My Weird, Addictive Trip into Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

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Posted by patrickklepek (4595 posts) -

There was a moment my time with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood evolved beyond academic interest.

It's 1:30 a.m., and definitely time for bed. But I'm painfully close to full stars during a photo shoot. It only would take a few more taps to get there. Unfortunately, I've run out of in-game energy, which is only refilled by waiting for a countdown timer to expire or--gasp--spending money. As this experiment was centered around not spending money, I watch the timer methodically tick down. It's only two minutes. Who can't wait two minutes? But that one slice of energy wasn't enough to finish the job. The game asks me to wait another four minutes, which I do. But even that's not enough to satiate this app, and real-life Patrick is real-life tired. By now, it's nearly 2:00 a.m.

You've probably heard about Kim Kardashian: Hollywood by now. The game made $1.6 million in five days. One analyst believes Kardashian is making $700,000-per-day. Another predicts the game could make $200 million annually. Wherever the numbers end up, it's big. What piqued my interest, however, was how many of my colleagues, many of whom spend their days and nights pontificating about the power and impact of games, were spending hours with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, and loving every minute of it.

Since I was spending last week catching up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in preparation for Guardians of the Galaxy, I had ample time to poke at a touch screen on my couch.

The game opens by having players select a gender for a character who works in a tiny clothing shop that juuuust so happens to be where Kardashian has an awfully convenient fashion emergency. She appreciates your help enough to invite you to her photo shoot, which quickly turns into your photo shoot. Kardashian takes you under her wing, and so begins your hopeful ascent to join her in A-list status. You start on the E-list.

(As an interesting aside, the game makes no jokes or judgements about a guy becoming infatuated with Kardashian and trying to emulate her lifestyle, which seems like an easy pot shot. Thankfully, the game's much smarter than that. This extends to another early option to identify your character as straight or gay, which it presents discreetly and without comment.)

From there, players are assigned various jobs--photo shoots, club appearances, professional partying--and participate in various activities at each. By participate, I mean click on a bubble, and things fall out. What falls to the ground are icons to fill meters for leveling up (which let you travel more places), cash flow (to buy apartments, cars, clothes), and, most importantly, energy. Energy is required to do anything, and you're always running out. In Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, your most valuable asset is time.

In the first hour, things require so little energy and you're leveling up so often (which refills your energy) that you don't have to worry about the game's free-to-play dark magic. It's what allowed me to realize what probably hooked so many of my friends: the genuinely funny writing.

The game's wink wink, nudge nudge tone serves several functions. Chiefly, it's a seething critique of media culture, and its cyclical obsession with bringing people up and tearing people down. You can argue Kardashian and her ilk are active participants in this culture, which excuses them from being able to credibly present such a takedown, but that's another essay for someone much smarter.

What the writing does, however, is lower your guard. I don't know much about Kardashian personally--my exposure is walking through our living room when my wife is watching her reality show--but I wouldn't have expected a sign-off on such knowing barbs. It feels like a middle finger to the world that made her, even if she owes much to it. Even if that's reading into it, it's sharp as hell, and proves a terrific carrot for coming back. The writing hooked me, as the game slowly dripped new characters explicitly designed as takedowns of popular celebrity tropes. I wanted to know how far it'd go. Plus, as a reporter, I lost it during moments like this.

Soon enough, it's time to get to work. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood's general loop involves answering a phone call, which directs the player to a location. Then, you click and click and click. Your character doesn't "do " any of the actions presented, the meters just go up and down. Eventually, you run out of energy, and one is now presented with the central dilemma of a free-to-play game, which this one hardly tries to avoid: pay up to continue. Sequences end when the player collects enough stars to fill a meter (I hope you love meters, since this game really loves meters) or a pre-determined amount of time passes.

More stars means more fans, and more fans means you move up the celebrity rankings. But I wasn't willing to give Kim Kardashian: Hollywood any of my money, so the waiting game began. It's possible to earn money (but not energy) through alternative means, but it gets dirty fast. The options range from the odd but reasonable, such as playing a web game from for a few minutes, to, uh, signing up for an Allstate quote. Honestly, I tried to play some of the web games on my iPad, but none of them worked. I managed to avoid Allstate.

Money isn't the real draw in this game, though. It's energy. In the game, you're always tired. The game sends alerts when your energy is full again, so it's possible to leave your iPhone or iPad laying on a table, then pick it up when the game notifies you it's time to--oh, god--come back.

A key part of the discourse around Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has been how the game might secretly be instructive about the real-life demands of being a celebrity, charting Kardashian's own journey to the A-list. Like her, the player is always in the spotlight, asked to be the center of attention, deals with manufactured bullshit, and constantly on the move. That doesn't sound particularly glamorous, regardless of the money and fame. Maintaining an abstraction of that lifestyle was exhaustive enough.

Essays about how Kardashian leveraged a moment of personal exploitation--her sex tape--to control her celebrity narrative got me interested in playing the game. It seemed like a shallow game with meaningful subtext. There's much we can read into Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, but I'm not sure the "game" itself deserves all the acclaim for that. What one reads into the game has much to do with what we bring to the table, whether it's our views on celebrity, the success of Kardashian, or other related topics.

Even after the curiosity wore off, I kept playing the game. There were two reasons. One, I might have been slightly addicted to the simple loop of watching meters go up, which made me feel pretty weird. Two, people are dicks about Kim Kardashian. People really dislike her, and I can't quite figure out why. She's played the celebrity game pretty damn well. If everyone could do it, they would. But you can't say "Kardashian" without inspiring ire. Upon reaching the D-list, I jokingly had the game spit out a robotic tweet. People were pissed, and it seemed to go well beyond irritation at single manufactured tweet. With Kardashian, it becomes personal.

Oof.

Ultimately, if judged as a game game, it really is terrible. Similar to fast food, it only feels good in the moment. The writing only carries Kim Kardashian: Hollywood so far, and it's a few hours at best. It's impossible to move forward at a decent pace without paying, and there is zero skill involved. Candy Crush Saga and other free-to-play games might have equally exploitative tactics for extracting money from players, but has some level of mental taxation. Here, it's nothing more than mindless clicking. Click, click, click. Wait, wait, wait.

But maybe that's the point: it's supposed to be boring. It's a time waster. Some games can just be. If a game is shallow and exploitative, does that matter, so long as the participants are willing and content? That question causes an existential divide between folks like myself and casuals, or whatever you want to call them. "These games are shit. Why don't you know any better?" But who cares? They're playing this, enjoying it, and Kardashian is making money. Is someone really the bad guy (or girl) in this situation? Empty calories aren't the end of the world. We all have guilty pleasures. At least Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is aware of the world it's playing in, even when it's asking for you to pay up. "You're here, I'm here. Let's make the best of it?"

Staff
#1 Edited by rmanthorp (3948 posts) -

You'll always be A-list to me Scoops.

Moderator
#2 Posted by LethalKi11ler (1407 posts) -

I'm not ashamed to say I've spent quite a lot of time on this game (about to turn into an A-list celebrity) but the reason why it's so easy for me to play is that it can be done in the background while I'm doing something more important like watching TV or something. I won't spend any money on it but it's just a neat little game I play on the side now, used to be Game of Thrones Ascent, before that the Simpsons Tapped Out... It's a good time waster every few hours.

#3 Posted by Brashnir (54 posts) -

A person's interest is "piqued," not "peaked," Patrick.

#4 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11009 posts) -

I hate to be that person, but did you mean "piqued" your interest? Peak isn't necessarily wrong, if your interest reached a maximum, like the peak of a mountain, but...Okay, I'll shut up now.

Moderator Online
#5 Posted by Pabba (346 posts) -

Interesting article, getting sucked into a tapfest.

Also, a minor edit to this perhaps. Did you mean "game about A celebrity" or "BECOMING A celebrity"?

When friends I trusted started getting obsessed with a free-to-play game about celebrity, I had to find out why.

#6 Edited by Ravelle (1265 posts) -

Man, people are super serious about tweets and follows aren't they?

#7 Edited by Fryzriender (5 posts) -

My biggest concern when I see and play games like this is that they capitalize so well on our basic human impulses that they keep us captivated despite generally being very low cost when compared to other types of games mobile or otherwise. Why this concerns me is that it may start to shift perceptions in the business side of the games development industry as to the best way of making money. Why make a high quality product with good writing, great mechanics, long dev times, and astronomical costs to iron out the bugs inherent in any complex product, when you can instead make a cheap game that utilizes and or exploits human psychology to keep us playing. While not a perfect parallel it reminds me of the way in which Casinos capitalize on human psychology to keep us playing a game we logically know is rigged against us but we keep playing because it feels so right at the time. Perhaps like television and film we will find out that the "Games" industry is big enough to serve us as consumers with just about every type of product we could think of but as someone in business with a background in business I always become paranoid when I see these types of sales figures coupled with what I can only imagine is an insanely low cost.

#9 Posted by Milkman (16789 posts) -

I hate to open up a can of worms here but Patrick, didn't you say you wanted to get away from using the term "addicted" when talking about games? Maybe I'm misremembering so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Online
#10 Posted by slyspider (1226 posts) -

I actually laughed when I saw that tweet. The replies were incredible

#11 Edited by ADAMWD (591 posts) -

It's pretty depressing to see all these mobile developers churning out lame, cookie cutter "games" and making money hand over fist. It's dirty and morally reprehensible.

#12 Posted by BreakfastKing (117 posts) -

@pabba said:

Interesting article, getting sucked into a tapfest.

Also, a minor edit to this perhaps. Did you mean "game about A celebrity" or "BECOMING A celebrity"?

When friends I trusted started getting obsessed with a free-to-play game about celebrity, I had to find out why.

I think he means "a game about the concept of celebrity", in which case it is correct.

Or it could be a typo. I mean, this is Scoops we're talking about :P

#13 Edited by NegativeCero (3002 posts) -

You know what, more power to people who like it and Kim. I just find the whole celebrity culture thing gross and unnecessary. For me, the Kardashians are the perfect embodiment of that because of how they came to be known (the sex tape and reality shows)-- becoming rich and famous for basically nothing. So I just personally refuse to support something like that in any way, down to a weirdly popular free-to-play game. Which is okay because other than whenever I check out what Kanye West is up to, I almost never have to be made aware of their stuff.

#14 Posted by johnham (48 posts) -

I think this game on a fundamental and meta level is representative of (at least American) society's obsession with fame and celebrity, which I, personally, am really uncomfortable with.

The game itself glorifies the pursuit of fame for its own sake; it's a popularity contest that doesn't value intellect, guile, hard work, or anything related to tangible success (you know, those things that lead to real self-actualization and hopefully happiness).

I also think it's fascinating that this is a re-skin of a game that's been out for ages. I think it says something (bad) that this game all of a sudden spawned a million thinkpieces when the only thing that differentiates it (and therefore the only reason a writer might play it, specifically, as opposed to its functionally-identical ancestor) is its association with Kardashian.

I don't begrudge anyone enjoying what they want to, but there are other, more interesting ways to examine how casual-phobia can make "gamers" miss out on completely valid and worthwhile, but "light" experiences. Talk about kids games on mobile, and how they help develop skills that are applicable to both more-complex games and - gasp - maybe even the real world.

I'd rather read about that, than about a time-wasting money grab who's only lesson is that your friend count and popularity are what matter.

#15 Posted by Maddman60620 (130 posts) -

I liked Mafia Wars or Mob Wars on facebook for awhile even spent $1 on it once, No matter how dumb I think the main hook with these games is that your friends or acquaintances my play them and peer pressure/social media pressure is what get you into the trending apps/games... words with friends, the doodle pictionary, and emote guess app all share that weird in crowd somewhat group fun, even though you're pretty much playing it by yourself...

I don't want an iphone, don't have a droid anymore and the win 8 phone doesn't have hardly any apps so lucky any weakness my normally solid anti-trendy/social ego might suffer feeling left out because some girls I use to have crushes on in middle school is facebook inviting me to candy crush it up at least once a week is easily avoided or more so adverted.

#16 Edited by headphonehalo (21 posts) -

This is basically the Sharknado of games. Everyone lost their mind when that movie came out, despite the studio responsible seriously churning out at least 10 garbage movies like that every year, all with "funny" names and premises, hoping that one would stick.

The way people are rallying behind the game like it's a feminist cause is also pretty funny.

#17 Posted by mikecardii (236 posts) -

@pabba: I read that line as the game being about the cultural phenomenon of celebrity.

#18 Posted by EuanDewar (4922 posts) -

Your character has a proper "Rock Forever 21 but just turned thirty" look about him.

#19 Edited by Pabba (346 posts) -

@breakfastking: Ahhh, that makes sense! I was reading it wrong, thanks :D

#20 Posted by Aronleon (770 posts) -

I have dable with some of this free to play games and most of the time it comes down to if your friends are playing them you probably will, but once they move to the next trend thats it, the games on their own dont try to be nothing else than time wasters and why not make a profit in the mean time.

#21 Posted by forkboy (1151 posts) -

@adamwd said:

It's pretty depressing to see all these mobile developers churning out lame, cookie cutter "games" and making money hand over fist. It's dirty and morally reprehensible.

Morally reprehensible? You know what's morally reprehensible? Murder, rape, big things. Making a game for free in a way that encourages micro-payments isn't in that ballpark. Shitty maybe, but calm down with the hyperbole please. There's a place for these games, so long as you have patience. Sometimes you click a few things, shrug. I mean I like the Game of Thrones Ascent game. I look at it a couple of times a day, maybe progress the games story a little, it's fun and it's not Dungeon Keeper levels of shitty monetisation. I've never once felt the need to pay into it, and if it ever gets to that point then I'll stop.

I'm also left wondering how many people commenting so far have bothered to read the article. I haven't played this game (I don't have a smartphone at present) but I think the satirical take on celebrity is something interesting. All I ask from a game like this is that it's still playable without pouring money into it, and it doesn't require me to look at it for 10 minutes every hour or something.

#22 Posted by bboymaestro (278 posts) -

@patrickklepek Aww, Scoops, why didn't you include my tweet about trying it based off your research? I mean, I deleted it after an hour, but hey, I tried.

#23 Posted by 07ron (48 posts) -

Interesting article, Scoops. Thanks :)

#24 Edited by aalpizar (4 posts) -

Keep up the great writing Patrick, your perspective on different topics always makes me think and expands my understanding. Thanks dude

#25 Edited by EternalGamer2 (116 posts) -

"Two, people are dicks about Kim Kardashian. People really dislike her, and I can't quite figure out why. She's played the celebrity game pretty damn well. If everyone could do it, they would"

I want to address this point because I desperately hope we are not at a point in evolution of pop-culture to where we can no longer object to fame due to a lack of talent and substance. It is really sad to me that in the 21st century people become famous not because of their amazing talent but their amazing talent to "play the celebrity game." People hate Kim Kardashian not because they are misogynistic or because "stop liking what I don't like," but because she is a metonym for bankrupt pop-cultural system that has nothing to say outside of it's product placement.

There is room for cultural critique on the basis of shallowness. I'm not sure what is wrong with that.

I don't have any problem with Kim Kardashian as a person and I think there is no need to lob personal insults at her. But if we lose the ability to criticize cultural productions, even pop-cultural productions, on the basis that they have nothing of value to say, then I don't know what to say.

#26 Posted by LarryDavis (986 posts) -

Jesus Christ, Patrick. This is even worse than Dota.

#27 Posted by ADAMWD (591 posts) -

@forkboy: Fair enough, I probably should have just said reprehensible rather than morally reprehensible. Regardless, I feel fine condemning developers like this. These types of games all crib on the same mechanics and structure, offering little to zero innovation, creativity, or original content. And then, on top of that, they prey on the human psyche, poking and prodding at your brain until they hit the trigger that leads to one spending money on nothing.

#28 Posted by Jumbs (245 posts) -

"Two, people are dicks about Kim Kardashian. People really dislike her, and I can't quite figure out why. She's played the celebrity game pretty damn well. If everyone could do it, they would"

I want to address this point because I desperately hope we are not at a point in evolution of pop-culture to where we can no longer object to fame due to a lack of talent and substance. It is really sad to me that in the 21st century people become famous not because of their amazing talent but their amazing talent to "play the celebrity game." People hate Kim Kardashian not because they are all misogynistic or because "stop liking what I don't like," but because she is a metonym for bankrupt pop-cultural system that has nothing to say outside of it's product placement.

There is room for cultural critique on the basis of shallowness. I'm not sure what is wrong with that.

This just in: There has always been people "playing the celebrity game". This is not a new phenomenon, and you have to realize that whether or not you think she's worthy of being famous is entirely subjective; she's clearly a smart business woman and just because you personally think she's "shallow" or whatever doesn't make it so.

#29 Edited by Yummylee (21642 posts) -

Well, at least you're not going around claiming that 'the game industry could learn a thing or two from Kim Kardashian'.

#30 Posted by KVFinn (2 posts) -

I've tried the game and it was a paint-by-numbers version of any free-to-wait game out there. Watch bars go up. Wait to make them go up more.

It drives me a little crazy when people excuse away shallow and exploitative gameplay as part of the humor. Yes, the game acknowledges how exploitative and horrible it is. That doesn't excuse it from criticism. They still chose to make the game like this.

I think fast food is a bad analogy. There are plenty of games that are great 'fast food', they are quick and shallow and fun. But the key difference is they aren't intentionally designed with built in annoyances to make the player reach for their wallet, and they actually have intrinsic game mechanics that are fun. Peggle 2 is fast food. Games like Kardashian are not even food.

#31 Posted by Jumbs (245 posts) -

@yummylee said:

Well, at least you're not going around claiming that 'the game industry could learn a thing or two from Kim Kardashian'.

Actually, the gaming industry could. The way this game handles LGBTI characters and their relationships, and women in general, is better than almost all AAA games. So there's that.

#33 Posted by cikame (1001 posts) -

Kardashian has done nothing to deserve what she has, and i will forever despise her for it.

Pop culture is bad culture.

#34 Posted by Yummylee (21642 posts) -

@jumbs said:

@yummylee said:

Well, at least you're not going around claiming that 'the game industry could learn a thing or two from Kim Kardashian'.

Actually, the gaming industry could. The way this game handles LGBTI characters and their relationships, and women in general, is better than almost all AAA games. So there's that.

lol right, as if Kim Kardashian herself was in anyway involved with this game, a game that is also basically just a reskin of another game but with the Kim Kardashian brand slapped on it.

#35 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3307 posts) -

That twitter screencap is pretty hilarious.

Online
#36 Edited by EternalGamer2 (116 posts) -

@jumbs: There have but not to the extent it exists today. And I never said anything about her not being a "smart business woman" (though I'm not sure how anyone would know this because I'd be willing to bet anything that someone else, probably a committee of people, are making a lot of the business decisions). This isn't about her or her marketing team's ability to smartly manipulate a system. It is about what is celebrated in American pop-culture and taking issue with WHY it is celebrated.

Patrick's perspective that "empty calories are not the end of the world" is one that I personally strongly disagree with. Not because I entirely disagree with the notion of an occasional guilty pleasure, but because American culture overrun with them. Hell, even our news media has become little more than "guilty pleasure" entertainment where ideological viewpoints are validated through constant ego massage (left or right).

While I don't expect all cultural critics to necessary hold back the ocean with a broom, I'd appreciate it if they didn't just take a laissez faire attitude towards the problem. If this critical attitude doesn't breed political and cultural complacency, it at least is making the decision to make no attempt to stand apart from it. And I find that depressing. Critics should strive to stand apart from it. Elsewise I don't know what makes it worth a damn.

#37 Posted by forkboy (1151 posts) -

@adamwd: I don't think anybody who gets into the business of making games goes in going "I'm going to make a free-to-play energy based mobile game!" but it gives people experience at making something which they can put on their CV when they go to work at Naughty Dog or wherever they dream of working. And ultimately, if you don't like these games they are easily avoided, no? Dungeon Keeper was shitty because it took a franchise that lots of people remember fondly and would love to see a legit follow up to, but the concept its self is just like any genre really. There's shit, there's some interesting stuff, and there's lots of stuff that's just there. I can't get worked up about it.

As for the other conversation going on, I'd like to hope that people can hate the whole fame thing while not really feeling any ill will towards the people exploiting it for a living. I think it'd be great if the special kind of 21st century fame would go away, but I'm not going to condemn Kardashian or whoever for making the most out of a fucking stupid phenomenon. I don't hate Kim Kardashian, or Jordan, or Peter Andre or any of these sort of people who appear on the front cover of Hello & OK magazines. I mean sometimes they do dumb shit which is lamentable, but I think the institutions, like the tabloid media, which promulgate this weird fetishisation of "celebrity" as a think of its own, which is different to celebrity in past generations, are far more deserving of blame. But that's me.

#38 Posted by wewantsthering (1567 posts) -

The people on Twitter overacted, but I really don't think a no-talent celebrity needs defending Patrick. Not everyone would play the celebrity game like you suggest. Not everyone is that shallow. :-) What exactly is the point of this article anyway? Between this and the articles on Polygon lately, I'm not sure what's going on. GB and Polygon used to have thought provoking articles.

#39 Posted by patrickklepek (4595 posts) -

I hate to be that person, but did you mean "piqued" your interest? Peak isn't necessarily wrong, if your interest reached a maximum, like the peak of a mountain, but...Okay, I'll shut up now.

Good catch.

Staff
#40 Posted by fargofallout (286 posts) -

Ultimately, if judged as a game game, it really is terrible. Similar to fast food, it only feels good in the moment.

I think this is a pretty salient point. I think about this game like I thought about Tiny Tower - I played that game for a short time, but after a while, I realized it was a waiting simulator. I didn't understand why it was receiving so much acclaim. It had a relatively cool art style, but there wasn't much of a game there.

Which is what a lot of free-to-play games ultimately are. They're waiting simulators, or if you're crazy, money sinks. I try not to judge people for sinking as much money into these things as they do, because hey, different strokes and all. Especially after reading something like this, I don't understand why one would ever spend a dime on the game. If the writing is sort of funny, I guess that's cool, but I look for gameplay in my games.

My concern is that, if people are so willing to spend money on something like this, it will entice other developers to put time and effort into creating something similar. Look at Dungeon Keeper. It backfired because it was a publisher that's well-known among people like me, using a name that had meaning, unlike Clash of Clans (I assume, anyway, because I know next to nothing about Clash of Clans), but it's an example of a developer/publisher chasing this sort of money, when I personally wish they were devoting their time to make games I'm more interested in. Maybe that's selfish of me, but I am SO fearful of a day when every game out there implements an energy mechanic and becomes, to some degree, a waiting simulator. It's so much easier to get people to consider your game if it's free rather than $15 or more, but when you're spending all of this time trying to figure out how to get money out of people, you're spending less time trying to make sure the game is fun to play (which is subjective, I know). I just hope there continues to be developers willing to risk making games where the gameplay isn't watching bars fill up.

#41 Posted by Jumbs (245 posts) -

@eternalgamer2 said:

@jumbs: There have but not to the extent it exists today. And I never said anything about her not being a "smart business woman" (though I'm not sure how anyone would know this because I'd be willing to bet anything that someone else, probably a committee of people, are making a lot of the business decisions).

Patrick's perspective that "empty calories are not the end of the world" is one that I personally strongly disagree with. Not because I entirely disagree with the notion of an occasional guilty pleasure, but because American culture overrun with them. While I don't expect all cultural critics to necessary hold back the ocean with a broom, I'd appreciate it if they didn't just take a laissez faire attitude towards the problem. If this critical attitude doesn't breed political and cultural complacency, it at least is making the decision to make no attempt to stand apart from it. And I find that depressing. Critics should strive to stand apart from it. Elsewise I don't know what makes it worth a damn.

But it comes down to the point of this: Who makes the decision as to what is a guilty pleasure, what is bad, what is an "Empty calorie"? Bad things have always existed. People have always liked bad things. People are not going to stop liking "Empty calories". I know tonnes of people that think ~THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF THE GIANTBOMB OFFICE (I would watch this)~ is really entertaining. Who cares? What media are you consuming is totally overrun with these "Empty calories"?

#42 Posted by Fruger (43 posts) -

bout a month late

#43 Posted by Jumbs (245 posts) -

What exactly is the point of this article anyway?

Kim Kardashian hollywood is a game, that has become incredibly popular. This is a video game website. Patrick wanted to share his experience with this game.

#44 Edited by Tits_Matador (77 posts) -
#45 Edited by Crono (2667 posts) -

Patrick's isolation from being in actual, tactile contact from his fellow Giant Bomb cohorts has left him a shell of a person.

#46 Posted by wewantsthering (1567 posts) -

@jumbs said:

@wewantsthering said:

What exactly is the point of this article anyway?

Kim Kardashian hollywood is a game, that has become incredibly popular. This is a video game website. Patrick wanted to share his experience with this game.

My complaint isn't that he's covering the game. It's the fluff content of the post that spends most of its time defending itself.

#47 Posted by niko555 (120 posts) -

Somehow you made an article about a Kim Kardashian game really interesting.

A++ Scoops, you deserve it

#48 Edited by BaconGames (3415 posts) -

I've never even touched this game and never will but I bet I'm in the minority of people who actually cared enough to look up who the developer is, learn that it's Glu Mobile, and see what else they've done. For all the "success" the game has had numbers-wise, none of that has gone toward an audience that actually gives a shit about the people behind the game, or even know that a team of people made this.

At first I was curious if anyone we know in the industry worked at Glu as an example of someone who was potentially attracted to it for the stability of the job in exchange for bowing to the business model. I didn't find anything yet but as it happens there's a story tell about Glu anyway:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glu_Mobile

http://www.glu.com/careers

http://ggnbb.glu.com/forumdisplay.php?162-Kim-Kardashian-Hollywood

The thing that people around here might know Glu for is acquiring GameSpy two years ago and subsequently responsible for the unilateral shutdown of the service. But really that's not the bulk of what makes Glu worth looking at. It's their history, their size, and particularly their global spread just looking at the jobs page.

That and out of curiosity I looked at the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood subforum. It's mostly a lot of people asking for help about how to progress or get around an apparent bug. Still, I think after Patrick's fascinating article about the game itself, it might be worth digging in further yourselves for your own benefit.

#49 Posted by GaspoweR (3028 posts) -

Jesus Christ, Patrick. This is even worse than Dota.

DON'T YOU DARE COMPARE THIS GAME TO THE HOLY DOTA!!! >:(

#50 Edited by Pudge (886 posts) -

"They're playing this, enjoying it, and Kardashian is making money. Is someone really the bad guy (or girl) in this situation?"

I'd argue that yes, someone is the bad guy in this situation. A company is taking advantage of our natural instincts in order to make money from them. It's a skinner box with a fancy wrapper, and it's the kind of thing that will only contribute to gaming's image problem.

The fact that a site like Giant Bomb is giving this promotion, and that there is an article on Jezebel that is basically the same piece, that is all very saddening to me. At least stuff like Flappy Bird is a game made by a single dude. This is just a corporate cash vacuum.

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