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RIP: Rest in Penguin

Club Penguin Announces It’s Closing Down

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The date is Jan. 30, 2017. At this time I am sixteen years old, I can legally drive a car, I know how to manage a checking account. But that day, I, amongst others, was faced with the tragic, horrifying news:

Club Penguin would be shutting down.

And while they are only shutting down Club Penguin to open Club Penguin Island–an updated mobile version of what is essentially the exact same game with a mildly cooler title–the news hit me like an overpowering weight that I felt I just could not bear.

The moment I heard the words pass from my friend’s lips I had to sit down and contemplate for one whole minute. In that moment, flashbacks from my childhood came flooding back, unceasing, unrelenting.

I was seven years old when I created my penguin. I used the strangest username I could think of (Skylet1), adopted my first blue puffle (which in an act of pure genius, I named “Blue”) and I was on my way.

In the coming months, others came to love Club Penguin as much as I did and the game gained popularity. Trying to join the same server as your friends was a nightmare. We would be on the home phone for hours trying to figure it out. Want to join Aurora? But that one’s full. How about Slushy?

Once we finally got into a server, the world (of Club Penguin) was our oyster. My friends and I would go sledding at Ski Hill, bake pizzas in the Pizzatron 3000 and play Card-Jitsu until 8:30 p.m.: bedtime (if our parents were feeling really generous, they would let us play until 9 p.m. on weekends).

When my friends weren’t online (and due to the freakish amount of hours I spent playing this game at ten years old, their availability was comparatively less), I played what was quite possibly the best mini game to exist on this website, and possibly ever: the Penguin Secret Agency.

Being a secret agent was awesome. I beat every single mission from “The Mystery Unfolds” to “All’s Weld that Ends Weld.” I became a mastermind at this game. I rose so high in the ranks, I became a secret agent for secret agents and joined the Elite Penguin Force. I also owned the matching DS game. I had never felt cooler.

At this point, I was 11 years old and still playing this game. And somehow, on my eleventh birthday I convinced my mom to buy me a membership for Club Penguin. For some reason or another–apathy, pity, what-have-you–she agreed.

Let me tell you, having a membership on Club Penguin was the elementary school equivalent to driving a Mercedes-Benz. I was the queen of the world with my little gold badge in the top-right corner of my screen. I could now buy any color puffle I wanted; my igloo became the popular hangout for G-rated ragers; I was now a master in Card-Jitsu Fire.

I stopped playing this game probably by the time I finished seventh grade, whether it was because I had forgotten about it or had finally gotten a life, I can’t be sure.

Regardless, Club Penguin was, as it was for many of this generation, my entire childhood. This game entertained me from seven to twelve years of age, accepted me from my princess-fairy phase to my dark-emo phase.

So cheers to the decade of Club Penguin coming to an end. March 29th will not be marked as a tragic loss, but as a celebration of life for both those who spent a tasteful amount of time on the website, and those like me who saw very little sunlight because of this website.

Online video gaming will never be cool again.

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RIP: Rest in Penguin