This is not new news, as it’s been reported by a few media resources and blogs already. But it’s a new experience for me. Last night I discovered and enjoyed social networking for preteens in an environment known as Club Penguin, where I played games and made friends.
And no, I probably shouldn’t have been there, especially since the British Columbia-based Web company strives to make the site as safe as possible for its young participants. At first, I was a little bored, but that was only because I hadn’t yet made sense of what it was all about. That was up until an 8-year-old showed me the way.
My colorful penguin had a unique screen name and lived in an igloo, but mainly waddled around what appears to be the North Pole, while making friends and playing games. While playing games, my penguin earned virtual coins with which it could purchase items to trick out its igloo or adopt cute, cuddly pets called Puffles. There are even paid memberships that enable users to adopt more pets, more TVs and stereos for their igloos, and throw parties for their penguin friends. Paid memberships even enable users to outfit their penguins in various styles.
I had a great time learning about Club Penguin, but I think that in the future I’ll partake only in over-the-shoulder glances at my 8-year-old guide’s play.