Klick Klick Klicking In Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

KIM KARDASHIAN!

A recent Twitter meme had people posting their gaming confessions. In a rare fit of “joining in” I posted mine: I didn’t like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

I guess that might have come across as snarky or for laughs if you don’t know me but I find Kim Kardashian fascinating. I’ve followed her exploits for years, from back when she was only really famous in the US and as Paris Hilton’s friend rather than as a celebrity in her own right. It’s not a fascination which would see me daydreaming about hanging out with her – just as well really as a work engagement took me to a meet-n-greet she had as part of a perfume launch complete with photo opportunities. I couldn’t be doing with the jostling so I sat back and watched and ate olives. Then spilled olives down my top and wondered whether to correct it with the perfume which I think smelled strongly of sweets.

Where was I? Oh – yes, it’s more a fascination with how she markets herself and how her mother markets her. It’s about people’s reactions to her and about her apparent ability to just tune out the negatives. It’s about the phenomenon of being a celebrity whose fame is based on being a celebrity – a compounding and snowballing of interest. I also quite like the person at the centre of it.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is a game I downloaded on my phone when it came out. In many ways it’s fascinating too. You can look at the actions your character must take in the game and see parallels with the actions real people take to stay in the news – being seen at the right parties, making friends with the right designers, using publicists and managers to pick up jobs and smooth over crises. It’s also microtransaction-heavy, although Glu seem to have created a product which stays generally on the right side of pushy (by which I mean some people will be turned off but many will stay and either stump up cash or keep chipping away at the game in bursts).

Kim Kardashian!

So it taps into my interest in Kim’s life and how that works. It also taps into my fascination with how free-to-play businesses work. In fact, the only kind of tapping it does that I don’t get on with is the physical act of interacting with the game – prodding at the screen for rewards on the iPhone and exchanging that for clicking when you come to the Facebook version. I hate games about clicking for rewards where the act of clicking is as skill-less as it is here. And yet, it’s a Kardashian product – can that seriously not balance out the hatred of clicking? I mean, I’ve read the Kardashian novel (“Dollhouse: A Novel”, not to be confused with the Ibsen play of a similar name) it’s not like I’m snobby about their output.

With that in mind I’ve decided to give the Facebook version another go this afternoon.

Let’s do this!

The game opens with Pip Pipdashian (shut up) in a clothing store called So Chic. Her manager is looking angry and there are several mannequins wearing outfits right out of Kim K’s back catalogue. I’m not kidding – I recognise a version of a silver Catherine Malandrino gown from an Us Weekly party a few years ago, a red dress with a keyhole front from the Dorothy Perkins collection, a black strapless thing which I can’t place but could be from any number of red carpet parties, and a white ruffled shirt and leather trousers look which is a staple of Kardashian daywear.

The manager guy is angry because he is running late (I think?) and needs you to close the store. This involves clicking on the only clickable icons onscreen to straighten and fold clothes. You get rewarded for completing these tasks with a spray of cash, experience, energy and K stars. Experience helps you level up and gain access to things like clothes, energy lets you click on the icons more and money lets you buy things. K stars are another form of game currency. KLICK KLICK KLICK.

Kim Kardashian!

Kim shows up as I’m closing the store and asks for my help picking out a cute dress. I’ve done this scene probably five or six times over the course of trying to like this game and every time I wonder if it’s a test, whether the correct answer is “KIM YOU WORE THOSE BOTH YEARS AGO LET ME HELP YOU FIND SOMETHING NEW.” This is an area in which I truly believe I can help Game-Kim and it pains me that all I am allowed to do is click one of the two options and send her to be savaged by the press for wearing a re-run. KLICK.

I pick the silver dress because I remember her smiling in the pictures for that event and it feels like she rarely smiles in red carpet pictures anymore. Not that huge grin anyway. She asks to pay and the only option available to you is to insist she take it free of charge. To be honest, that’s probably in the shop’s interests as having a celebrity spotted in an outfit is one way to increase sales. So many times Kate Middleton would wear something from a high street store and within moments of the dress or whatever being IDed it would be sold out or the store’s website would have fallen over thanks to the increase in traffic.

I head to my flat next door. Apparently knowing where I live rewards me with cash and experience. That doesn’t happen in real life. It takes me three energy points to find something to wear to an event Kim invited me to attend. That does happen in real life. Pip Pipdashian ends up wearing a white bodycon dress which I think was actually Nina Ricci separates when Kim wore it to the Dream For Future Africa Gala. KLICK KLICK KLICK.

Kim Kardashian!

I now have enough experience to use a bus stop and may head to Beverly Hills to meet with Garrett St Clair, a skeevy-looking photographer chap wearing pink cropped jeans and a shirt and tie. Surprise! Kim has organised a photoshoot for Pip Pipdashian. Completing tasks like this involves a lot of clicking on icons to earn little blue stars which fill up a task meter. You only have a certain amount of real time to complete these tasks so it’s a good idea to check your energy levels and the amount of time available to complete a task before you start. The currencies which drop have peculiar hit boxes meaning you click around even more trying to pick them up. I accidentally speak to Garrett three times when trying to pick up some energy. On the plus side the currencies seem to eventually just dissolve and are added to your inventory if you leave them but it’s annoying given the point seems to be the “joy” of clicking. KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK.

I need a manager now – not a shop one (I have one of those) but a celebrity one. I’ve done this segment so many times and nowadays I only persevere because just afterwards you visit Kim’s house and she mentions having a recording studio and I wonder if she’s using the game to tease a return to pop music. Yes. I have listened to her foray into music. It’s called Jam (Turn It Up). It’s terrible but the music video is entertaining in a low-budget narcissism-and-baby oil vortex kinda way.

Oh, wait – there’s also a run-in with Willow Pape – a villainous D-lister and manipulator of social media which had some topical joking which dates the game launch rather than being on-trend now. For example there’s a paranoid tweet from Willow blasting poor Pip Pipdashian’s antics at a party which was tagged #Obamacare and #illuminati. Actually, there’s an interesting theory which Samantha Rullo goes into on Bustle about whether Willow is actually a manifestation of all the things Kim can’t ever say or do without destroying her brand.

KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK.

Kim Kardashian!

KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK KLICK.

And there it is – the point where I always tap out [KLICK] from the game. I now have a manager, a publicist, a fledgling feud with Willow and the patronage of Kim. Once I got as far as dating a girl called Michelle Murphy but the game kept interrupting a real life dinner date I was on because I didn’t manage the time and energy well and Michelle ended up losing interest in me. At that point I realised I’d need to be more careful about the game and meeting its demands and started to drift away. Calls from my manager went unanswered, messages from Kim(?) about needing to maintain my profile were ignored and Pip Pipdashian faded from public life. I mean, I can dig around in the experience and try and give it meaning because I know a lot about celebrity culture and about Kim Kardashian’s public life but ultimately the game isn’t fun for me, no matter how many knowing nods it gives.

All I know is that I am Pip Pipdashian and I do not enjoy simply clicking things.

This article was originally published last week as part of the RPS Supporter Program.

41 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Why is the man in the bow-tie so angry? Is it because he can feel the joylessness in Pip’s klicks? Is it because he is trying to avoid the awkwardness of those skintight trousers?

    • Jackablade says:

      It’s the look of a man doing a bit part for the paycheck after losing his job as Call of Duty NPC.

    • kwyjibo says:

      He’s upset at the lack of blipster representation in video games.

  2. Anthile says:

    This will baffle archaeologists of the future for centuries to come (‘Must have been for ritual purposes’). I barely understand it now.

    • savagegump says:

      Hehe, that made me chuckle! For anyone who hasn’t studied archaeology, “has a ritual use” is pretty much the go to explanation for any artifact or structure that doesn’t have an obvious practical purpose.

      I often look around at many things in the modern world and think that, taken out of their modern context, they would just appear totally batshit.

      • Zenicetus says:

        (glances over at button-studded HOTAS joystick sitting on desk)… yep!

      • Hex says:

        A lovely extrapolation of this phenomenon — link to amazon.com

      • Tukuturi says:

        In American Archaeology, it’s often the opposite. Everything has to be functional. Obviously this game is without social meaning and somehow increases the user’s efficiency when foraging for hickory nuts.

  3. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    “Kim Kardashian!” should have been an option for every single dialogue choice.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Or tweets directly lifted from Kim Kierkegaardashian.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      From now on every game dialogue option must include the following:

      * “Kim Kardashian!”
      * “I’M THE BATMAN”
      * [Punch Leland]

      Other choices are allowable, but optional.

  4. Jalan says:

    Possibilities of this and the Shannon Tweed game getting sequels are what game developers should use as bogeyman stories to spook their children and any future developers into making games worthwhile and not solely for the dosh.

  5. Muppetizer says:

    Just about the only thing I know about any of the Kardashians is the green leather Balmain dress one of the sisters wore one time. If there was a game that let me wear that dress I think I would never stop playing. It is the coolest of dresses. It is the ultimate power fantasy.

  6. Smashbox says:

    My brain. Noo.

  7. Chuckleluck says:

    It’s too bad she married a rapper, and not a large fellow named James. Imagine Kim Kardashian and Jim Gargantuan!

  8. amateurviking says:

    So: when do we get to Bajor?

  9. Moraven says:

    Cow Klicker 2.0?

  10. Stevostin says:

    Is that Kim Kardashian the one that was bashed during the gamers gate ? Women all look the same to me.

    • Hex says:

      You should do an image search for lady-genitals (you may need to work on the search-terms).

      The nightmarishly snowflake-esque variety out there is horrifying, and I take it as proof that cthulhu-mythos type Old Ones have been manipulating genetics since the dawn of man. Maybe longer.

      • Kala says:

        Horrifying nightmare snowflake?
        That is no way to talk about my lady parts!

        • Enough. says:

          I think he meant only that the variety is horrifying, and that your genitals are (possibly) nightmarishly snowflake-esque.

  11. Premium User Badge

    sicanshu says:

    Someday many years from now Kim Kardashian will admit that she’s actually a singularly dedicated performance artist. It will turn out that for decades her life and persona have been a carefully crafted work of satire, viciously skewering the culture of American celebrity worship by creating a faux icon from thin air and then managing to compel an entire generation of people to take an interest in, and even develop strong feelings about, someone with no discernible talents or even interesting traits (apart from her butt, which is admittedly a pretty impressive butt, as butts go. butts.). Everyone, including Kanye, will be shocked into reevaluating their relationship with celebrity culture, and we will all have been immeasurably enriched by the experience.

    • vlonk says:

      But isn’t that what the religion of the golden calf is all about? False Gods and what not?
      I say she should go all out with her larger-than-life persona and build the Stoddard Temple of the heroic human spirit, putting a naked sculpture of herself in the center, representing the pinnacle of humanity.(The Fountainhead reference)
      To gain public support and acceptance she can sell the gifts of other gods in an adjoining hall, hello kitty, Louis Vuitton, apple products and whatnot.
      OR she could just join the other lesser gods in their reliquaries in the mall of magic.

  12. Spacewalk says:

    Way to Kardashian my hopes for this to be a good game.

  13. w0bbl3r says:

    How did I know that when it said the writer “liked” KK I immediately knew it had to be a woman writing it?
    And that the woman in question would have to make excuses for liking this excuse for a human being by saying she is more fascinated in the way her celebrity works, and how people perceive that? As if that is in any way interesting. It’s just as bland, shallow and dull as the woman herself (and her gormless husband aqua-man).
    If you like this ugly hobbit-woman, at least be honest about it. Don’t try to lie about why you like her because you know you will be ridiculed for it. Just admit it.

    • dangrak says:

      “I also quite like the person at the centre of it.”

      Seems she did admit to liking Kardashian merely for who she is (although I don’t see how anyone can “like” somebody so vapid.) If you don’t like reading entire articles, at least be honest about it.

    • El_Emmental says:

      As much as I dislike people exploiting the “celebrity” system to get money out of people wishing they had a more successful “social” life (by making them believe “fame = social and existential success”), you can’t apply the exact same judgment to the people falling for that scheme. Especially when the person is starting to realize the whole thing is the result of careful manipulation (while not refusing to be manipulated – nobody’s perfect :P).

      ps: I just scrolled up, the author here is P.W. – if I recall correctly, she previously wrote for some websites covering celebrities and was in charge of following the latest announcements from the K. group. It probably changed the way she deals with that celebrity product: as much as you hate or love it, the PR/marketing strategy they deploy is quite efficient.

    • mechabuddha says:

      You must be a hit at parties.

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      You may have also known because her name is written before the article..
      right under the title..
      right before the first words in the article…
      after the preposition “by” (to signify who was writing it..)
      but before the date.

      That’s how I noticed… perception runs in my family

  14. Groove says:

    “I now have enough experience to use a bus stop”

    When I was 15 a friend of mine got on a bus and said “Can I have a ticket please?” True story, you really can lack the experience to use a bus stop.

    • Nootrac4571 says:

      Overhead many years ago: “Can I have a return, please.” “Where to?” “Oh, back here.”

    • HopeHubris says:

      First time I tried to use a bus (I was about 12 at the time), I didn’t realise the bus number was the same both ways, and boarded my bus on the wrong side of the road. Had to get my mum to pick me up from about 2 hours away from my destination

  15. El_Emmental says:

    It should be noted that:

    1) The game is developed *and* published by Glu Mobile.

    2) Nearly all shareholders in Glu Mobile are banks and investment firms (nb: that’s important for what’s following).

    3) Glu Mobile bought Gamespy Technologies from IGN Entertainment in August 2012. Gamespy Technologies was responsible for the multiplayer part of hundreds of games.

    4) Glu Mobile immediately asked from 10 to 20 times the normal cost for hosting these servers. They only warned a handful of developers/publishers, most weren’t told anything.

    5) Not receiving the hundreds of thousands of dollars they suddenly asked, Glu Mobile decided to shutdown all the servers.

    6) It affected the multiplayer part of countless cult PC games, but also ended the online multiplayer part of several major Nintendo games (that were using the Gamespy Technologies).

    What does it mean for us, average consumers and video game enthusiasts?

    That Glu Mobile is an inhuman and destructive company that shamelessly took multiplayer PC gaming hostage to immediately ask for an insane ransom, and proceeded to execute it as soon as developers and publishers tried to negotiate a price they could actually afford.

    Such violent and disrespectful behavior should not be tolerated by anyone who care about video games. It should be exposed and denounced every time the Glu Mobile company is involved in a discussion, news entry or game review.

    It’s not just about boycotting their product: it is our duty to continuously inform everyone of their heinous track record, to attribute a negative marketing value to that kind of disgusting behavior. If nobody’s doing that job of setting a limit, they will do worse until people start reacting to it.

    • jgurgeh says:

      Banks and investment firms ruining video game services is highly unpleasant. Unfortunately, they engage in the same kind of activities in the essential public services they are taking over, which is downright disgusting and evil and repellant.

  16. GomezTheChimp says:

    Here`s a somewhat more succinct review from Amazon:
    5.0 out of 5 stars omg, 28 Sep 2014
    By
    wow – See all my reviews

    This review is from: KIM KARDASHIAN: HOLLYWOOD (App)
    This game is just great you can have bf go out dance be a model throw drinks on people so so good I just love it hope they make another one like it I love it so much u should buy it definitely worth it xxx just so good I’m chuffed so so amazing thank you to the creator of this game x
    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
    Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

  17. thebigJ_A says:

    Yes

  18. P-Dizzle says:

    1) Not a PC game
    2) It was one of Leigh Alexanders best games of 2014 (seriously)
    3) Philippa Warr is good friends with Leigh Alexander (on twitter at least).

    There is something very fishy going on here. Something that a particular group need to look in to.

    • El_Emmental says:

      I agree the sequel needs fishing as an outdoor activity, the game is focusing too much on the urban lifestyle.

      [nb: the thing people should actually care about are the possible consulting/contracting/employment done by writers for Glu Mobile, Superscape, Griptonite Games – and to a much lesser degree nVidia, Viacom or MonsterMob. Conflicts of interest are a very complex thing, just like statistics – so unless there’s a solid file on the case, methodically built and properly verified, it’s best to forget about it.]

  19. jgurgeh says:

    Here is a short Daily Mash article that nicely sums up Kim Kardashian, celebrity culture, this RPS post and the 21st Century in general…

    Kardashian photo breaks human spirit