Ascending the Club Penguin Social Ladder

The trials and tribulations of a thrifty social climber

Illustrator: Peyton Garcia

It’s a cruel, cruel world—and if you can recall, the virtual world of Club Penguin was no exception. Once you chose the name and color of your penguin alter ego, it was every penguin for themselves. And though you were ready to commence your adventures in the Antarctic,

Club Penguin had one minor legal hoop: the parental confirmation email.

However, this juvenile formality did little to take from the seriousness of the task at hand. It was up to you to make yourself something out of nothing. With no possessions and no money to your name, you had to stoically bear the responsibility of providing for your penguin.

Your ticket from penguin pleb to king penguin depended on an ostentatious display of wealth. There was no time to waste. Everything depended on making it to the top of the Club Penguin social hierarchy. Can’t afford an exotic collection of puffles? Unimpressive. Your igloo tiling doesn’t double as a dance floor? Pitiful. The only way to achieve such proportions of grandeur was to make a sound investment. Sustaining the nouveau-riche standards of penguin culture called for one thing and one thing only: becoming a member.

Enter nepotism: befriending the cousin with the membership.

The demanding Club Penguin lifestyle can put any parent’s relationship with their child to the test. As soon as you realized that your pleading to them was futile, you had no choice but to rely on outside resources. It was time to teach your one cousin with a membership a lesson in sharing.

Although it did take some coaxing, your cousin eventually complied, scribbling down his password like he was writing you a check. When you had finally reached the glorious land of members-only perks, you knew you had a lot of work to do. Your cousin had made all the wrong calls. His penguin’s outfit lacked finesse and the furniture in his igloo did not match gasp. It took work to be an elite, and if Club Penguin taught you anything, it’s that an entourage of puffles could make anybody seriously mega.