Is Kim Kardashian Hollywood actually a game?

Image result for kim kardashian hollywood

By: Roberto Briones

Basics of the game

Over the past week, I have had the chance to play, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood by Glu Games. In this game your character is a model who is new to Hollywood and ends up acquainting herself with Kim Kardashian. However, your character is not very popular since she is new to the Hollywood scene. In order to become more popular you must conduct missions around the Los Angeles area. These missions mostly involve socializing with various individuals. Once in a while, the missions involves being apart in a photo shoot or going out on a date.  Missions in the game can only be done if your character has enough energy to perform it. The energy comes in the form of a lightning bolt. Once your character runs out of energy, the player cannot play the game for a certain time limit.

I also have to mention the fact that you can choose your character’s gender. You can also customize your character’s outfit and physical features. I found this to be one of the best aspects of the game. Your character has to be a certain level to wear the nicer looking outfit or the cooler hair colors and styles, giving the player an incentive to keep playing the game.

Does Kim Kardashian Hollywood qualify as a game?

Roger Caillios defines a game as an activity that fall into the following six categories: Free, separate, Uncertain, Unproductive, Governed by Rules, and Make-believe. However, I feel that some of these categories are outdated, for example not all games have to be make belief or separate from our worlds. Some examples include the FIFA or Madden series. So I will be using a list by a more modern game scholar named Jesper Juul to analyze Kim Kardashian Hollywood.


Image result for kim kardashian hollywood



Juul proposed that a game must have: Rules, Variable quantifiable outcomes, valorization of outcomes, player effort, the player must be attached to outcome, and negotiable consequences in order to be considered as such.

Rules: The game runs on a system based on energy and money, if the player runs out of energy or money, the player will have to wait a certain amount of time before being able to play again.

Variable quantifiable outcomes: You can choose to be a boy or a girl in the game and are able to date any gender. The player is also able to customize their character’s features and fashion choices.

Valorization of outcomes: Kim Kardashian Hollywood lacks in this category. There is almost no way that your character will not become famous, no matter what you choose to do in the game.

Player Effort: The player does have to exert effort in order to play the game, but not that much. Most of the missions are very easy to complete and the only reason you will not be able to complete a mission is if you either run out of money or energy.

Player attached to outcome: This game has actually managed to attach me to its outcome. One of the main reasons I keep playing the game is because I want to buy the cool outfits for my character and want to watch her succeed in Hollywood.

Negotiable consequences: From what I have played, I haven’t been able to see any consequences from my action. So the game lacks in this department.


Since the game doesn’t fulfill all the categories but fulfills most, Kim Kardashian Hollywood is considered a borderline game. In my opinion Kim Kardashian Hollywood does qualify as a game, even though I am not a huge fan of the game. Fun should not be a factor that considers whether a project should be considered a game. Fun is very subjective and a game that could be very entertaining for me, such as Pac Man, can seem boring to another individual.




3 thoughts on “Is Kim Kardashian Hollywood actually a game?

  1. Really great opening description of the game and its gameplay in the first paragraph. The second wasn’t quite as good though. Maybe lead the reader through it? If it’s one of your favorite parts of the game showing might be good. Your analysis of Juul is clear, but I’m not sure why you bothered mentioning Caillois since you then just dissed him and dropped him. One question to get you thinking though: You talk about “player effort,” noting that it isn’t really there since it’s easy unless you run out of money. For Juul, paying money is not part of the game. For KK:H paying money is a huge part of the game. I want to suggest that the link you’re missing here is that really succeeding, obtaining the valorized outcome of becoming an A-list celebrity, is really only possible if you are willing to make the “effort” of paying a lot of cold hard cash to advance in the game. Does that change your analysis, or not? Does it change the game’s relationship to either Caillois’ or Juul’s definitions of play/game?


  2. I really love how you break down the game into Juul’s list of rules, variable quantifiable outcomes, valorization of outcomes, player effort, player attached to outcome, and negotiable outcomes. I agree with you on how it’s a borderline game because it really lacks player effort and at times input but I was wondering if the only thing that kept you playing was the outfits and progress towards fame? Would this game then play more into aesthetics because of this need for outfits?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s