News & Media
Virtual world empowers kids to go green and donates $100,000 to environmental projects.
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, April 20, 2011 – Fans of Club Penguin (clubpenguin.com) can learn how to protect their planet and show support for all its citizens this Earth Day just by playing in the snow-covered virtual world.
As part of its ongoing commitment to creating safe places around the world and protecting the earth, Disney Online Studios, which produces Club Penguin, is donating an additional $100,000 of its annual multi-million dollar giving budget to conserve wetlands and protect endangered species. For its annual Earth Day party, Club Penguin will also launch a series of new activities designed to educate and empower its players to help protect the earth and the living creatures that call it home.
From April 20 through 27, 2011 members can use the virtual coins they earn playing games on Club Penguin to purchase Earth Day-themed costumes for their penguin avatars. Players will also be able to visit areas of the virtual world that have been redesigned to look like the natural habitat of some endangered species, and learn more about those species and what threatens their survival.
"Children have such an innate curiosity, and a desire to protect the planet and all its citizens, and we think this is a great way to educate them and encourage them to take action in their own way," says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin's co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios.
Club Penguin is one of the largest virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Millions of children and families in nearly every country in the world play Club Penguin in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Club Penguin uses word filters and live moderators to monitor chat and activity on the site and work to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.
The Earth Day party is just one example of Club Penguin's ongoing efforts to empower its players to help change the world. A portion of the organization's net profits supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the globe. Each December, the Coins For Change online giving campaign lets players vote on where some of those donations will go.
In recent years, the kids who play Club Penguin have helped more than two million people get medical care, enabled 200,000 children to go to school and helped protect more than a dozen endangered species and their habitats. In addition, last fall, players submitted their drawings for the opportunity to have their art featured in a mural on the wall of a school in Haiti that donations from Disney Online Studios and Club Penguin helped rebuild.
"From dressing up and role playing during the Earth Day party to sharing their ideas on how to help those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, our players never cease to amaze us with their passion for changing the world, and we really want to nurture that passion," says Merrifield.
The $100,000 donation this Earth Day will support:
Projects to preserve wetland habitat and reduce overfishing in China – conducted by RARE (http://www.rareconservation.org/program-wetland-protection-china)
Projects to conserve and protect the African Painted Dog and the Snow Leopard – conducted through the Wildlife Conservation Network (http://wildlifeconservationnetwork.org/wildlife/africandog.html and http://wildlifeconservationnetwork.org/wildlife/snowleopard.html)
About Club Penguin
Club Penguin (www.clubpenguin.com), a product of Disney Online Studios, provides one of the largest virtual worlds for children. Club Penguin works to maintain a fun and safe online entertainment experience by using filtering technology and live moderators. The award-winning virtual world of Club Penguin contains no third-party advertising and is free to use and enjoy, however a subscription membership provides access to additional features that enhance the play experience. Club Penguin is headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, is enjoyed by parents and children in just about every country around the world, and can be played in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish.
About Disney Online Studios
Disney Online Studios (DOS), part of Disney Interactive Media Group, develops and publishes an industry-leading suite of online virtual worlds for kids and families. Products under the DOS brand include Club Penguin, one of the largest virtual worlds for children, World of Cars Online, based on the hit Disney/Pixar animated feature "Cars;" Fairies Pixie Hollow, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Toontown Online. Disney Online Studios offices are located in North Hollywood, California, and five countries around the globe.
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