So I really enjoyed exploring a social network that wasn’t part of the typical top four. So I thought I’d explore one aimed at yet another niche; kids!
So Club Penguin is a MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) involving a virtual world targeted at kids that offers a large variety of online games and activities that each individual can play with their chosen penguin avatar.
What is it your children are actually doing parents may ask? According to Club Penguin, “players create a penguin and explore the snow-covered island of Club Penguin, engaging in a variety of fun and imaginative activities. Players can chat, send greeting cards, use emotes (emotion icons), or choose from a set of pre-defined actions such as waving or dancing. Users can also attend theme parties and special events, take on a role in the latest stage play, adopt and care for a cute and cuddly puffle pet, and play games to earn virtual coins which can be used to design the perfect igloo and create hundreds of outfits for their penguin. New content is added every week.”
Aimed at 6-14 year olds but offered to all ages, we can see the appeal for children and the worry of parents that always goes hand-in-hand! This social networking site has taken the children world by storm causing controversy with parents, due to the consumerism and privacy issues that come with children and technology.
The site was bought by Walt Disney Productions Co. in 2007 for a whopping $350 million, with another $350 million offered if specific targets were reached by 2009. Making money off kids is what Disney does best.
Arrington, Michael (2007). Extremely Happy Feet: Disney Acquires Club Penguin For Up to $700 million, TechCrunch. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2007/08/01/disney-acquires-club-penguin.
Club Penguin (2011). Q & A, Club Penguin. Retrieved from http://www.clubpenguin.com/company/news/Club_Penguin-QA.htm.
Feldman, Barbara (2011). Internet Safety, What is Club Penguin?, Surfing the Net with Kids. Retrieved from http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/safety/611/what-is-club-penguin-2/.