What is Club Penguin?
Anyone can create a Club Penguin account for free. Once you have an account, you can explore the site's virtual world as a cartoon-penguin avatar. Several mini-games are available for free, but the more advanced and in-depth parts of Club Penguin can only be accessed by paying members.
Back in 2005, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace were gaining rapid popularity with teens and adults. Two Canadian entrepreneurs and parents, Lane Merrifield and Lance Priebe, saw this—and, more importantly, saw that there was no acceptable alternative for kids and tweens. Social networks aimed at kids (such as the late imbee.com) existed, but none had been able to strike the right balance between fun and safety. 1 Merrifield and Priebe took the challenge to create a kid-safe virtual community, and they succeeded with Club Penguin.
Concerns for Parents
- Club Penguin is fabulously designed and maintained—the game is monitored in such a way that cyberbullying, grooming from online predators, and exposure to inappropriate content is hardly an issue. However, any game can become a distraction from schoolwork, family time, or other important aspects of a balanced life.
- Though Club Penguin is not designed to be addictive, as many MMORPGs deliberately are, online gaming addiction is a possibility.
- Instills in kids, from a very young age, to rely on media for their social life(friends, etc) which could impede them socially in the future.
How Can I Keep My Child Safe?
- Monitor the amount of time your child spends playing Club Penguin, or any other game. Though becoming addicted to Club Penguin is highly unlikely, you should make sure that your child isn't spending too much time on the game.