Editorial: The Resilience of the Community – Our Greatest Flaw or Worst Strength?

KLONDIKE, CPA Headquarters, Zamb’s Desk – Isn’t it just as interesting how a community such as ours has survived for the last 15 years? As the community saw great changes and expansion annually, the torch kept being passed, even today. Our resilience may be our greatest strength as a community, but is it for the greater good or the lesser evil?

It’s no surprise to those present in the community how impressive the longevity of army chronology is. An army such as the Rebel Penguin Federation, founded as far back as 2007, continues to survive and assert its dominance. Another archaic example is the very progenitor, Army of Club Penguin, though it’s no more than a vestige of what it once was. Ice Warriors, Water Vikings, and others are only a few to name that continue to exist beyond memory and into the current state of the community. Even before the era of private servers began, an entire decade of existence attested to our community’s resilience. Even in times of chaos, amid stress, and ongoing pandemonium, nothing has proven fatal to dissolving the binds we hold to Club Penguin and our factions.

To some, it’s great that the community has lasted this far and happens to be the source of several memories. For others, it’s the very bane of their existence, and continuing to be here is almost like being excommunicated from the real world. Yes, it’s an extreme comparison, but that’s the issue about us. There are three perspectives I’ve broken it down into, either three being broad, but identifiable by characteristics and how relatable it appears to be. The good consists of evocations of the past, the bad regarding the immorality of being here, and the ugly being the psychological aspect as briefly mentioned above.

I: The Good – The Nostalgia

Why would resilience be a good attribute?

To some of us, our satisfaction and joy come from aspects of the community. Generally, when you enjoy armies, there’s a certain part to it that you enjoy compared to others. The friends made here are of greater quality than those made outside because shared interests are more common. Not to mention, it’s easier to understand someone when there’s a common interest: armies. The longer you’re here, the greater amount of memories you can grow to cherish as you age.

Physically, aging is inevitable and a part of a greater cycle in the Animalia kingdom. Your body grows senile following your apex, and soon increases ailments end the journey of physical fun. Filling the void in your mind, which ages alongside a person, but is not forced upon a person. Memories are to be clung onto, and then do you begin to appreciate the length spent here. Very long-term thinking isn’t as thought about until you’re past your prime and excitement wanes.

Besides appreciation for the past, continuing based on prior remnants creates a foundation for armies. A paved road begins with admiration as it’s paved, wears down over time due to its usage. In the end, it’s either left unappealing without maintenance or ameliorated to improve the surrounding area. If armies faced neglect from their veterans and tried to steer away from what it is, where would we be? In a situation where the majority isn’t always right, maybe the community would continue to live. Thrive? Far from it, but it’s no longer to be called Club Penguin armies.

Deviating from past traditions takes away from the army aspect, and creates a foreign experience to returning members. For newcomers, it establishes the standard. It’s debatable whether the current state of armies is, in fact, armies, but due to the involvement of veterans, it’s fair to attest our very existence to what accumulated their very own experience: the past.

It’s posts shared over social media such as this that invokes pleasant memories and nostalgia towards childhood activities, especially Club Penguin armies. The resilience of Club Penguin communities, in general, made it possible for the private servers to boom during the quarantine.

II: The Bad – The Immorality

Resilience handles the community’s current activity, but is it for the better or the worse?

To those who’ve found their lives turn the opposite way and in a negative manner, they began to curse the community, and its continuation equals sin. In the Bible, section James 1:14-15 described the complexity of sin and how it’s more luxurious than ludicrous it seems to those tempted by such. It reads, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.”

What temptations lie in the community? Power. It’s a power structure meaningless to newcomers, with distant relevance outside of armies. However, as long as you’re here and have an initial taste of relevancy, power is an insatiable craving. Those juvenile years of armies went from those of meaningless, fun ambitions. Soon, as they fade, you begin finding yourself having met the goal you wanted: leader, owner, administrator, et cetera. At the culmination of your intra-army goal comes a new sphere, an elitist arena.

Finding yourself on a steep hill alongside others with similar positions. You climb up fragile rocks, each one breaking signifying a hit to your career. Enough breakage leads to career suicide, the equal of death, and the ‘highway to hell’ of irrelevancy. Although, if you manage to climb each rock, it’s not through sheer will and luck. The latter continues to play as a factor, but it’s mainly through manipulation. There’s no such concept of purity, and even if the leader in charge was a maiden of sorts, it’s their flaws that define what is immorality. How does the power sphere relate to this? It was because of the standards we established in the past that this even exists.

Both sides, Templars and Rebel Penguin Federation, are depicted alongside their respective media organizations cutting up Club Penguin.

Both armies represent the top of either side of the community, both taking an active part in holding power over their sides of the community. Cutting the world takes a force, one that comes from influence.

Purity is hard to define because it’s a given to pick and choose. Adolf Hitler saved Germany from a plummeting depression but orchestrated one of history’s deadliest wars. Not to mention, genocide. Before jumping to conclusions, no one here is an Adolf Hitler. The worst we have are high school dropouts involved in the community. Bret was a leader of the Underground Mafias Army, an archaic, legendary army, speaks volumes of the least intellect required to be a leader.

Returning to purity, you cannot make a solid definition and apply it to everyone, but rather it’s given based on a situation. It doesn’t help that several of the most controversial, leading voices present in armies happen to be veterans. Because of the ever-changing definition of charity in our community, we’ve begun to deem anything contrasting our idealism to be those sinners. Anyone opposing the idea of unification by defending their own interests is worse than inept individuals siding alongside the community. This isn’t meant to take shots, but to give a hypothetical based on two sides of a coin (what either side would think of the other).

In times of chaos and where depression is inevitable, the wrongdoers are righteously crucified, even if it means temporary instability. If we were to collapse, maybe a resurrection of the community would bring us to square one and start from a clean state to redefine standards. Instead, prolonging our vitality creates a power vacuum and we’re back to square one, but instead, we continue to eat from the same plate left previously.

Not to mention, some treat armies as an obligation, almost as compulsory military service. The extremity some hold towards their armies would be respectable if it wasn’t such a fanatical obsession. Either people ignore the army aspect, yet continue to serve it, or never fail to complain while actively participating. It’s lazy activism, complaining about the state of the community while doing nothing to change the issue. Some issues aren’t able to be changed due to the scope being too big. But others can be changed, there doesn’t happen to be an active effort to do so. It’s a cycle of acedia that we continue to perpetuate due to our laziness. The longer the community goes for, the more obligated people are to fall victim to one of seven deadly sins. As one domino falls, the reaction begins and others follow in pursuit.

Meme about some people being in the army community to make friends, while others stay for power.

The sad reality is a lot of people, who’ve reached the apex of their career, continue to stay to hold onto power. Power isn’t only being a leader, but it could be influence, holding a rank, or being involved.

III: And The Ugly – The Psychology

What’s worse than immorality? The action behind it.

As a seed germinates properly given the proper condition, poor and divisive circumstances here would foster separate personalities. Coming into the community, you’re not the same person you are on Discord. You’re a person whose actions are because of society, even if those actions are outcasted. Being ‘different’ plays into the hands of humanity one way or another. Either you conform to their norms, or by being different, you’re deviating into another set of norms. Just very unorthodox ones. To look at it, you are a puppet.

Armies change the way you think, especially when you reach the leadership position and enter the arena (as mentioned in part 2). There, you’re an arrogant leader that scores highly on the Dark Triad test and is selfish to defend your interests.

Considering most interactions are online, we operate under the assumption that others will never know who or what we are. Perchance, on the Internet, I’m a fearless leader who instigates fights by calling others weak and using intimidation. But in reality, I could be a blue-collar worker afraid to raise a voice at my abusive girlfriend or my boss. Being forced into an abnormal position of making decisions different than what you’re used to, which is where a second personality comes in handy.

Brilliant psychologist Sigmund Freud theorized the human personality dissects into three elements, those being the id, ego, and the superego. The id is irrelevant, as it’s considered as a part of us since birth, and the ego is self-explanatory. But, the superego relates best to the formation of our second life. Emerging around age five, it upholds our moral standard and acts upon proper judgment based on ideals. Those ideals were adopted from experiences, parents, and the world. Our superego undergoes immense stress from a change in reality and our internal code of laws.

In the past, several accounts of racism, homophobia, sexism, and other offenses became normalized and created vile egos among several prominent leaders. Some of which began to normalize certain crimes that would hold this community at its throat and endanger us. Not everyone’s is as morally skewed, but everyone with certain prominence more or less has their active. Most bipolar decisions, those done on a whim and that you hold in great regret are a result of this impromptu personality. Because there is no exact culmination to one’s career, their superego will never be concluded and the second life will always remain incomplete. Consequentially, they’ll never be able to differentiate right from wrong, because there is no set standard here.

Before we end the clusterfuck that began a few paragraphs ago, I’d like to clarify what resilience has to do with psychology. The longer we are here as a community, the greater shift we see in our moral compass. The compass began skewing as soon as we have grown accustomed to the culture, and has only continued to shift radically for the greater or the worse.

IV: Conclusion

So, what is resilience?

Resilience is a great trait, and it’s what helps us preserve through the harder aspects of life. It’s because of resilience that our ancestors overcame adversity and paved the way for our fateful existence. Beneficial to our ancestors doesn’t limit it to them, as we reaped benefits of memories. Also, we have found sentimental value here through friendship and or the fruits of labor. As great as it is, our community is as persistent to use it in our worst interests. Not the worst interests of everyone, but very opinionated interests.

The longevity of an army and the time spent here by its upper echelon are pivotal to their own success. This determines whether their actions prevail over the interests of lesser powers. Not only is it the source of inequality, but it’s also the cause of a disillusioned reality. In response, we develop an unstable personality that is tailored to handle said problems. The good, the bad, and the ugly of resilience, it’s hard to tell which of the three aligns the best.

It’s safe to conclude that resilience is a necessary evil, one we hold in great disdain, but removing it proves detrimental to the purpose and foundation of Club Penguin armies. What are your thoughts?

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