words that are not approved prior to posting will be put into a queue to review prior to posting. Moderators are numerous. Chatting in a virtual world for children is a great way to connect with others as well. Disney has done an excellent job of keeping it secure.
The age group that Club Penguin is going for appears to be off-base with the animation. The characters’ design might be appropriate for kids who have just finished kindergarten; however, children above ten will consider them to be juveniles. Parents might notice an increase in the degree of consumerism in the game as players who progress through the game learn to buy things to add to their avatars and home. These are minor issues for a generally enjoyable virtual world for kids.
The site has gone over to create a secure environment for children. There is no personal information visible in chat, even whether a user is a girl or boy. Even the chat that is open (which can be a prime candidate for inappropriate behavior) is strictly controlled. The parents’ section is quite complete. It is recommended that parents be actively involved in the online activities of their children. All credit and personal information that is collected conforms to an established procedure called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.