Club Penguin is a game invented by Disney, primarily geared towards children. After creating and naming their own personal penguin, players roam around the town completing different games, making friends, adopting pets, and attempting to tip the iceberg. There are two different game player modes- one where players can type anything they want their penguin to say (although there is some filter in place so players can’t say curse words, I am unsure of the extent to which the filter works for racist and sexual language) and another where the penguin only has predetermined statements. This inherently limits the created identities of the players, and they exist on the same platform. One penguin with free language can be in conversation with one who has limited statements. In games where players create their own identities, it seems like the more identity aspects left to be determined, the higher likelihood there is for a pedagogy to be created. In Nakamura’s piece, she spoke about how racialization in World of Warcraft created a division of labor for monetary gain. Though neither game has a clear end-all goal, the mere existence of the characters are defined by their traits. Is it better for children to be able to develop well rounded identities for their characters or to limit it as intensely as limiting what they can and can’t say? The extent of character creation in World of Warcraft posed to be problematic, and I’m wondering if introducing a similar platform to children would lead them to be more or less accepting when they’re older. Additionally, I have to wonder if children would inherently create a system where one is superior to another, or if that is a learned idea.
Hannah BruderGames, Intersectionality