If your child is a resident of the ice-capped wonderland online, there’s good news. The Internet game, Club Penguin, is now officially in India. “Children and families in India have really embraced Club Penguin and it was important to us to respond to that demand by making it easier for them to purchase memberships in the virtual world,” Robb Beeston, head of Disney Online Studios, Asia Pacific, says.
A screenshot of Chimpoo’s world.
Though the game is free to play you can buy additional benefits by purchasing subscriptions. These can now be paid for in Indian currency and the charges are Rs 199 per month.
A parent’s email address is required to create a penguin, and parental permission is required in order to activate an account and allow play within the virtual world. Parents can also create their own account, which allows them to log on and view their child’s account history, change their child’s password, choose a different chat mode and set the time of day and duration of their child’s visit to Club Penguin.
A screenshot of a house in Chimpoo.com.
The game, which is now a global phenomenon and has around 10 million players, was started by two Canadian developers, Lance Priebe and Lane Merrifield, in 2005. Their intention was to build a social networking platform for kids. Disney acquired the game in August 2007.
Each player gets his own penguin avatar. The game is divided into various rooms and different areas. Each player is provided with an igloo. Members can buy virtual clothes and igloo decorations. Players can also read the free virtual weekly newspaper. It is accessible within the game and contains news, features and comics about Club Penguin. It also allows players to write to Aunt Arctic and ask questions and seek advice about the club. Users can also submit questions, jokes, riddles, poems, comics, fan art, and tips or secrets to The Penguin Times, which may appear in the next issue.
A coffee shop in Club Penguin.
In India though, Club Penguin will have to fight with an indigenous version. In March, Games2Win
launched Chimpoo.com, a virtual game where kids get a chimp avatar that they can personalize and play with on a beach. Players earn coins on winning games and these can be used to buy clothes to dress Chimpoo. Players also get a sand castle that can be decorated with trinkets exchanged for coins.
Club Penguin world.
“Beyond getting kids to creatively express themselves, it is increasingly being demonstrated that allowing kids early on to dive into a digital virtual world encourages them to work hard (play games), earn money (receive coins), spend conscientiously (budget coins for clothes for the avatar and items in the virtual house) and helps them understand the dynamics of real life and learn to enjoy the cycle of work and reward,” Alok Kejriwal, CEO and founder of Contests2Win, says of Chimpoo.com.