Disney’s Club Penguin is a social networking page for kids which lets them explore, learn, play and interact online. MFM got the lowdown on what it’s all about and how they’re making it safe.
Club Penguin opens up a frozen world for kids where, as a penguin, they can explore different scenes - from the coffee shop through to their very own igloo. Along the way they can play games, earn virtual money, make friends and chat. It's a bright and colourful foundation for kids to build their own make-believe world upon. But how are they making it safe?
Club Penguin: In 2003, three dads got together to create somewhere safe for kids to play online. It’s a snow-covered world where you get your own penguin avatar. Kids can play games, chat with friends and become part of a community-based virtual world.
CP: First and foremost it’s about a community. It’s the kids’ world - they’re the stars of the show. Their imagination is incredible. Club Penguin’s aim is to encourage exploration, build knowledge, develop a community and to ensure kids want to come back.
CP: Disney’s Club Penguin is committed to ensuring the game is as safe as possible. Safety features include:
CP: No. Because parents have to verify the account there’s no minimum age limit, it’s left up to parents’ discretion.
CP: We’re confident that there are enough safety features and moderators to mean there isn’t anything older kids could achieve by signing up themselves without a parent’s authorisation.
CP: We don’t moderate the sites as they’re nothing to do with Club Penguin. The cheats are generally hints at how to uncover hidden areas and a way for die-hard Club Penguin fans to share what they know.
CP: We’ve had no incident within the seven years we’ve been running. We’ve been most taken with how much kids want to play and create their own role-play situations.
CP: Most of the members aren’t signed up to the monthly £3.95 membership. As a non-member you’re still able to play a lot of the games, purchase items with your coins as well as uncover secret sections. The idea is that kids will spend the time coming back to uncover more – you don’t get everything out of it from your first visit, it’s not handed to you on a plate.
CP: Anything purchased will go into inventory. You’ll get it all back if you sign up to be a member again.
CP: You can earn coins through games and other activities. You can choose to spend this on certain items. Your options are more extensive if you’re a full paid member.
CP: Definitely. New content is added every week. There are games and recipes included to encourage kids away from the virtual game. Adults can also limit the amount of time spent in the game too. If you want to find out more, head over to the parents’ section of Club Penguin.
Be very careful with Club Penguin. I joined for my kids and they both enjoyed it for a while, but once they grew out of it I discontinued the membership. Then out of the blue I noticed that Club Penguin had started charging my credit card again! I went to the website and clicked to discontinue payment and it reported that there were no recurring payments. Yet my credit card has been charged (and for about 4 months before I picked it up). I have sent an email to their billing dept. but still am waiting for a reply.
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