Rest in Peace, Club Penguin

Not just fun—it was awesome. -Aggron

The end of an era. I begin this post with this sentence fragment because I feel it most accurately squares the significance of reality with my fractured emotions. About thirty minutes ago, the Club Penguin servers were shut off permanently. It is difficult to appraise exactly what Club Penguin was and how much of an effect it had on its generation. Of course, from a literal standpoint, the game both as it was initially and as it came to be can be explained fairly simply. On the other hand, quantifying the metaphorical position of Club Penguin—its symbolic significance—is rather challenging. On paper, Club Penguin was a straightforward game, a cartoonish Flash-based virtual world; yet in actuality it was so much more than a game. Club Penguin was a community of real people who formed real friendships behind virtual avatars. For many, that virtual environment became an extension of the real world and a regular part of life. So many of us at some time in our lives invested exorbitant amounts of time and put so much of our hearts into Club Penguin that its virtuality became decidedly real. What would otherwise be an insignificant game was such a influential piece of the worlds of entire countless children. Club Penguin, ultimately, was a generation’s playground, a world of imagination which united kids as a community in a way which transcends physical boundaries.

Personally, Club Penguin had a tremendous impact on my own life. It is quite literally the definition of a section of my childhood, and besides the endless hours of fun it provided, Club Penguin is responsible for creating and reinforcing many friendships which I still have today. And, of course, without my Club Penguin obsession between 2007 and 2008, I would never have started Penguin Generation, which quickly became a fundamental constituent of my early teenage and middle school years. Penguin Generation itself is responsible for so many great memories and friendships thanks to our community’s unity in a common goal. When the original moderators and I came together to start Penguin Generation eight years ago, our underlying purpose was chasing after that intangible element of Club Penguin which had so strongly captivated all us in the past.  Although the game was never successful due mostly to my own personal failures, I do believe Penguin Generation as a community was at the very least in reach of that same magic.

Because of Club Penguin’s immeasurable importance in my life, it is heartbreaking to see it end even though I stopped playing many years ago. Furthermore, as I reflect on the impact of its closing—a death which I had no control over—I feel a deep sense of guilt over my role in deconstructing the Penguin Generation community. While I can’t change the past, I am sincerely thankful for the wonderful memories proved both by Club Penguin and, as a result, Penguin Generation. I would also like to thank everyone who was on the journey with me. It is because of you that we were and always will be the penguin generation. Below I’ve included some photos I took tonight to commemorate the end of Club Penguin. If I ever decide to piece together the videos I recorded, I’ll post that here as well.

Waddle on, friends.

~Powerflare

Continue reading

Gathering the Gang

[Edit 2017]: Without going into extreme detail, I became extremely sick for well over a year not long after this post. Ultimately, this attempt to regather everyone was unsuccessful, but please understand it was not because I wasn’t serious. I really was determined.


Update: If any of you have pictures from any Penguin Generation event (or really anything PG-related media at all—anything!), please posts links to them in the comments section! :D I want to use them for the PG history video.

Update 2: Thanks to Tromino, we have set up a new forum at http://penguingeneration.tk/!

Hey everyone, it’s Powerflare! It’s been forever, I know. I really do miss this place. Recently I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Penguin Generation. I’ve decided to do an in-depth, comprehensive video on the history of Penguin Generation. I also really want to have a reunion with as many people from Penguin Generation as possible. I would really love to reconnect with you guys! It’s been so long—yet it feels like such a short time—since I’ve been in contact with most of you; it’s a tremendous feat to gather, or regather, the gang once again.

But. I’m determined. Please, please, please, please, please comment if you see this post. Tell anyone you’re in contact with that had any remote connection to Penguin Generation. E-mail me! Send an e-mail directly to my personal e-mail at [email protected] Send me a message on Twitter. Contact me on my YouTube channel. Add me on Skype (powerflare). Please! I really want to make this happen. I miss the group and connections we once had through Penguin Generation. Let me know how you are doing, what you’ve been doing lately—anything. Hopefully I will be able to reconnect with many of you soon!

~Powerflare

Who I’ve established contact with: Aggron, Corn Chipper, Lil Potts, Wiibob7975, thebuzz76, Tromino, Odudley, wordpress1234567890, Zoraise, Juju 97 97, Fire 104, Concerer82, Wobbler35097

Memories are Made of Bliss

Hey guys, it’s Powerflare! This will be my final post on Penguin Generation as it is currently known. After slightly more than 2½ years, I have finally decided to close Penguin Generation for good. To some, this may be shocking and even saddening news; to others, it may not be a surprise at all. The least anyone can do after all the time spent on Penguin Generation is to read the entire post.

—————————————————————————————————

Allow me to explain my reasoning behind the decision to close. Ever since January 22, 2009, the day it was created, I’ve been carrying around a burden known as Penguin Generation. The day the original six Moderators created Penguin Generation, well, we had no idea what the heck we were walking into. No idea. Eventually, almost a year later, we discovered the programs necessary to create our game. One Adobe suite later, we were on our way to creating Penguin Generation, the game we dreamed of building for almost a year at this point.

I can still remember first opening Adobe Flash CS4 for the first time. I didn’t even know enough Actionscript to stop on one frame. For that matter, I didn’t know how to do anything. Because of the fact that things weren’t going very well, I didn’t put much effort into creating the game. By now, Penguin Generation had already gone through a semi-dead period where not much of anything took place, but after the failures in Flash, Penguin Generation died.

Fortunately, I always carry my portable defibrillator! :P Sometime after it’s unofficial death, I revived Penguin Generation and began posting again and “claiming” to do work, but my apathetic nature toward Flash which was born out of my initial failures had already taken root, and no real work was accomplished. However, at this point, even though I “revived” Penguin Generation, I could feel the weight of the burden of the difficulties of the requirements of making the game Penguin Generation, and I had several doubts in my mind because I wasn’t able to really build the game anyway at the time. I hid behind the excuse of the fact that I didn’t know how to get the servers to work either.

Ultimately, had I tried harder, searched harder, and had been more dedicated, maybe I would have built the game and got the servers up and running much sooner. However, that did not occur, and only after the serious pushes of multiple people did the game actual begin legitimate production. The first month of game building was great, but once I got beyond that, I was flooded with the problems and difficulties of working alone, and it became difficult and almost unbearable, so I took a break—a long one, explaining that the work was difficult and I needed time away from it.

What got me back to work was an illness which caused me to be hospitalized and subsequently stuck in my room for more than a week afterwards. This forced me to work with what I had close to me in regards to occupying myself, which includes my desk with my computers on it. I utilized this opportunity to create the last beta that would ever be released for Penguin Generation. However, once school officially let out, I basically dropped my work and pushed everything aside. The day of August 1, 2011, the day the final decision was made, was the day the summer party was to be released. However, my dad and I wanted to go see Captain America which just came out not too long ago, but this conflicted with the fact that I had to release the summer party. At this point, I knew I had to stop.

Of course, that was not the only real-life scheduling conflicts I’ve run into. It was just the final one I would put up with. This whole time I’ve had to sacrifice so much time and so much energy—and for what? That time could’ve been used to spend with family or friends. That is precious time I cannot recover. I’ve had many sleepless nights due to this game. I’ve spent hundreds to thousands of my own money on this project and all for what? I wasted so much money doing this project. I spent more and more money on something to make it only increasingly more difficult on my life.

Also, from day one, I have been the only real worker here at Penguin Generation. No one else has done anything to contribute to the game. No one. Yeah, I’ve had help with blog themes, headers, ect., but that only saves me a bit of time. What it doesn’t do is save me the 8 hours I might have to spend on a Friday night fixing bugs and glitches. That is not what I want to do with my Friday nights in the school year. Yes, other Mods have done some work, but nothing to ease the burdens of making this game. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what has been done to help me out—I am thankful for it—but nothing has been done that was useful for making the actual game. So yeah, it may sound conceited or arrogant, and probably hateful and insulting, but I am the only Moderator who has done any real work. I’ve never really considered any other Moderator actually “helpful” because all the real work falls on me, and in the end, the harsh truth which I don’t want to admit but must be said is that Penguin Generation has always been a one-man-army.

In addition to the real-life difficulties of creating this game, I’ve had to deal with the—and I’m sorry to say this—terrible fanbase we’ve had over the years. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had good fans, but only a small amount. I get badgered every day about turning on the server. I get complaints about not turning on the server. I’ve even gotten a complaint the day after a beta was released about how there should be a newer beta. It’s ridiculous guys! I do so much work for you guys and I hardly ever get any gratitude in return. Even if it’s not complaining, our fans seem to not listen. No matter how many times we say something, tons of people will still ask the same question or complain, even when the matter has been dealt with over months ago. The are hardly more than 3 comments on a normal basis, which shows lackluster support from the fanbase too.

I need you guys to understand that I am not obligated to create this game for you in anyway as I am doing it FOR FREE. If you are complaining about how stuff takes forever to get done, well, that’s what happens when someone who has a life, is in school, works for free, and works alone works on a difficult project. Just be happy there is a beta to play sometimes. Of course, now there will not be any beta to play at all, because I’m finished with Penguin Generation. I’m sure I’ll still get questions about me turning on the server, though. :| Just so you know, we’ve had some great fans here—most of them are good online friends today. Most of our viewers have not been good fans or really fans at all, which greatly disappoints me after all the work that I’ve done.

In addition to all of the above, I didn’t like the theme of the game Penguin Generation, and therefore, I didn’t even really want to make it. I quit Club Penguin about two years ago; therefore, Penguin Generation would be pointless for me to make. I only continued due to pressure from “fans” and the fact that I wanted to advance my computer skills. That was my thought a while ago, but I just can’t take it at this point.

—————————————————————————————————

At this time, I’d like to reflect upon the many good times there have been at Penguin Generation. I remember that a few days after the blog was created, we had already connected with a few fans that we brought in from other sites and got some really cool room ideas finished. It was pretty basic, but for the programs we had at our disposal then, it wasn’t too bad. It was a fun day—getting to communicate with new fans and come up with neat ideas. I remember the first anniversary party which was amazing and full of so many good memories. Tons of fans showed up to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, and it was also the first time we did our Mod/fan awards, which worked out great that year.

I remember all of the Site Renovations when Mods go together and fixed up the site. We all had a blast making fun and creative touch-ups to the site. I sincerely thank all of you guys who liked to hang out on the forums, because that has been 100% pure epic. Our random, spontaneous forum parties have been really fun, and it’s been a really cool, unique opportunity to get to know some of you better. I remember having fun on the chat during chat parties, and even hanging out on Club Penguin with some of you guys. I have had a lot of fun at Penguin Generation outside of the high-stress, all-work aspect which grew and grew as time moved on, unfortunately. But in the beginning, it was a lot of fun, and our almost all fans were actually really cool back then.

Through Penguin Generation, I’ve made tons of good friends which has made the experience worthwhile. I have tons of regrets about Penguin Generation, almost to the point where I would regret making the game if it weren’t for all of the awesome friends that I’ve made. I stated earlier that our fanbase has been pretty poor, but that is the overall fanbase. There are still a bunch of guys out there who are awesome fans and friends, and it is because of them that I don’t regret making Penguin Generation. I have many unforgettable memories from Penguin Generation, and what makes them so unforgettable is the fact that I’ve shared them with such great friends.

—————————————————————————————————

Now I want to take the time to thank and acknowledge various people who’ve helped Penguin Generation or been meaningful to me in the online world over the past couple years.

Wiibob7975: I remember when you and your brother first came to PG. Ever since you came, you’ve been one of the best supporters Penguin Generation has ever had. Not only were you a great, loyal fan, but also a really good friend to me—despite our constantly differing opinions and different interests and personalities (though we do find lots of common ground, too). You’ve helped me out with a lot of things since I’ve met you and even helped mold me as a person (in some ways). I really appreciate your friendship and the support that you’ve shown to Penguin Generation over the years.

Chub 777: Man, you made the whole forum experience so much better! I remember our first random mini-parties on the free forum section and how much fun they were. You been a good friend to me and an amazing Penguin Generation supporter for a really long time. In fact, I’ve know you longer than most people on Penguin Generation. You ran the most active Penguin Generation news blog on the web, though I guess you don’t have to run it anymore. xD In all seriousness, I am so thankful that I’ve been able to hang out with you all these years. You’ve been one of my greatest online friends of all time; thanks for all you’ve done! ;)

Aggron: WordPress servers: “Your post is too long, please shorten it.” Ah, dang it! I gotta shorten Aggron’s acknowledgement AGAIN!? Poop. :mrgreen:

Well… I don’t know exactly how to write this or what words to use. No matter how many times I try to write this, it won’t come out right. You did everything you could do to help with Penguin Generation, which is impressive, considering you don’t even have Flash. You were my best online friend of all time… you were there during the hard times of my online career… and the good times. You were there all those awesome days on Xat. Heck, you were there when the Escalation map pack came out so we could play Call of the Dead. We share many common interests and similar personalities (to a certain degree). If we didn’t, Penguin Generation probably would never have gotten as far as it did.

I find it quite interesting that something as small as a simple idea for a better Club Penguin could form such a huge friendship. It’s hard to imagine where our friendship would be if Penguin Generation never started—would we even be friends at all? (Probably not, I’d have another online best friend named Lairon. Tee-hee!) You were practically the only reason I’d come online some days. Work on Penguin Generation? Nonsense! That’s boring. No, I’d come on to talk to you. I guess our friendship grew even stronger when I was at your house for the entire weekend and kept forcing your brother to get off the Xbox… and torment your dog with a tomato. I’m glad we’ve been friends for so long and hope we can continue to be friends for a lot longer.

Fire 104: Ah, my cheese-loving friend, this was the last project I got to work on with you. You were my second friend ever in my blogging career, and no doubt my oldest online friend to ever have anything to do with Penguin Generation. It was great working with you while you were around. I remember way, way back when we used to post all the time for each other—it was a lot of fun, in my mind. :D Having the honor of working on your blog was incredible! You were a great friend to me, and I appreciate all of the fun times we’ve spent together. Thanks!

Frosty1297: You were my first good female online friend. That makes the first out of two currently. :P Anyways, you’ve been so fun to chat with! I didn’t really talk to you much back during the time I ran my blog, but I got to know you a lot better since Penguin Generation started. You’ve given me lots of wise advice, and your happy and cheerful attitude (though I can sense a sinister, evil attitude beneath it all :o) plus your delightful humor which is strangely almost a mirror image of mine has made it enjoyable to hang out with you. Thanks for being a good friend to me. :)

Violin Playa: You’ve been an amazing friend to me as well. I remember how you came up with tons of great ideas in the first few days of PG. Sadly, you disappeared from PG, but you were still a good friend to me. :D You’ve always been helpful to me. The day I met you, you spent at least an hour helping me find the Penguin Band on Club Penguin. Not many people would do that for someone they just met a few minutes ago. I’ve gotten to know you better through Skype, and learned the most important thing about you that I could learn… that you’ve never seen snow! :o  But seriously, thanks for all that you’ve done for me!

Tromino: =D You’ve been a lot of fun to hang out with. Whether it be on the forums or on Xat, we’ve had loads of fun together. Thank you for all your support with Penguin Generation—you tested all the betas and were even involved in the making of a video for Penguin Generation. We share a lot of common interests, so it’s just natural that we’d get along so well. You’ve been an awesome friend to me, thanks!

Here are some other people who have been helpful, supportive, and have shared their friendship over the years: Splasher99, Poison Dude, Darknerr, Wobbler35097, Gokhan137CP, Mew Man54, and many others.

—————————————————————————————————

I guess there’s not much else to say… well, there is, but I’m just running out of words because at this point I am at 2,709 words so my brain is getting tired. :P I wanted to show you this video before I close.

I guess… it’s time now. It’s time… to say goodbye to Penguin Generation. Updates on what will happen with the blog and forums will be posted on the Penguin Generation Twitter account. Thanks so much for everything guys! Goodbye!

:) Powerflare, signing out! :)

New Theme!

Hey guys, it’s Powerflare! I just wanted to point everyone’s attention to the new theme created by our newest mod with some amazing talents, Wwe Best Fan! He coded the CSS and made tons of graphics including the amazing header (which I slightly modified, tee-hee)! I will be making some graphics in the future, too, so I don’t have to ask for a new graphic every time I make a new widget, page ect.

You should really check out Wwe’s graphics shop at http://thecpgfxshop.wordpress.com/. Here you can order graphics from one of the most talented graphic designers I’ve met. =D

~Powerflare

PG Beta Hat Poll 2

Out of the four choices, we eliminated 3 and now have one hat, but we can only compare that to the hat the Moderators really wanted to use from the beginning (its our “trump card” hat). So vote:

~Powerflare

If the Red/Blue beats the Green/Black, the Green/Black may become a Moderator specific (and special event, giveaway ect.) item.

PG Beta Hat Poll

Vote. Now.