Millions of Penguins Will Go Extinct March 29

Disney Discontinues Club Penguin

Club Penguin's original penguin.

Club Penguin's Website

Club Penguin’s original penguin.

Tragedy flooded social media on January 31, 2017 as the announcement that the beloved game, Club Penguin, is coming to a close. Twitter users exploded in rage claiming that their childhood memories were being shattered due to Disney’s decision to shut down it’s virtual reality game on computer desktops and going forward with an app called Club Penguin Island. Club Penguin is an online application where people create an alternative life online as a penguin. Kids enjoy playing games, talking with fellow penguins through a supervised text-based conversation and walking and feeding their puffles.

Club Penguin’s website blog said, “As part of the launch of Club Penguin Island in March, we will be transitioning to an entirely new platform, and, we’ve made the decision to discontinue the current Club Penguin game on desktop and mobile devices on March 29, 2017.”  Users on social media have voiced their negative opinions on Disney’s decision to destroy one of the first forms of text-based conversation that was introduced to them, “Club Penguin was my first introduction of communication with people through the internet. Mary has an active penguin” said Mary Leslie ’19 who is an active member on Club Penguin.

Club Penguin was my first introduction of communication with people through the internet.”

— Mary Leslie

Most people today converse with others through texts, emails, chat rooms, and different forms of social media. According to the scholarly Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56% of text based messages are misinterpreted while only 23% of voice conversation over a phone is misinterpreted. Peoples intent in their messages can be misread which can cause confusion due to the loss of tone and emotion that is involved in a face-to-face conversation, “Club Penguin restricts words and phrases which has shown me the best way to get my message across” said Grace Cannon ’19 who is also an active penguin on Club Penguin. These restrictions created by Club Penguin serves educational purposes because users are taught what is the best way to communicate over the internet.

The virtual game allows for kids to communicate safely and play games with penguins from all over the world! And many active and non active members at SEM relate Club Penguin to their childhood which is the cause of the negativity towards this change. And many SEM students have said that they use Club Penguin to make them feel like a kid again during times of stress. Students log in every once in awhile to see the changes, attempt to tip the ice berg, feed their Puffles, compete with other penguins in sled racing, play Pizzatron, Card Jitsu and to search for Rockhopper through the telescope on top of the light house. Adjusting to this change will be difficult but Hannah Danzinger ’19 is positive about the change and said that she “will download the app [Club Penguin Island] and continue to be a penguin.”