Say goodbye to all your spare time and dig up your old CD of Fergie's debut solo album because Club Penguin is back.
The massively popular multiplayer online game was relaunched earlier this week, and it already has 6 million "Registered Penguins," according to its official Twitter account. Club Penguin was first made public in 2005 and rose to peak popularity in 2007 when Disney acquired it and it became Disney's Club Penguin with millions of users. In 2011, the website celebrated its 150 million users by launching an app, but interest faded by 2017 and the online game was shuttered.
Club Penguin Online is a private gaming server inspired by the original Disney game. It's a virtual world where players live as penguins, earning coins to decorate their igloos, "buy" puffle pets, and date their classmates. Back in the day, you could earn bragging rights at school when you got kicked out of the game for swearing, a policy that, in 2020, is very much still in place.
The virtual world was layered with games that took you ice-fishing and sled-racing. You could work at a pizzeria or as a spy. And if you were deeply committed, you begged your parents to pay for a Club Penguin Membership, which cost about five dollars a month.
Upon its recent reintroduction, the game has experienced an influx of high school and college students, undoubtedly leaning into nostalgia as they're confined to their childhood bedrooms. Club Penguin was how we hung out with our friends after school, and those same players are returning to hang out with classmates and friends they can't be with due to current shelter-in-place orders and canceled classes. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gen Z is hosting group therapy sessions, parties, birthday celebrations, and even graduations on Club Penguin Online.
When you log back on, remember to align with your friends to make sure you're all playing on the same server. It's no surprise that the influx of players is overwhelming the servers, so be patient as you log on.
It couldn't be a better time for the return of the classic online game, with cottagecore content and cozy games like Animal Crossing and abundant homebound hours to fill. Club Penguin Online provides a sense of nostalgia and community for a generation whose social and school lives have been upended by the pandemic.
Correction April 3rd, 2020: An earlier version of one of this story's headlines incorrectly referred to Club Penguin Online as Disney's Club Penguin. We sincerely regret the error.