My time with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is drawing to an end, as the game slowly starts to slide down the app chats. When I began, it was the #1 free app on Apple’s iOS, but now it’s #11, reflecting the short attention span of the average app consumer.
But before I never click that animated tile again, I wanted to go through and discuss the surprisingly profound and tragic nature of the game, one that masquerades as a simple dress up and dating sim, but actually speaks to the sad realities of the empty lives of some of the rich and famous. Perhaps even Kim Kardashian herself, considering the game seems to be loosely based on her life and activities.
The structure of the game is that you’re constantly taking new gigs and going on dates to get noticed by the press. Each event you complete nets you cash for new clothes and more fans, and you want to climb your way up from the E-list to the top of the A-list. Here are a few things I discovered along the way.
– Your worth as a person is directly tied to your material possessions. The game has you buying clothes, cars and homes with your money, but if you don’t want to spend? You’re ridiculed. TV hosts will mock your outfits if you haven’t spent enough on “professional” clothes. Dates will insult you to your face if you don’t have enough “charming” clothes. You must spend money to be relevant, and of course, more outfits get you more fans as well.
– There’s no such thing as a “party.” There are, and you attend plenty of them, but they’re all entirely based around promoting one product or another, and the game has you plugging various items from moisturizer to vodka. Even your character’s own birthday party is a working event, Kim informs you, and you get paid after you attend and promote whichever product you’ve been assigned.
– Dating in Hollywood is borderline impossible. Every romance seems doomed in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, and I’ve had countless girlfriends dump me because I was simply choosing working (which makes money) over going on dates with them (which costs money). With how busy my schedule is in the game, holding onto a relationship for more than a week is excruciatingly hard, and all crumble in the end. And once they dump you? There’s literally no way to get them back, other than buying their love with Kim Coins, the most valuable and rare currency in the game.
– Exposing yourself is a must. There’s one mission near the beginning of the game where a photoshoot asks you to do nudity. You’re meant to ask Kim for advice, but rather than hear sage wisdom about not compromising yourself for publicity, she simply says to follow your heart. I followed my heart into taking my clothes off and was rewarded with a host of new fans. Lesson learned?
– Embrace the paparazzi. As your star begins to rise, you’re confronted by paparazzi on the street from time to time, you can ignore them or pose, but posing nets you a bunch of new fans instantly. Feed those leeches!
– Other people only matter if they’re somebody. As you progress throughout the game, you meet various NPCs also climbing the fame ladder. At first, you befriend everyone, and drag them to your various events as friends or dates. But eventually once you hit the A-list, everyone else who isn’t an A-lister ceases to be useful to you. You only want to befriend or date other A-listers, as that will net you the maximum number of fans. Nobody else is even worth your time.
– Being on top is an empty feeling. After a few weeks of play, I finally climbed to #1 spot on the A-list amassing 50M fans, 10M more than my closest competitor. And then…there was nothing. No reward, no achievement, nothing. And there was still more of “story mode” to go. Kim was calling me to go to some Miami event, but why? What was the point? To earn more money that would buy me more clothes that would get me more fans? But there were no rungs of the ladder left to climb. Unmatched fame and superstardom was…empty.
Perhaps that’s the ultimate lesson of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. All the parties, clothes, cash and glamour eventually leads to nothing but a hollow existence, even when you’re supposed to be on top of the world. The secret truth of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is that money buys nothing but shallow friends, fame-hungry dates and a giant pile of stuff. Not happiness. Not anything that matters.
Deep, Kim. Deep.
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