Before I talk about the Club Penguin Times, I will begin this blog post with Aunt Arctic. BUT WAIT! Not this Aunt Arctic…
I am referring to… the REAL Aunt Arctic.
Perhaps you’re wondering, who is this guy? His name is Cody Vigue and he was Aunt Arctic. In other words, while he was an employee at Club Penguin, one of his main jobs was running the Club Penguin Times. You know, organizing, collecting the submissions of players, writing, and more. There was a time in which Cody spent his entire job with the old paper; forty hours each week. Creating each issue of the newspaper is actually a lot of work, particularly the ones with the old design.
Around two weeks ago, Cody was talking with us Club Penguin fans about the CP Times on Twitter. We all grabbed a better understanding of the paper, thanks to him. In this post, I describe the behind-the-scenes tale of the newspaper. It’s a real scoop! A big thanks to Cody for providing the truth behind the Club Penguin Times and for allowing me to write about it in a blog post for you all to read and learn. Oh, before you start reading the next paragraph, I recommend that you get a comfy chair, some snacks, maybe a cup of coffee or tea, and relax, because this blog post is very long; over one thousand words!
One of the most discussed sections of the Club Penguin Times is Ask Aunt Arctic. Why is this so highly talked about? The questions that Aunt Arctic answers, that’s why. For most of us, the answers to the questions are very obvious. For example, in issue 495, one of the questions was, “Where do I find new furniture and igloos?” You may think, EVERYONE knows this. In reality, that isn’t the truth. Many players sent these kinds of questions to Aunt Arctic. Cody read and read and read the submissions from players in the thousands. Yep, just reading all the questions and other content took a lot of time. And how does a same or alike question get sent numerous times? Mr. Vigue explained that an occurrence in the game triggers it, even an event that occurs often and isn’t breaking news for the experienced penguins. For instance, if many players like a new catalog that just came out, then Aunt Arctic gets this question thousands of times in her mailbox: “How do I igloo?” You might be wondering about the anonymous names of the senders of the questions, as well. Cody and the Club Penguin team did not want kids to include something like this in their question submission, “Is my question silly?” Additionally, so many players send an exact or similar question. Thus, the sender of each question is given a fake, but witty name. Goodness gracious, just the Aunt Arctic section requires hard work and a humongous amount of time. On a different note, no matter how dumb you think your question to Aunt Arctic is, don’t hesitate sending it! The people who work on the newspaper do spend time reading all the questions. 🙂
Another controversial subject of the Club Penguin Times is the layout change in late 2010. Less pages, less content, no games or puzzles, it’s no wonder that players talk about it all the time. Like I said above, the CP Times team committed forty hours each week for the old style of the newspaper. There was a schedule that Cody and the CP Times group followed. When Monday arrives, they created drafts and drew out the storyboard for the issue. The next two days, which are Tuesday and Wednesday, Cody read and looked through so many submissions, you could tip the Iceberg with all of them! From there, he’d start writing. They had a day for the arrangement of the paper and to scrutinize all those nooks and crannies. After Wednesday is the day that the game updates, which includes the release of the new issue for the residents of Club Penguin Island to read.
Bringing the old newspaper to life meant tremendous effort and time for the Club Penguin Times team. So what was the solution? Downsize it! That’s what they did in 2010. The 19th day of November is a day penguins will always remember. On that day, the first issue, the 266th one, with the new layout was released. Now that the newspaper of Club Penguin was decreased in everything, the people who worked on it earned more time for other awesome stuff for you and all the players. Random fact: Did you know that because of the new design, Cody had time to work on System Defender? His time was spent on just about all content: games, EPF field-ops, parties, and lots more. If the CP Times Squad (that’s a super cool name, don’t you agree?) had to hurry with the paper, they could finish an entire issue in eight hours, including outlining, writing, editing, and formatting. That’s almost nothing compared to the previous forty hours a week! But whatever was going on or any behind-the-scene stuff influenced the amount of time devoted for a specific issue. Less Club Penguin Times content = Additional epic things for the Club Penguin community.
Because of the Club Penguin Times reduction, lots of people joined Club Penguin and got access to some of the best Club Penguin features and events ever. Yeah, we all miss the old Club Penguin Times, but the outcome of the new paper is worth it. Writing the weekly newspaper is not as simple as writing some paragraphs. Oh boy, it takes an abundance of work, effort, and time. I hope that by reading this blog post, you appreciate all the energy put into each issue of the Club Penguin Times. Next time you read an issue, think about the people behind the Times and their work.
@RiyitaCP, @Trainman1405, @TweesTweets, @shodowc3cpp, and I were the interviewers. Thanks to all of you for asking your questions about the CP Times and your desire to know more about it. A huge, mountain-sized thanks to the real-life Aunt Arctic, also known as Cody Vigue, for your time to answer our questions and your passion of creating games and fun stuff for all of us to enjoy. Last but surely not least, thank you, readers, for reading my extra lengthy, immensely riveting blog post!
UPDATE on April 27: I was just chatting with Chris Gliddon/Polo Field, the former Club Penguin social media manager. All of you should know him by now. Anyway, he had a significant role in the Club Penguin Times: Chris was the manager of the CP Times editorial team before moving on to the social media department. Isn’t that cool? Furthermore, whenever Cody was drifting off from his work on Wikipedia, Chris just gave him a friendly reminder to continue his work on the newspaper, haha. Thank you, Chris, for these cool facts!