Club Penguin’s Ways…

I think one of the biggest challenges is the irresponsible nature with which our industry has taken care of kids for a long time – so there’s a great cynicism out there, and understandably so,” Merrifield told

“I’m a parent myself, and part of why we created Club Penguin was my own frustration with what was out there.”

Merrifield also thinks that there is an over-reliance on technology that ignores the human element, which is why they’ve decided to devote two-thirds of the company’s staff to positions such as safety moderators and customer service.

“We know the limits of technology, even though I would put our filtering software up against anybody’s, especially because of that human element – we’re adding 500 to 1000 words every day to the filters, simply because of slang that works its way into the language.

“And every new pop song that comes out is inevitably going to reference something that was innocent the week before, but isn’t so much now,” Merrifield said.

The company faced a challenge trying to explain the concept to people who would try to compare it to Facebook or MySpace – the antithesis of Club Penguin, which encourages kids not to reveal any personal identifiable information.

MMO Week: Industry has been irresponsible with kids // News //

WOOT.  This is a solid, compact report from CP (thanks co-worker Brian, for passing this along). 

The #’s for their filters does NOT surprise me.  They have extensive chat choices in CP, and it almost feels at times that you can say just about anything.  They have a HUGE staff in their fortified HQ, all of whom spend their days just thriving with the site, rolling continuously with the punches, etc.  Rock stolid team. 

And the great thing about VW’s like CP is that it’s about identity exploration.  You are expected NOT to be you-as an identifiable individual- but you as you want to play.  It’s the imaginary you-as-a-penguin-blob.  All visual judgments are based on how you present yourself (which is usually as wacky as possible – I am in a squid suit at all times, some times with a tie, some times with a tennis racket…).  

Anyway, I thought the content of this article (namely the word to filter #’s) were impressive and great to share.

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