As of yesterday, the Disney-owned online multiplayer game Club Penguin ceased to exist. For some, this day came and went like any other. For others, such as myself, that day marked the end of an era.
I have many fond memories of growing up in the early 2000s. Driving my Barbie Jeep around the block, playing in the park by my house and collecting Tamagotchis were some of my favorite pastimes. I can remember feeling the pain of 1,000 deaths when my Razor scooter hit me in the ankle and chasing down the ice cream man whenever I heard the iconic song off in the distance.
These memories of a simpler time include many happy days playing Club Penguin. Racing friends on the sledding hill, making pizzas in the pizza parlor and solving mysteries as a secret agent were just some of the things I loved about the game. I must have drifted away from Club Penguin as I grew up, when I became too cool to play games with my puffles and decorate my igloo.
While reminiscing during the game’s final days, I decided to log on one last time. I had lost my childhood penguin to years of neglect and password changes, so I created a new one. I named my penguin Sir Eggwin and was free to explore the world of Club Penguin, with my parent’s permission of course.
My first stop was at the Pet Store to adopt a puffle. Back in the day, I would not leave the igloo without my fluffy blue companion, and this day was no different. I named my new puffle Roger, and the two of us hit the town after checking out my very own igloo.
The plaza was just as busy as I remember it, with dozens of penguins chatting, throwing snowballs and dancing. What I did not expect, however, was the politics. Several penguins were directing others to join a new online game, Virtual Penguin. I moved to the snow forts for some fresh air, only to find penguins proclaiming “NOT MY DISNEY!” These penguins were more advanced than I remember.
I started exploring, visiting the places I used to frequent back in Club Penguin’s prime. The Coffee Shop, Dojo and lighthouse looked just as they did all those years ago, with some subtle tweaks here and there. New places like the Puffle Wild and Skate Park had popped up over time, making the map look much more cluttered. I played Cart Surfer in the Mine, went fishing at the Dock and played Aqua Grabber just off the Iceberg for old times sake.
Before ending my time with Club Penguin once and for all, I decided to get some other penguins’ perspectives on the end of days. I made my way to the plaza and began asking about the shutdown.
Wodler25 stated, “I started playing this years ago, I haven’t played for so long. I’m so sad.”
I knew just how Wodler25 felt, having come back to the game during its last days.
“Friendships will be broken,” said Amazingman, to which Neopet32 responded, “Disney will not divide us.”
“My dreams, crushed,” said Maddyfairy. “It will always be a part of me. Waddle on my penguin friends, waddle on.”
With that, I logged out for last time. Before beginning the five stages of grief, I did a little research. The developers of Club Penguin plan to launch a new online game, Club Penguin Island, as the original game is removed. The replacement will carry on the Club Penguin legacy on desktop and mobile devices. As for me, I have made my peace.
Collegian reporter Anna Nixon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @anna_nixon12.