Monday, September 17, 2007

Club Penguin: Re-imaging Game Mechanics With Tip The Iceberg

club penguin

The first thing you notice is that everyone is really
dressed up. When you click on another penguin, their “Player Card”
appears. This shows all of the pins, hats, props, and accessories that
the penguin has acquired by completing various missions and shopping at
various stores. The net result is that a lot of penguins end up looking
like Elton John. (As Emily Yoffe points out, you must have a paid
subscription to Club Penguin to properly outfit your penguin.) Many
initial penguin-to-penguin comments are sartorial in nature, such as
“Where did you get that hat?” or “Nice outfit.” A common opener,
though, is the one that the pink penguin directed my way: “boy or girl?”

…Going to someone’s igloo usually means admiring how they’ve
decorated it with three flatscreen TVs, an aquarium, and a drum set.
You might do a little dancing to the booming rock soundtrack (penguins
can acquire special dance moves) and then go your separate ways. After
all, there are constant parties to attend.

…The iceberg is the site of Club Penguin’s most resilient urban
legend: If enough penguins gather on one side of the iceberg, it will
tip… The iceberg has never tipped, yet the idea will not die. If you
hang around for a bit, a penguin might show up and start drilling, or a
penguin would appear and shout, “TIP THE ICEBERG,” and start corralling
everyone to one side. One tipping theory held that all penguins on the
iceberg had to be the same color, leading to some incidents of
colorism: “Get out of here blue!” A legend like this is a sign of a
healthy game. Players are so invested in trying to figure out how the
world works that they go beyond what the designers have intended.

Article Link

No comments: