Wednesday, March 26

Yet another obsession


Recently, at work, many of us were asked to check out a growing web site for kids called Club Penguin. It was my job to go online and immerse myself in this kids website for a while. That was about a month ago. We have all become Club Penguin fanatics. Some became more "immersed" than others and many spouses have become equally obsessed. If you have kids you probably know about this site, if not, I recommend you give it a try. It's such fun! Of course, it's fun for me because I have friends who are WAY into it.

If you're not familiar with it, allow me to explain. You go online and create a penguin for yourself. The obvious names are taken so you have to be creative. Next, you cruise around and get to know the place. Eventually you become so obsessed that you'll want a paid membership to enjoy some extras... trust me. Either way, you play games to earn coins and you can go shopping for clothes, accessories, a new igloo, furniture for your igloo and so on. You can also buy a pet called a puffle. Your puffle lives in your igloo and needs to be regularly fed and loved.

It never gets boring because the site is constantly changing. There is a newspaper that drops hints on where to find free things for your penguin or how to solve an ongoing mystery. There are catalogs of stuff to earn and buy and then they retire some of them so they become extra-special. Holidays are a lot of fun too. I got my free leprechauns hat over St. Patrick's day weekend and some Easter eggs over Easter weekend. I can't wait to see what they do for April Fool's day!

There are also lots of legends on the site. For instance, you never know if anyone has ever actually managed to "tip the iceberg" floating out at sea, or turned into a ninja or found a golden puffle. They all seems to be stories started by the kids. Some legends are hinted in the online newspaper and seriously discussed among the penguins. You can meet friends and have penguin parties in your igloo to talk about it all. I know because I've met friends for "parties" on our lunch hour. It's all a ridiculous blast. You should see the tricked out igloos I've seen that have been created by 38 year olds.

You can talk to other kids here too. But before you freak out about child predators... don't. (Of course, I DID freak out when my 5-year-old niece first introduced me to this site. She sat on my lap as I watched over her shoulder while she talked to and played with other penguins. After about an hour I started to feel comfortable with the idea. I've been letting her and her brother play on Club Penguin on their own ever since.) Turns out the site has award winning safety standards and has moderators everywhere. If a penguin asks for or gives ANY personal information other penguins report them immediately. I know this works because I saw my nephew report a penguin who seemed to be giving their full name to another. You are asked to report mean penguins or anyone who is seen using bad language. Once reported, those penguins are removed from the site but, best of all, they are first shunned by the other penguins. It's the best application of peer pressure I've ever seen. The site promotes, team work, friendship, wacky humor and being kind to others. Bullying is so NOT ok. I love it! All that and it's fun too. I can not tell you how much I would have loved this as a kid. I know I sound like an ad for the place but I genuinely love it.

Today, I was on a particularly painful phone call with somebody pitching me an idea. It seemed that he might die if he ever stopped talking so I fired up clubpenguin.com and began "Puffle Herding". It's a game that has a nice coin payoff. They man spoke for so long that I earned 6000 coins! That was enough for the super-cute, pink, candy, bi-level igloo I'd been eyeing. I was also able to afford the blinking disco floor I'd been pining for. You heard me, baby!

Hello my name is Lucy and I'm a Club Penguin addict.

Tonight, I called my nephew so we could sign on the same server at the same time so I could add him to my Buddy List. We had a good snow ball fight then he showed me some fun secret places in the Club Penguin world. He tried to help me on one of my Secret Agent Missions but at the last minute I failed him.

Nephew: Ok. NOW, get your night vision goggles.
Lucy: Umm, I haven't bought night vision goggles yet.
Nephew: WHAT?!
Lucy: Sorry!
Nephew: They cost 1000 coins. You better go herd some Pu-ffles!

I laughed so hard at being berated by an eight-year-old that he kept repeating "herd some puffles... herd some puffles... herd some puffles." I'm sure it's one of those "you had to be there" stories but man was I laughing.

Needless to say I've got to go herd some puffles and earn those goggles. Catch you later!

1 comment:

Trooperdog said...

My daughter is addicted to it too!