Mobile Play: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

1446197188kimkardashianState 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.

Conclusion

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.

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5 thoughts on “Mobile Play: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

  1. “Negotiable consequences: So far, I have seen no negative or positive consequences based off my actions within the game.”

    I am guessing, by your conclusion, the unfulfilling nature of this category allows you to conclude that KKH is not a game. I feel as if, although I cannot fault you for not experience this within the game, this statement is a tad off base. There are clearly positive and negative consequences based on actions within the game. For example, leaving a photo-shoot early causes you to effectively “fail” the mission and you will have to do it again. This is clearly a negative outcome for the game. Furthermore, the missions literally contain ranking systems being between 1 and 5 stars (symbolizing both positive and negative outcomes).

    Not moving within the game is also a negative consequence of your actions. If you refuse to walk your character to the office to meet your manager, then you will not get farther in the game (this is a negative outcome).

    Therefore, I disagree with your premise that this game does not have negotiable consequences, and thus existing as a game.

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    • Events in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood are run on a 1-hour timer that requires the player to complete. Now you can leave the location of the event with no consequences, as the game just counts down from 1-hour and then completes, granting whatever level of stars that was completed before the player left. The stars represent how fast you move up in the game world.

      Not meeting your manager means you can not move forward in the story but does not present any negative outcomes other than not being able to advance the story meaning that you can still access and play within the game world.

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      • I would say your outcomes of those actions are simply not completing the event. Something does not have to “happen” necessarily for it to be an outcome. You leaving a photo shoot and not completing it is indeed an outcome of your choices. Same with not meeting your boss. No, the game will not continue, but you did choose an outcome.

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  2. I played the game too for my blog and I would have to disagree with about it not being a game. Even though it does not feel like a game it still has the foundation of game. It runs on a code and the player has an objective. Like everyone else said at times you can’t move forward if you don’t go along which constitutes how it is a game in the end of the day.

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  3. I’m going to have to side with lfaiola here in his questioning about the outcome and valorization. However, I also want to push on the writing itself. Said simply, I do not follow your meaning in many of the explanations. For example, you write: “Variable quantifiable outcomes: The game allows the player to choose what gender the avatar is and allows for persistent customization of the clothing.” However, what does the clothing have to do with variable, quantifiable outcome? I simply do not understand as you do not explain. Make sure you fully explain your points!

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