Welcome to April everyone, the world is still crumbling under coronavirus, but there is a light in the darkness. And his name is Club Penguin. Last week, when we were getting deep in Internet nostalgia feels about the childhood websites we were revisiting, Club Penguin was actually absent from the list.
Club Penguin, like the rest of us, has had its ups and downs. The site, which was bought out by Disney back in 2007, was the 8th top social networking site in the world by April 2008, according to Nielsen but was shut down in 2017 due to a declining membership. But, from the ashes of 2020’s coronavirus riddled first quarter, a phoenix has risen. Club Penguin is back, and already boasts a membership of six million registered users(!!!!).
This Club Penguin reboot (which is actually Club Penguin Online, according to the site and its Twitter account) appears to come from a game maker independent of the Disney monolith. The site’s membership is also now *free*, so you can get those sweet, sweet wardrobe upgrades without having to ask for your parents credit card… though I guess enough time has lapsed that we’d be using our own ones now anyway. Love that for us. :’)
Much like the collective migration of our lives onto Animal Crossing: New Horizons, users on Club Penguin are hosting graduation parties, weddings, formals, hitting the club, discussing Marxist discourse—all the good stuff we could still do pre-lockdowns. So yes, while the conversation might be a little different now, you can still hang out in your igloo with a friend until 2 am. What a treat.
It’s another welcome distraction in a long line of free online concerts, DJ nights, lectures and fashion courses that the internet’s drip feeding us in iso, and you can play the new Club Penguin right now here. So if you need me I’ll be where I always am. In The Online.