May 19th, 2008

Well, this explains some things.

Club Penguin, the giant of a kids’ MMO, reportedly adds 500-1,000 new words to its banned list each day in an attempt to keep up with inappropriate slang. According to the game’s co-founder Lane Merrifield, two thirds of the company’s staff is dedicated to safety moderating and customer service. Despite Club Penguin‘s sheer numbers (its players add up in the millions), the company hasn’t had a single “reportable incident.”

While my gut response to banning words is always an anti-censorship twitch, my own research has shown that Club Penguin–unlike practically every other virtual world–is indeed free of virtual sex. For better or worse, it sure seems like an uphill battle. Personally, I’d love to get my hands on that ever-growing list of banned words–even just to see how internet slang evolves and works around barriers. The mere fact that so many words get added every day means players (presumably children) are trying pretty damn hard to communicate about sex…

Update: So I’ve contact Club Penguin to talk about their list of forbidden words, and for the first time in the three plus years I’ve been doing this, I’ve been told there was literally no one was willing to speak to me on the subject. Thanks, Club Penguin. Personally, I can’t help but wonder if that means Merrifield was exagerrating, or even just wrong. Because really, how top secret can that list be?

Tags: children, MMOs, safety

59 Responses to “Club Penguin’s Forbidden Words”

  1. Tae Says:

    What about asking swear words in Spanish?
    Maldita sea: permitted
    Mierda: not permitted
    Pinche: not permitted
    Puto: not permitted
    Putos: not permitted

  2. Tae Says:

    What about talking about swear words in different languages? Verdammt and Damn are all permitted words. Maldita sea is not a forbidden word. Chingadera is a forbidden word. German and Spanish rocks alive.

  3. tumblr user anonymous Says:

    i love my virginity in the penguin night club

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  5. Amelia Says:

    oh but what a shame, what a shame the poor grooms bride is a whore

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