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Response to Bustle's 31 Questions About Kim Kardashian Hollywood

Brief post about the Kim K game and the linked response by @kfan below.

Fun, indeed, and enjoyed by millions, these are true. I think the game is fun, too, though it’s not a very good game (excluding some points I’ll get to). To some players, for sure, the game can leave you with something to talk with friends about, but even with that awareness, the game design reinforces the addicting and entrapping nature of accumulating wealth and becoming more powerful than your friends. Click on coins and stars. Hear the sounds. It feels great. Level up, buy clothes, get higher ranks and numbers ,etc. Humans are wired for this, but don’t necessarily need it…anyways,

The game is a final iteration of a previous celeb game by the same company, only without branding:

Kim K did not design this game, but her addition was a smart (I guess) move on the part of the developer. She likely contributed to the narrative and aesthetic aspects, and thus would be very important in the game’s creation of semi-accurately conveying celebrity life. With an actual human shown in the game, the game fosters empathy for the life of a celebrity, and how it’s in some ways another form of slavery: work each day to maintain an image , fail at that and be torn apart as your reputation haunts you for life. It also makes the game more appealing, for better or worse, to a much larger audience.

Games, in general, can often be a series of tasks designed to make you feel slightly powerful or accomplished - it’s not black and white, of course, and the degree to which games do this varies.

The game uses its design to exploit this tendency in humans to the extreme, in order to, well, accumulate wealth, and continue the strange performance art that is Kim K. The developer even says so. The game says, “look at this culture! It might be fun and feel good, but you’re still trapped!” —- definitely a relevant idea, but you need to read between the lines a bit - and even then —- the game reinforces behaviors in the players that contribute to the existence of this culture in the first place. When you have a brilliant empathetic experience looking into celebrity culture, but pair it with an optimized series of tasks designed to exploit human weakness to maximize profit, what you’re left with is a step in the right direction, but with the other foot still firmly in shit.

I’d love to see this kind of game that manages to shift its mechanics away from the accumulation of power and wealth, while giving a good look into the implications of celebrity culture. 

I don’t think that game can come from this developer, though. The game mechanical core contradicts the message, somehow (which is why the game is sort of fascinating.) - the game I’d like to see couldn’t exist on a pay-to-win model.



Normally I keep a very strict no-hatelinking policy on the internet. Life is too short, there is too much suffering, and a desire to foment hate and anger is exactly the reason people post terrible things on the internet in the first place.

However. I really wanted to use a…

Vague Shade of Brown

Culture tends to have this kneejerk reaction against marginalized characters being used in popular media…this was brought up today in relation to the character Aliph from our game Even the Ocean. Jon wrote a bit worth reading about this trend


In response to this convo and the linked tumblr diagram/comic:

Styles exist… wow. Sure we all have influences and there are trends and whatever. That’s called “culture”, and SHOCKINGLY it’s only a problem when certain minoritized characteristics become recognized. This is basically the character design version of when people say “you only got into that Ivy League school because you’re a minority!!”. “You only chose that skin color because tumblr would like it!”. Like holy shit. Sure, some things can get old, but maybe I’ll consider chubby brown people “old hat” when I EVER see one on a live action show? Last I can think of is Patrice from HIMYM and she was a totally flat character, generally reserved for punch lines.

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i started working through a jazz theory book a few days ago. im at home today so i worked some ETO motifs into a really simple kinda cliche sorta thing. 

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