Club Penguin is shutting down, and that shutdown is causing a whole lot of internet sorrow. Club Penguin players of all ages are mourning the loss of a game that was a “crucial part of their early internet experience,” according to USA Today.
Although the game will relaunch on mobile later this year, for penguin game players everywhere, Club Penguin shutting down is “the end of an internet era.” The outlet also writes that the Club Penguin fan base is “very sad” over the loss of their favorite game.
“You might want to sit down: The original Club Penguin game is going away.”
The Disney game is all about the penguins, and everyone knows penguins are the best. Twitter users are tweeting their regrets over the game shutting down.
But the game was about a lot more than the cute little tuxedo-clad birds. Kids took to it right away when Club Penguin was launched in 2005 as a multiplayer online role-playing game where all the characters were penguins.
Intended for kids, it was created to be a totally ad-free safe space for kids to have fun online. It gave tweens a chance to hang out virtually with friends as they spent “hours playing mini-games or in the various rooms on the servers, chatting to friends online.” There was once even a Trump protest after a game player spread the word on Twitter.
The shutting down of the game is the end of a “beloved chapter in internet history” and has left many devastated fans feeling bereft. Bonnie McLaren is now 18, and she’s been playing penguins since she was nine. That’s half her life getting to know the penguins in their winter wonderland while chatting with friends.
“Everyone played it. We all used to meet up on the different servers after school. I was addicted, but it was always so busy and there were so many players, and there were so many games to play.”
McLaren says she doesn’t play anymore, “but it was so much fun when I was a tween.” She reminisces about talking on the phone with friends while playing the game together. Because swearing and “saying pretty much anything bad” got players banned from Club Penguin, kids quickly learned that it was as important to be careful with language on the internet as it was in real life.
“It taught me at a very, very early age that I had to watch what I said on the internet.”
For some, getting banned from Club Penguin was seen as a challenge, and gamers began recording all the “funny reasons people got thrown off the site.” The Guardian reports that some recent strong words about President Trump didn’t get any players banned from Club Penguin. A penguin Trump protest “went viral” after an anti-Trump tweet garnered 86,000 retweets. The anti-Trump Twitter user included a word that wouldn’t be allowed on Club Penguin though.
The Trump protest on Club Penguin happened right after the November presidential election when businessman Trump became President Trump. At the time, NPR reported that penguins waddled to the town square, carrying signs with messages like “not my president,” “no wall,” and “penguins of color matter.” One penguin went against the penguin anti-Trump majority by saying “I’m with him.”
Kate Bell played in middle school, but when she heard about the penguin gathering, she logged on and headed to the town square to see the feathers fly. She was “amazed” by the political engagement of the young gamers as they used the forum to speak out about President Trump.
Now that Club Penguin is disappearing, players hope that the new mobile-only version will offer all the same fun along with the same space for their voices that the original version had. The mobile Club Penguin launches at the end of March.
What do you think? Will Club Penguin users protest Trump when the new game launches?
[Featured Image by PRNewsFoto/Club Penguin/Getty Images]