Picture Perfect: Not Again

Welcome back to Picture Perfect, the column where we analyse photos from years past. Today’s edition features the iconic logo of the premier software for all things Internet.

Designed by Cassie

The Internet recently turned 51 years old, making it half a century old. Online, you can do or be anything you’d like. It’s also an excellent medium for art, games, writing, blogs, videos, etc. You name it, the Internet can supply it. When the internet began taking off in the late 90s, and early 00s, a new groundbreaking software was taking things by storm. Imagine a software where you could create animations, videos, web games, applications, art, or anything you can think of. With Adobe Flash, you could do all of that and more in one package. Even our very own Club Penguin was reliant on this. That’s why we’ll analyse the following photograph of Adobe Flash’s logo this week.

Adobe Flash logo, as seen in 2015

Due to the nature of software in general, Adobe Flash still exists. However, it is not supported by Adobe, meaning they do not update it or patch security flaws anymore. Because of this, mainstream web browsers no longer support the plugin and you cannot run it without using a special browser. In the early 2000s and well into the 2010s, Flash Player brought us many of the games we know and love. To name a few: Happy WheelsThe Impossible Quiz, and various fan-made Super Mario games. Developers created more than one million games using Flash. Due to Flash’s end of life in 2020, most of these games were rendered unplayable unless they were brought over to a modern format, like HTML5.

There exists one more game that many of us know and love that utilised this software. Club Penguin ran using Flash until the game died in 2017. Obviously, the death of Flash did not affect legacy Club Penguin players. But since its death, many developers have created Private Servers in hopes of letting the game live on. Armies also migrated to these platforms, which we talked about just two weeks ago with S/M Army Legend Dillon. Most notably, Club Penguin Rewritten and Club Penguin Online utilised the original Club Penguin assets, which were on Flash. Online eventually shut down in 2020, but armies still used Rewritten throughout the remainder of the year, with the end-of-life date rapidly approaching. Eventually, on December 31st, support for the Flash player ceased and a majority of Club Penguin Private Servers shut down. Once again in a familiar situation, the community brainstormed solutions.

December 30, 2020: One of the final battles on Flash, ACP vs SWAT

For a short while, next to no armies organized events until they found a stable Private Server. Club Penguin Rewritten planned to migrate to HTML5, enabling players to still access it through a web browser. As with everything CPR-related, it was delayed and didn’t come out at the expected time. Some armies migrated to Club Penguin Chapter 2, a very early in-development HTML5 Private Server. It wasn’t very good at the time and many members of the community complained about lag. Ultimately, most armies decided to cease Club Penguin operations until Rewritten launched, filling the downtime with other game nights and activities. At the time, Club Penguin Army Hub asked armies about their plans to fill the void.

Skribbl.io – a go-to game night for many

In February, 2021, Club Penguin Rewritten relaunched on HTML5. At the beginning it was laggy, and many (including me) could barely run the game for battles. It was hard at first, but over time the game got better and faster. Eventually, the developers brought Rewritten to a state where most armies felt comfortable invading, defending, and holding tournaments on it. Not too much later, the community was near enough back to normal.

While the death of Flash was tough for armies, especially right away, it was nothing we hadn’t experienced before. Our main game shutting down has happened three times now: Club Penguin, Rewritten, and then Rewritten again in 2022. Clearly, it’s something we’ve accepted and learned to bounce back from. Unfortunately, outside of armies much of Flash media was lost, but modern formats should be embraced, especially due to their security. Do you think the effects of Flash’s death are still present today? Or have we mostly moved on?

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