Sometimes things really come into perspective after causing two oven fires within a week’s time, on of those realizations being that I should stick to stovetop cooking and the other being a yet another realization of how quickly time passes - spring semesters really fly by quickly for me. Whether that is a result of the countdown to St. Pat’s and consequently, midterms and Spring Break and before you know it, it is finals week. Time really seemed to stand still when I was a kid, I was always wanting to get older, gain seniority on the bus, etc.; however, once high school hit, my conceptual perception of time and maturity sped up substantially.
Every once in awhile, I experience this revelation, just this time was not a birthday or significant event, it was a result of my very limited cooking skills and true adulthood looming in my future - post-graduation “adulting.” These very real and adult responsibilities looming in on me, dampening the blissfully ignorant state of adulthood that I have situated myself in, made me realize that I am not prepared for it and that I would rather reminisce about my childhood than think about the uncertainties of my future without parental support, which led me to think about my time online as a kid, specifically on Club Penguin. I was never really good at the Sims or SimCity - where I mostly sought to see how fast I could bankrupt my city, tank my approval rating as mayor, and ultimately, did not have the attention span for either; however, I did excel at Club Penguin, it provided the interaction and engagement that I needed and I could switch up what I was doing constantly. Regardless of my own strengths and weaknesses in computer “gaming,” - I do not know if you could even call it that - the coming of St. Pat’s and midterms also means that Club Penguin will be shutting down in the coming weeks. On January 30th, 2017, Club Penguin issued a statement announcing that the current online game interface will be discontinued on March 29th of this year. Their stated intent is for the game to be succeeded by Club Penguin Island shortly after. While the news of Club Penguin shutting down is not necessarily new, in combination with my snowballing realization and reminiscing, brought forth questions regarding the future of online games for children. Is this the start of my childhood (online) joys becoming outdated and thus will not be able to revisit them? What is next in children’s online games and online social interactions?
While Club Penguin is technically being replaced with an app, it is hard to say that it will ever be the same. First and foremost, if I want to go on Club Penguin and troll, I do not want to have to redownload an app every time. Additionally, I would rather not tarnish my associated memories by a subpar software application and I do not have the space on my phone for it. I do not doubt that other previous users, with multiple accounts and temporary to permanent bans, have the same feelings about it being replaced with an app and thus will impact the online social interaction between users. Technically, this would probably be for the best seeing that the game is geared toward children, but it might also lead children to start playing less age appropriate games instead of Club Penguin and having less age appropriate social interactions. In the end, it comes down to parental control.
Even if I have no intention of revisiting this cherished pastime due to a new software platform, I will miss the inspired creativity it gave me to make suggestive/questionable usernames in order to get around the censors and getting repeatedly banned for racey comments. There is no doubt that I am one of many that feel the same way - long live the memories.