Disney’s Club Penguin

Club Penguin is one of Disney’s many online gaming sites. The visual reality game is aged at children ages 6-14 and has over 30 million users (one of which is my little brother).

This online community of predominantly kids is a positive example of how child friendly gaming can be achieved. With the age graphic as low as it is, child safety is the main precaution. The key approaches to this include ‘safe chat modes’ which limit users to certain phrases, prevents users from inappropriate usernames and blocks profanity or any personal details. Its estimated that the company employ over 70 staff to police the game.

Children benefit from this like adults do when entering virtual reality gaming. They can take part in challenges, win awards, connect with friends and make friends alike. All in a safe environment which, is the biggest selling point from a parents prospective.

Whilst memberships are free their is also a paid option which allows players to access all the content provided. Obviously Disney wants this option to appeal to people so plug it regularly throughout the game. The reason I mentioned my brother previously was because he saw these added extras and like any child, kicked and screamed till my mum agreed to pay the membership fee. This fee is probably one of the only downsides of the site. Obviously the question of age regulation arises regularly, this can be forged and any age group can play the game, however, like I’ve mentioned previously, this site is one of the safest online currently and new privacy settings are released and improved regularly.

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http://www.clubpenguin.com

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3 Comments

  1. Even I remember using this online community when I was younger. My identity was never revealed and I did not know anyone’s real identity. The child safety is obviously really important so it’s good they employ around 70 members of staff to focus on this. Especially as criminals are really cleaver online so extra precautions are always needed. I never had a paid membership but I did always want one. I can only think that my mum did not know the website herself so didn’t feel comfortable paying for my membership.

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  2. This is a good example of a healthy online community, that employed specific rules of communication. Since children themselves would not be cautious about the language they use or the content they post, it is of great importance that those are regulated by the administrators of the website. However, don’t you think that the member fee is a kind of exploitation? Surely children cannot pay this fee by themselves, but they can scream and cry until their parents agree to pay it, like in the case of your family.

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  3. Yes I also think this is a good example for a positive online community and I like that you talked about the regulations of this website. As it is mainly used by kids it is really important to have those set rules to avoid negative consequences. On the other hand, I am always a little bit sceptic when it comes to online communities for little kids. I’m not sure if it is healthy for children to spend too much time online, with the possibility to create online identities and make ‘friends’ online instead of playing with their school friends outside. But I guess that’s just the general development of the next generation… Overall, with all the regulations you mentioned, it is indeed one of the online communities that canbe seen as good for children.

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