State of the Game
For the last two weeks, I have been playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood by Glu Games. The premise of the game is to increase your reputation by gaining fans in the pursuit of becoming an A-list celebrity on the level of Kim Kardashian. Players can gain fans by booking jobs such as acting, modeling, and club appearances. Actions within these jobs are fueled by energy which when depleted requires the player to take a break and let the energy recharge. But if the player is impatient and wants to speed up the energy recovery process, they can spend real world money to get premium currency called “K-Stars” which unlocks special actions and allows you to refill the energy bar faster.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has elements of a Role-Playing Game (RPG). The player can choose what gender the avatar will be and how they look. You receive better-looking clothes as you level up creating a constant goal for the player to come back and keep playing. But with the ability to use the premium currency to get the best-looking outfits in the game without having to level up.
Is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood really a Game?
Roger Caillios definition of a game is broken down into six different categories. These categories being: Free, Separate, Uncertain, Unproductive, Governed by Rules, and Make-believe. Some of the categories like Uncertain and Unproductive are more archaic and are not used as much today. Therefore, I will instead look at Jesper Juul to analyze Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, as his list is more updated. Juul’s key ideas that a game needed to have in order to considered a game followed: Rules, Variable quantifiable outcomes, Valorization of outcomes, Player effort, the player must be attached to the outcome and Negotiable outcomes.
Rules: The player is gated by how much energy and cash have available as energy allows you to complete jobs and gain fans while money affects how you move around the game space as almost all forms of transportation require a monetary fee to move to different locations within the game.
Variable quantifiable outcomes: The game allows the player to choose what gender the avatar is and allows for persistent customization of the clothing.
Valorization of outcomes: There are no ways that the game will try to limit your attempts to become famous.
Player Effort: There is little player effort as all the player needs to do is tap the specific parts of the screen to complete certain objective.
Player’s response to outcome: The player receives better clothing the faster that the player levels up.
Negotiable consequences: So far, I have seen no negative or positive consequences based off my actions within the game.
In my opinion, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is not a game as it does not meet the modern standard for video games. But that doesn’t mean that it is not fun for certain people. It might suit someone who does not have a lot of time to play in-depth RPG and wants something that is easy to play. Sometimes the demographic of players might even surprise you.