Cruel2BKind – Club Penguin Edition

I played Cruel2BKind on the online server Club Penguin with fellow classmates Nick, Ada, Alyssa, and Isabelle along with some friends we recruited to join. We met on zoom as we played to get everyone set up and debrief the experience. We adjusted the rules slightly as follows: 

I really enjoyed the experience even though it was very chaotic. While originally we chose to set up the game on Club Penguin for convenience as it has been so rainy, it added some very interesting elements to game play. First, I found a great deal of novelty in re-experiencing this game platform that I loved and played frequently between the ages of 8-10 but have forgotten about since. The penguin graphics are amusing and delightfully odd interactions are invited by playing with strangers on the internet. Second, it was very funny to use the game mechanic “mistake your targets for celebrities” on Club Penguin, as there is a wonderful element of absurdity of mistaking a cartoon penguin for Beyonce. 

The element of giving each other compliments was still very fun in the penguin version of the game, but I think it tended to be more silly and less heartfelt as we were not complimenting real people. For example, compliments like “I would binge you on Netflix” and “ur so watermelon” were very funny, but less specific than compliments that may arise from an in-person version of the game.  

While the penguins brought novelty to the experience, they also added confusion. Several people struggled to find their way around on Club Penguin (the map control icon seemed to only be compatible with certain types of devices.) It was also hard to tell who compliments were directed at, as there were so many penguins on the server and you can’t make direct eye contact. We tried to give compliments when we were standing on top of other penguins to make it clear, but this strategy was only partially successful. Due to this confusion and tech struggles, we lost a few of the players who originally joined the game and ended up with a smaller group at the end. 

A particularly fun moment occurred when another penguin noticed our behavior who was not in the game. He asked us what was going on and we decided to all attack him with compliments in our conversation on Zoom. I’m sure he was startled, but I hope he was amused! I certainly was. In sum, spreading joy chaotically is a very enjoyable dynamic in this game. While we may not have played in a way that looked like what the designer intended, we still had a great experience. 


About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.