Friday, March 31, 2017

The end of a 3600 day Journey

Club Penguin will shut its doors on March 29, 2017. These are the words I have continued to remind myself when the Club Penguin Blog announced the Discontinuation of the Desktop Game. There has never been anything more alerting to my ears than to hear a Chapter of my life was about to close. I knew that the end of Club Penguin was going to come eventually, but why would the loss of a Virtual World make me feel like I lost a friend? We all know that you can re-watch old TV Series again, play video game franchises that have ended again, and even watch that classic 80's film you loved watching on Friday nights can viewed again, so why is a Virtual World so different? In reality I am sure that most of you reading this knows what happens. Once that plug is pulled, then that whole experience you've had gone through is gone for good. All those hours you have spent on that Virtual World have been wiped out from existence. There is just no easier way to say that a big chunk of my childhood will now only exist as memories from my past.

The date was May 21, 2007, a day that I will never forget in my lifetime. I was in Elementary School at the time and the start of Summer Vacation was only a couple of days away. Every summer was the same old boring thing, studying for the next grade of school or even going on vacations I did not fully appreciate as a kid. Today was different, this particular day has been in the works from the past couple of years and I did not even realize it. On June 24, 2005 a movie called March of the Penguins was released into the theaters and I cannot be more grateful than to have my love of Penguins start from there. The idea of an aquatic and flightless creature that lived in the Southern Hemisphere of the world somehow amazed my kinder spirit. As soon as I finished watching this movie I continued to ask for anything Penguin related whenever I got an allowance from doing my chores. I loved the animal so much that when I moved to a new home I was given letters by students in my class where most of them had Penguins saying Goodbye on them. Now fast forward back into May 2007 where I got home from school and I wanted to do something different. I knew that some kids would leave their obsessions behind, but I wanted to keep this up for as long as it could be. When I got home that day I sprinted to the Dell Desktop Computer in my home and looked up penguin games. The first result on there was a site named Club Penguin. I clicked on the link and within a couple of minutes I signed up with my Parents help saying that I should use the name Crzypengu as my Username since I was Crazy about Penguins. As soon as my account was confirmed through the email link my 3600 day Journey began.

Club Penguin was the game that completely changed my life for the better and encouraged me to talk to other people since I was very shy talking to other kids. Of course I never really got a chance to ask the kids in my school if they played Club Penguin, but I was able to gain a lot of friends and play amazing mini games such as Cart Surfer and Jet Pack Adventure. When I first joined the biggest update to the game was when the Cove was opened after some Penguins got lost in the forest and found the other side of the island. I did not know much about Club Penguin Membership at the time so I did not become a member when the Cove first opened, but it was cool to not only do that but to collect my very first pin which was the Starfish Pin and that was found in the mine. Over the next couple of years Club Penguin began to grow more and more with more mini-games like Aqua Grabber and the Card Jitsu games. Out of all of the parties that I have gone through this game the Summer Kickoff Party 2007 and the Water Party 2007 were some of the best events I got to experience. Operation Blackout was a very fun Party as well which had to be the best Story driven event and as far as the the Advertisement Parties go I really liked the Star Wars Takeover 2013 since it was so cool to have my favorite movie characters in the game (its a shame we never had an Indiana Jones Party). The Introduction of Stamps was good and bad for me since it gave the game an extra challenge to it, but it also required me purchasing a Membership in order to get every single stamp. It took me a very long time to do that but I was glad to finish my Stamp Collection before the game ended. As time went on I knew that Club Penguin will not last forever, but that it would last forever as memories.

The Club Penguin Community has some of the greatest people I have ever met in my lifetime. There were parties going on the island which had a mascot walking around and I remember using multiple xat chat groups with other die-hard fans searching server to server just to get there autograph. Other great memories I have had during the lifespan of the game is talking to people on Twitter and talking about how our days were going for us which still continues to this day. Finally the blogging experience I have had on this game has definitely had its up and downs to when I could post or not, but it was fun to make a little fan site about the game that hits close to home. The Community has shown that it can make a positive impact on the world whether that be donating to Coins for Change or saying final goodbyes to a player that sadly passed away last year. I know that the some players will continue on with their lives pretending nothing happened at all. I also know that there will be players that will rant and complain why Club Penguin had to be shut down. And of course there will be people that will go as far as to make multiple email accounts and spam the ratings out of Club Penguin Island who have not been on the game for years. I am not in any of these categories as I will continue to follow the franchise that has been created and move on with players who will also stick with the games next chapter.

It was the last day of Club Penguin, March 29, 2017. After so many years spending time and money buying memberships and plush toys with codes with them, I was at the games end. I knew that I wanted to play every single mini-game that was available on the island which is why I spent to month of March making those Blog Posts about every single mini-game. That took many days to do and I was glad to go through with it. The other thing I wanted to do on that specific day is to hang around on the Island one last time with my friends. The clock was ticking as there was only hours left until the game was gone forever. I knew it was going to be difficult to swallow once the servers went offline so I did as many things as I could do. I played Puffle Launch a couple of times trying to get better scores on my time because the game glitched on me not saving the times I did, but it did get all of the stamps for the game. On Twitter I talked to users asking them how they would spend their last day and they wanted to go on the Server Marshmallow where we could hang out with players such as Lebron Jr 23, Riyita, and Pup1one. During the last hour of Club Penguin I recorded everything that was happening to find that it was very sad to know that the game only had minutes to live. Around the last 20 minutes of the game there were a ton of players that gathered together in the Snow Forts putting out Emotions and Dancing as hard as we could. Looking at my Settings tab on my Penguin I saw that he was exactly 3600 days old and that it would be the last I would see of Crzypengu in the desktop game. With all my puffles into the wild except my first one, tim on my side, I danced until I got the message saying Thank You for Playing Club Penguin, Waddle On! I stared at this screen for minutes, and those minutes turned into hours where I finally clicked the Learn More tab once I reached 3:00 PST and I realized that this chapter in my life finally closed.

Club Penguin was now over and I still can't get those feelings away. The game has had such an incredible impact on my life and I know that there is nothing that can replace it. Some players will go with another Private Server, but that does not work for me with all of the items you can receive by entering a command. Club Penguin Island will also never be as good as the Original game as it lacks the same gameplay experience. That is not such a bad thing to say since we need to have changes in our life, but it will be a struggle to know that I lost something important to me. All those items are gone and the island is nor more no matter what you can say. Players have been begging Rocketsnail to buy the game back, but that will most likely never happen unless the mobile game fails. Staff Members for the Club Penguin Island app now need to start listening to what the community says they want for this game and they also need to see how they can draw in new players to the game. We all saw this end coming and I have to thank New Horizons and Club Penguin for making this the best childhood experience I could ask for. I would also like to thank the original founders Lance Priebe, Lane Merrifield, and Dave Krysko for launching the game to the world that only started in a Basement and created a playground for Millions of kids. I would also like to say Best Fishes to the Club Penguin Community who have stood by the game for the past 11 years and for many years to come. Lets all continue to make memories with the Club Penguin franchise as we continue to Waddle On!

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