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Live Webchat with Club Penguin founder, Lane Merrifield on Monday 5th July between 1.30 and 2.30

(61 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jun-10 14:36:55

Club Penguin is one of the fastest growing virtual worlds for children aged 6 - 14 and many parents will be familiar with the sight of their children's Penguins waddling through the virtual world, throwing parties in their igloos or chatting with other penguins.

Lane Merrifield, alongside colleagues Dave Krysko and Lance Priebe, co-founded Club Penguin in 2005. The site development was self-funded and designed as a safe, ad free, online playground for the children in their lives to explore (the site was later bought by Disney in 2007).

Lane as a father of two, co-founder of Disney Club Penguin and executive Vice President of Disney Online Studios is joining us and able to answer any questions parents might have about Club Penguin. Whether it's starting a business, setting online boundaries and making sure your child is safe online to what Club Penguin membership means or why your kid's Puffle ran away, Lane can take your questions and provide answers to those that might not have been fulfilled through Mumsnet Talk. Join Lane here next Monday at 1.30 and if you're unable to join us but have a question you'd like to ask him, post to this thread.

MathsMadMummy Wed 30-Jun-10 18:04:15

Hello and congratulations on the success of your site.

I don't know much about Club Penguin, but I don't doubt that it is very safe and fun for children, and certainly better than alternatives like Facebook etc.

I was just wondering though, how you feel about the prevalent headlines these days, about children being so wrapped up in the Internet that they are failing to learn real life social skills?

MathsMadMummy Wed 30-Jun-10 18:05:20

Sorry just realised that may have sounded quite rude - it isn't meant that way.

islandofsodor Wed 30-Jun-10 19:53:51

I would like to know if you can temporarily suspend an account to stop a particularly beloved puffle running away whilst on holiday/break from the internet.

Also any tips so that my ds can meet Rockhopper!

Katisha Wed 30-Jun-10 19:54:45

DS (8) would like to know whether you can really get to Rockhopper Island?

Is there a secret t-shirt you can unlock?

Is there a background of BillyBob like there is for Rockhopper?

paisleyleaf Thu 01-Jul-10 00:32:29

Hello, do you need to be an online member to play the nintendo DS game? or rather, to get the most out of the DS game?

islandofsodor Thu 01-Jul-10 09:33:39

You don't have to be an online member to play the ds game it is more vice versa - if you have the ds game you can unlock certin things on the online version.

trice Thu 01-Jul-10 10:09:55

Yes - I would also like to stop the puffle blackmail. "Please let me play club penguin or my puffle George will run away!" The tears over the loss of a puffle in this house are terrible. Please can we introduce a puffle sitter for when you are away. Or puffle boarding kennels.

PlumBumMum Thu 01-Jul-10 10:27:57

Congratulations on Club Penguin, It actually got mentioned on ds's school report he loves it that much and the teacher threw an Island adventure party last week.

I do understand that you are there to make money but why can the children not access the stuff they purchased when they were members? I think it is a little unfair as I am sure most children will renew their membership in time as they won't be able to buy any more stuff!

If I buy a membership card 3 months before current membership is due to run out, will the membership add on to the end?

dd1 would like to know how to meet Aunt Artic?

deepdarkwood Thu 01-Jul-10 11:53:42

Any plans for Club Penguin minis? Dd wants a slice of the action having watched ds play - but can't manage the complexity yet.
I'll take a mere 10% of revenue for suggesting the idea smile

lottiejenkins Thu 01-Jul-10 14:16:56

Hi Lane, can i say on behalf of my son Wilf a HUGE thankyou for CP! He is profoundly deaf and has aspergers syndrome and due to his deafness finds mixing with children difficult sometimes and finding things he can play with and interact with them with. He adores playing on his CP especially at school, he will tell me who of the children at my children he has been puffing with! Any plans to bring out a CP Wii game???

Bear Thu 01-Jul-10 14:34:04

Why oh why oh why oh why!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Do Puffles really die if not fed or is it just DS's cunning ruse / blackmail to get more screen time?

Oh, and: Why oh why etc.

lottiejenkins Thu 01-Jul-10 14:57:59

that should read children at my children school!!

TheFoosa Thu 01-Jul-10 15:01:22

Puffles 'return to the wild' hmm - I know, having to console dd when she lost 3 of the blighters

A Puffle Sitter is a very good idea

PlumBumMum Thu 01-Jul-10 15:11:41

But I think I read puffles are maintained until you go online, if your dcs don't look after them every time they play then they run away
dd1 had all 8 gosad I always tell mine to feed theirs etc first before doing anything else

PlumBumMum Thu 01-Jul-10 15:12:35

note. I do realise they are not realgrin

SagacityNell Thu 01-Jul-10 16:50:10

Is there actually any point looking for Rockhopper? My children are timed online and only get to go on if their behaviour is good enough (*yup - evil mummy!) They have not yet met him and DS2 doesn't understand that he will be in different servers at different times on different days. That means nothing to him - he just clicks on the top server in the list!

Agree with the puffle sitter thing.

WHy are items not carried over if membership ends? We can't always afford to top up each month and DS2 works really hard to get them - its literally the only thing he has shown an interest in (ASD)

Finbar Thu 01-Jul-10 19:05:16

Hello and thank you for your entertaining site.

My DS (8) is struggling on EPF field ops to find the designated item and is getting very frustrated. He tells me that once he even searched the whole island for a field op item.
Please help!!

PlumBumMum Thu 01-Jul-10 20:09:27

Finbar which one my ds has completed them I think

Lilyloo Thu 01-Jul-10 20:45:58

Agree with the puffle thing my ds was really upset when his left.
Ds says it should cost less to buy a puffle and restrictions are too much for non members.
We have bought him memberships for birthdays , xmas but it doesn't seem fair to loose things when they are no longer members.

treacletart Thu 01-Jul-10 21:53:50

Puffles only run away if you don't look after them when you're on club penguin. I think its 5 mins for every hour.

If you're not online or not on club penguin they're fine.

Thanks Lane, DS adores club penguin and I'd like to think managing his virtual money is teaching him a bit about saving up for things and spending wisely. I also insist he can only be a member of Club penguin or Moshimonsters but not both so he has to choose every month - CP wins mostly but now he's a secret agent he's more interested in the missions than kitting out his igloo.

Now, he has asked me to ask you...
"Please, please, please, can you tell me about a secret trick nobody else knows about yet?"

Lane, Club Penguin is the one thing that has made life for my ds (aged 7) bearable this year. He has been in and out of hospital, lots of absence from school, lots of detachment from friends, and not being able to join in physically with things to vent his enthusiasm for life. So I would like to say a huge thank you to you and your colleagues for designing and maintaining the site.

Can I just ask, are the club penguin trading cards coming back? I tried to buy some yesterday and was told they were withdrawn a couple of months ago. He loves playing card jit-zu (sp?) with anyone who will sit long enough!

Is it possible for non members to do some of the extra challenges/games/or buy from catalogues, when they are not so new and novel. We can't afford the membership and so he just plays on the free elements, and is sometimes frustrated that he can not interact with all the aspects of the site. I appreciate you have to make it work financially, but perhaps to unlock something extra for non members when you introduce something new for members?

Thanks again. smile

stoppinattwo Sun 04-Jul-10 22:01:16

DS has had a lifetime ban from CP....I have emialed to find out why as he genuinely doesnt know why he has been banned??

Could you advise please? [smile[

stoppinattwo Sun 04-Jul-10 22:02:19

sorry should add I emailed over a week ago

islandofsodor Mon 05-Jul-10 11:56:27

Ds aged 6 wants to know why Rockhopper never visits his favourite server Cold Snap.

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