I had always been into computers. The first one that my family had that I used was an eMachine running Windows XP. Computer games were my best friend. Putt Putt, Pajama Sam, Freddi Fish, Spy Fox, those games shaped my early childhood. They captivated my early interest in computers and I spent countless hours playing through all of those games. Our local library used to have old computer games from the 2000s that I would always check out. StarFlyers was one of my favorites. When the library began the process of discarding its stockpile of old, dusty computer games, I asked them if I could take a few off their hands. I still have a few today. In fact, I may have just played The Incredible Machines a few days ago…
It was the summer of 2007. I was 8 years old and on my way to our cousin’s house. My cousin Dylan ran up to me when we arrived and was going ballistic about this penguin game. He said it was unlike anything he had ever played before. Just before I could ask him what he was rambling on about, he vanished into the computer room. I followed him and his eyes were glued to the monitor. He had a Dell computer which was a lot better than the one I had at the time. I grabbed a chair and watched what he was playing. I remember asking him what the name of the game was, but he was so hooked on trying to glide his penguin avatar through some oddly looking waves that he didn’t answer. So, I glanced at the URL bar and saw the name; Club Penguin.
He let me play for a bit after and I created my first account: Blueyneenee. (Don’t ask how I came up with that name, I don’t remember). I got a membership my first day and adopted a Blue Puffle named…Blue! Original name, I know. After I came home from my cousins, I played Club Penguin again for a few hours…and that’s about it. Yep. For some odd reason, I never played the game again up until late 2009. I still don’t know why to this day.
It was October 2009. I was at ToysRUs with my parents and I saw an aisle filled with penguin and puffle plushes. I don’t recall how I recognized them. Perhaps kids in my school were talking about the game. I asked my mom if I could get a Blue Puffle plush. I believe they costed $7 at the time. So, I got a blue one, brought it home, and created my brand new penguin…Ducky908!
My first image uploaded to Ducky908.com in July, 2012.
Starting in 2010, I started to play Club Penguin more often. I don’t have that many memories of 2010, but the first party that I have recollections of was the Holiday Party. I was blown away by the magnitude of festive decorations. Santa’s Sleigh was my favorite. Come around 2011, I played the game even more. Every day when I came home from school, I would log on and just hang out with friends and decorate igloos. It was my only way of communicating with others online for a long time. On May 1st, 2011, I created my very first blog themed around Club Penguin. I called it CPNewsForReal. I’ll admit, I may have had no idea what I was doing… I remember I installed this chat system called Envole which allowed users to talk to each other. That website didn’t last long.
Anybody need a graphic designer? 😛
I continued playing Club Penguin primarily for fun throughout 2011. My most vivid memory of that year was coming home from school on the last day of 6th grade. June 17, 2011. The Music Jam had just kicked off that day and I couldn’t wait to get home, get my neighbor on the phone, and explore the Music Jam together. Throughout 2011 me and my neighbor would always help each other track down Rockhopper. Back in these days, you had to find mascots on your own. I was a regular on a lot of Xat chats back in the day. It was its own little community. I had a lot of fun. Another memory I have of 2011 is being featured in the blog. I was ecstatic to see myself in the blog, even if it wasn’t a direct view of my penguin. It was the first time I had met Happy77, too.
I may have even recorded a short clip of me meeting Happy77…
Hop in the time machine and fast forward to March of 2012! 2012 was my favorite year of playing Club Penguin. I have so many memories of this year, and it was the peak of my enjoyment playing the game. I had been reading fan blogs for a few months by this point. Club Penguin Memories was my favorite. I remember always waking up on a Saturday morning and checking out the newest updates. In March of that year I made my first real blog, Ducky908CPCheats.com
Ducky908CPCheats was an actual Club Penguin blog. I wrote about the new parties, catalogs, pins, among other things. I continued blogging about Club Penguin throughout 2012 and in June of that year, I discovered a brand new community. An active one, full of talent and bursting with members. The Twitter community! My first Twitter, @Ducky908 was created then. I was fainstainted by how alive this place was, and just how passionate everyone was about Club Penguin. I was hooked the second I joined. The following month I moved Ducky908CPCheats which was hosted on Google’s Blogger at the time, to WordPress. I was going into uncharted waters and I recall the move being quite stressful. I also simplified the domain from Ducky908CPCheats.com to simply Ducky908.com; Monchocho was the inspiration for that change. In the end though, I made the move and continued to use WordPress up to this day.
My first header on the new Ducky908.com
From here on out, I was set. I continued blogging about the game and progressing my new Twitter account uninterrupted up until January of 2013. Back in these days, I was a sucker for using WPE Pro to hack items into my account. Reality caught up to me and Ducky908 was banned forever during that month. I thought my blogging career was over. It was during this time that I was an active user on the Xat chat Fort, where people traded penguins. I found a penguin called Riyita there and got a hold of it. My career wasn’t over…or so I thought. I couldn’t use the domain Ducky908.com anymore since the penguin was gone. So, I thought about some of my hobbies. One of them was outer space. I combined Club Penguin with space and the rest is history!
Club Penguin Space’s very first header!
With a new design, penguin name, and website name, I was ready to roll. Throughout 2013 I blogged almost every single day and continued to grow Club Penguin Space. I was a huge fan of Club Penguin’s parties when I enjoyed playing the game and wanted to show off my excitement for them with a themed header dedicated to that party. Throughout the years Club Penguin Space has sported over 20 headers; all themed around different Club Penguin parties. From Puffles, to Halloween, and even anniversaries.
2013 was a good year for the community. Twitter was bursting with life and everyone was super active. The Club Penguin team all had Twitter accounts and interacted directly with us on an almost daily basis. Polo Field, Spike Hike, Businessmoose. They were the original Twitter crew. In August of that year, Spike Hike followed me on Twitter. I was shocked! I remember waking up that morning and checking my iPod for any activity when the notification showed that Spike Hike had indeed followed me.
Which design is your favorite?
By the end of 2013, Club Penguin Space had reached 687,000 views. Beginning in 2014 I began to venture out and started drifting away from typical Club Penguin blogging. I of course still wrote the party guides and catalog cheats, but more discussions, ideas, and opinionated articles started to arise. In March of 2014, Club Penguin Space reached 1,000,000 views. Its biggest milestone yet. I had a big party on Club Penguin to celebrate the achievement. By mid year, my excitement for the game began to decline. Each and every party felt repetitive to me and I was vocal about it. You logged on, completed the mini-game, got your items, and that was it. They implemented a timer system where you would log in each day and complete a dull task that year.
I even caught the attention of Spike Hike when I wrote my discussion on why parties felt super repetitive. Sadly, things never did change much. 😛
With the sun setting on 2014, Club Penguin Space concluded the year with 1,250,000 views. My passion for the game and blogging about it in general had also diminished. However, I still had a spark of hope left in me. With this newly announced Project: Super Secret in development, it gave me something to look forward to in the world of Club Penguin.
One thing I had always dreamt about was visiting Club Penguin’s office in Kelowna! I had asked my parents many, many times to take me ever since I learnt there was such a place in 2012. After many persuasive talks and convincing, I got the opportunity to visit Kelowna for my birthday in June 2015. It was a truly amazing visit.
Meeting the people behind your favorite childhood game that you played every day for years in person was something I’d never imagine I would get to do. I remember going into the elevator to get to the floor Club Penguin had their office on. As soon as the doors opened they were standing there and shouted “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!”. I’ll admit, I was not prepared for that. xD
Club Penguin had asked me to present a PowerPoint on my experiences with the game and the community in general. I am not the most outgoing guy, nor the best speaker, so it was a big undertaking for me. In the end though, I decided to do it because I realized I would never get this chance again. I planned to speak for about 20 minutes, but ended up rambling on for close to an hour. It was intriguing to see how fascinated Club Penguin was about what I had to say.
I started blogging about Club Penguin because I enjoyed playing Club Penguin. I never once thought I would become a prominent member in the community, or gain a large social media following. Playing Club Penguin has definitely influenced my life and the skills I have picked up over the years from writing, video making, graphic designing, communication skills, audio editing, and just overall an interest in computers. None of those skills would have been achievable without Club Penguin. It wasn’t just a game about penguins for me, you know.
Over the last few years though, the game just didn’t have an appeal to me anymore. The only thing that really kept me going was the hope for the long awaited Project: Super Secret, which turned out to be the successor to the game, Club Penguin Island. I was never a fan of tablet gaming to start with, but I went in with a sense of optimism. After toying around with the app for a few months now, I have come to the conclusion that the game simply isn’t for me, and that’s fine. It’s not built for teenagers. I am at the point in my life where I have the desire to branch away from what is known to me, and discover new paths. I’ve been feeling like this for months now, to be frank. Blogging about Club Penguin has been a weight on my shoulders, and I am finally putting it to rest. With that being said, I will no longer be playing Club Penguin Island, nor blogging about it.
It’s been six years since my Club Penguin journey kicked off. Over those years I have met countless amounts of people from the community. Whether I’ve spoken to you once, numerous times, or perhaps none at all, thank you. Thank you for supporting me and reading my content throughout the years. The experience truly has been out of this world, and I will never forget it.
To the Club Penguin team, thank you for constructing the game that defined my childhood and throughout my teenage years. Thank you for the support over the years, and for the amazing tour. It was truly a remarkable visit that I’ll never forget. I wish you guys all the best with Club Penguin Island.
Blogging about Club Penguin was a true passion of mine, and I have enjoyed providing players with the latest whatabouts regarding all things Club Penguin from walkthroughs, videos, discussions, creative content, and more for the past six years. If there’s one thing I learnt from this journey, it’s that whatever you do in life, be proud of it. Be passionate about your work, take chances, and don’t worry about the outcome. As long as you’re happy with the result, that’s all that truly matters.