Illustration of a penguin from Club Penguin and its puffle
It's time to decorate your new igloo, adopt another puffle and start ice fishing again. (Illustration by Drew Parrott, Oswego College)

Your Favorite Childhood Game, Club Penguin, Is Making a Comeback

Say goodbye to any spare time you had left because Club Penguin Rewritten is the perfect recreation of your favorite childhood game.

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Illustration of a penguin from Club Penguin and its puffle

Say goodbye to any spare time you had left because Club Penguin Rewritten is the perfect recreation of your favorite childhood game.

You would think that there would be a list of things that should not be revived from the past. On that list would be Heelys, Silly Bandz and Disney’s Club Penguin. Before the obvious is asked, Disney’s Club Penguin is, indeed, an online club for virtual penguins. And like terrible fashion trends, it’s back, and it has been rewritten.

Popular from the early to mid 2000s, Disney’s Club Penguin was primarily created by RocketSnail Games, along with two other co-founders. Later on, it was acquired by Disney for $700 million.

Club Penguin went through many phases before it became the virtual world many know and love. At first, it was a multiplayer strategy game named Snow Blasters, then it made its way to Penguin Chats, and on Oct. 24, 2005, it became Club Penguin.

But on Jan. 31, 2017, Disney announced it was shutting down the club and replacing it with Disney’s Club Penguin Island in March of that year, which would be a mobile product instead. Disney’s Club Penguin Island eventually did launch as the successor to Disney’s Club Penguin, but it didn’t last long and was discontinued a year later — apparently, there is a Club Penguin Island Forever though. For some reason, these games just don’t die.

Club Penguin Rewritten may be discontinued as well, as it’s still unclear if the game is legal or not — it’s a private server, and the game is claiming it’s fair use because it’s for educational purposes. Though the game is not making any profit, it’s not clear what is educational about people decorating igloos or jumping through different servers.

It was early April 2020 that Club Penguin Rewritten launched, filling a void in online gaming. The arctic world is still very much the same, with a few additions. The game still allows for decorating your own igloo, adopting pet puffles, playing minigames and dressing your penguin in style. Even the penguins appear the same, pudgy and pastel.

Honestly, there is no objective in the game other than earning coins and building a life for your penguin. With no point, why are over 6 million users flocking (no pun intended) to this virtual world? It may just be the strong sense of nostalgia that the game offers. Though Club Penguin Rewritten has no connection to Disney, it still offers a sense of the past.

There are a decent amount of people who can say they begged for an upgraded penguin membership or for five more minutes to stay in the dance party to chat with their new friends from across the globe. During tough times like now, it only makes sense for people to seek comfort in familiarity.

Nostalgia is often used to cope with negativity, and using things like online gaming can be included in this. Club Penguin Rewritten offers both nostalgia and an escape to a perfect world where users have control — unlike the world in its current state.

And it’s not the only game making a comeback. Among the panic buying of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bread, there was also panic buying of Nintendo Switch consoles, specifically for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons video game.

Yep, that’s right. Animal Crossing is back as well, particularly among millennials. Even celebs like Chrissy Teigen are getting in on the action. Similar to Club Penguin Rewritten, Animal Crossing is another virtual world where there is no point besides building a life for your avatar. Unlike Club Penguin Rewritten, the avatar isn’t an animal, and its only encounters happen with animals that live throughout the towns.

Another difference from Club Penguin Rewritten is that Animal Crossing is played on the Nintendo consoles. For those looking to hop into a virtual world right away, Club Penguin Rewritten is a huge plus, since Nintendo Switch consoles are currently out of stock.

Though Club Penguin Rewritten was just launched, there are already tons of users trying to get ahead to where they left off, thanks to cheat codes. Though, if you’re totally new to the world of online gaming, codes aren’t needed when you take your time.

The Club Penguin Rewritten website has tabs to help those who are new to the game. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of when first starting out; there are pop-ups that prompt you on what to do next.

Users have been playing the game to socialize and even host things they missed out on, from graduations to group therapy sessions. Still, users can get banned if the rules are broken, and bans last upwards of 24 hours. The main reasons for this are swearing or talking inappropriately, or even attempting to manipulate the game (which is why cheat codes aren’t all that great).

Though this platform is not far off from the original, there is still a petition to “bring back the original Club Penguin.” Talk about dedication.

In fairness, there wasn’t much explanation for why the game was discontinued to begin with. It’s only known that the Disney Interactive company laid off members of the headquarters due to the game declining in popularity.

It’s no doubt that during that time, there was an abundance of games trying to get the attention of children and teens. Remember Poptropica, Webkinz and Neopets?

Also, when looking into these games, the creators stated that, on average, the games were made for children ages 6 to 15. Millennials clearly have not gotten that message.

Though it’s healthy to be social and explore new outlets to pass the time, the resurrection of old games and platforms may lead to a surge of addiction. Video game addiction is entirely real. Though it sounds silly, the results of constantly being focused on building and earning more can be detrimental. Like with social media, it can occur in these online virtual games.

So remember, while you’re having the time of your life, it’s just a game. Soon the world will resume, and you may have to leave your avatar to die.

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