Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Is it a game? A question I thought would be simple to answer however after playing this app for a longer than I wished I still have my doubts. However, thanks to Jesper Juul I can come to a conclusion without losing my mind.
The simple fact is that I began to regret my choice almost immediately. I have played a few mobile games before. And this app shares some qualities. To start they are developed with money in mind. The game can’t exist without money true. Though mobile games like this exist to make money. For example, as many mobile games has a stamina system so does this app. Basically the game will dictate how many actions you may perform. This app wants you to purchase the ability to skip such time gates however if you were to continue to progress without them it would require you to wait. A premium K star currency is also present. Like most mobile apps, the premium currency is available in larger quantities in the beginning but begins to fall off as you progress squeezing the user to purchase them instead.
The app as far as the content is nothing special. The art style is not awful the cartoon look is ok but feels very odd. If Hollywood was an art style it would count as that. The dialog is nothing special either I confess I skipped most of it I got the basics of the story and only really needed to know what thing I needed to tap on next. Really my only reason to continue outside of completing this assignment was just to see what things money would fall out of next.
So, to address if this app could be considered a game I want to use the writing of Jesper Juul. “Play is a mostly free-form activity, whereas game is a rule based activity.” (28) This game had rules, I guess. You could only visit places it allowed. And you had objectives dictated to you. However, I don’t think this is enough. Thankfully Juul creates some terms that we can use to determine if something can be considered a game per him and his sources. These rules include “Rules, Variable and Valorization outcomes, player effort, player attached to outcome, negotiable consequences (in that nothing really affects you in real life) (36) These defining terms actually real help me understand this app.
I will only hit on some of Juuls keywords, those I feel can best show weather this app is a game.
Variable outcome is not present in this app. In that outcome at all is not present within this app. The game is meant to be continually played to maintain a score. I even looked it up and the score will fall over time forcing people to continue to ride the hamster wheel. Is a continued experience an outcome that can have be varied? I must say no.
Player effort is hard to find in my play sessions. Though I most definitely would say that anyone who’s goal of maintaining a high score would be putting in a massive amount of effort or money so I guess I will give it this one.
Playor attached to outcome, again I will have to give it this one as I did not feel attached to my score but I’m sure many people would care deeply if they lost points.
Lastly it would be Valorization or if the outcomes can be classified as positive and negative. Now this is a complex one. I feel that the game lacks outcome in general just a constipate play state in which you hhave to maintain your score or fear a penalty. So this would also be absent for the app.
In conclusion, I have to say that, no I don’t consider this app a game. It is simply a time sink or cash grab with the skin of a game attached. The Perhaps if they set a limit to your score and added a you win or you lose message I might be swayed to think of it as a game. Instead we get a never-ending system created to extract time and money from the user until their “death”. In a way, it’s life in your phone a small slice of capitalistic life right in our pockets.
Juul, Jesper. Half-real: video games between real rules and fictional worlds. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011.