For those of you who have been living under a rock, or busy dumping ice water on your head, I am here to tell you that Kim Kardashian has an app called Kim Kardashian Hollywood, and it's taking the world by storm.
Like, even more than the ice water thing.
Like, even more than the ice water thing.
Financial analysts predict that the app will rake in $200 million this year, of which Kim stands to earn 45% of the net profits. Which is great, because she totally needs that cash, what with the new baby and all the bills from her recent wedding.
Are you done laughing? Cool.
Are you done laughing? Cool.
So what's the deal with this game? Its reach is so broad that even the EPA is playing it (okay, more likely it's an unpaid teenage EPA intern, but still). It's so addictive that twelve-year-old Katherine's iTunes review contains the following tragic sentence: "Should I start with the fact that this game actually makes you feel like you are famous, or the fact that this game makes you feel important?"
And most importantly, it spawned this hilarious tweet:
“@zarryjane: “@KylieJenner: I can't stop playing 😂 pic.twitter.com/aGVeFESAaJ” BUT YOU LIVING THIS SHIT”
— C (@xocorinaxo) July 14, 2014
But what is it? And why is it so addictive? I decided to find out.
I logged into the Google Play store (Droid 4 lyfe!) and was surprised to learn that the app is free. Wait, so they make all their money from in-app purchases? How dumb does one have to be to actually spend money in a game? What exactly are these people buying?
As I waited an exorbitant amount of time for the download to complete, I wondered whether Kim's obnoxious vocal fry was included in the game.
Upon opening the app, I was forced to submit my email address and log in to Google Plus. Um. That's embarrassing. Are my G+ followers going to see that I'm playing this? It'll all become clear why I was playing in a week or so, but in the meantime, shit.
|Wait, did she just call me basic?|
After turning over my social media identity to Kim, I was invited to "kustomize" my avatar while listening to shitty electronic dance pop that made me feel like I was browsing a Forever 21 store. I was disheartened to learn that pink hair was locked (??) so I went with normal-human red as a second choice. Also? No sneakers. None.
Six minutes later (and I'm telling you, I wasn't being picky) I'm transported to a boutique with Kim-shaped mannequins, and I'm being berated by the shopkeep. I guess I work here? That's funny; I don't remember hearing about Kim getting her start as a retail employee. I'm ordered to "straighten" some shirts, which I complete by tapping a dot next to them until money falls out. Okay. That's exactly what I was like when I worked at Hot Topic. I'm sold.
Life Lesson From Kim #1: Money just fucking shows up.
The boss tells me to lock up and then he leaves. In walks Kim herself. She asks me for help (in her real voice! Gah!), and I am given three options: telling her we're open (not true), telling her we're closed, or yelling her name at her face. I chose option two. She replies that she does not accept this fact. I am then presented with one option: find her a dress. I do so, and she asks me how much it costs. The only option is to give it to her for free. Is this really how she lives? Breezing into stores after closing time and taking whatever merchandise she wants without compensation? Lady, if you ever came into Hot Topic between 1999 and 2001, I would have called mall security on you!
Kim invites me to watch her do some modelling in Beverly Hills (she's a model now?) because she likes my style. She tells me to wear a dress. I only own one and it's god-awful, but I'm sure Kim will approve. I take the bus there (cost: four dollars US) and I learn that Kim has a surprise for me: I'm going to be doing the modelling! Kim, you rascal!
I have now attained Level Three, which means that my pink hair is unlocked, but apparently it costs ten sheriff's badges, which I cannot yet afford.
Kim has instructed me to meet her at a party at "The Brew Palms" after the shoot. I arrive outside and I'm approached by a gentleman with blue eyebrows who wants to know if I think he can get into the party. I tell him no. A cloud appears above his head. Sure.
|Your outfit is worse than mine, dude.|
Once inside the "party," I learn that it's actually just, like, two people hanging out at a bar. One of these people is a dude named Dirk. I am given the choice of either networking or flirting with him. I choose to network.
Upon leaving the bar, I'm accosted by a blonde lady who calls me "ratchet" and accuses me of flirting with Dirk. Man, I really wish I'd taken a screenshot of me choosing "network." Whatever, she's a cartoon and I'm real. Fuck her.
I then go to meet with a man called Simon, who Kim tells me is to be my new manager. Because I guess I'm a model now. Simon instructs me to get some head shots done. On the street, I meet a cat. I am given the option to adopt it, but he costs 20 sheriff's badges. I poke a pigeon and some money falls out of it.
Kim's world is exceedingly weird.
I watch an ad in order to earn a free sheriff's badge. My son asks me what I'm doing, and I tell him, "I'm playing this dumb game so I can tell my readers how dumb it is." He says it seems fun, but then again, he also thinks yelling, lying on the floor, and occasionally pooping in his pants is fun, so it's all relative.
Simon tells me he will call me in an hour. Kim calls and invites me to lunch. She really can't get over me. Also, lunch? Am I to understand that the store closing and party at a bar occurred before noon? Or did I black out and it's the next day already?
Life Lesson From Kim #2: The world runs on Kim's schedule.
An ad pops up offering me 50 sheriff's badges in exchange for $4.99 in real life money. That's enough to buy pink hair and a cat, with 20 to spare... But I'm better than that. I have pink hair and two cats in real life. The hair is achieved with supplies costing about $10, and the cats were free. So fuck that.
I meet a paparazzi who thinks I might be important because Willow was yelling at me earlier. He takes my picture. I suspect Kim has tipped him off. Or maybe Kris? Is she in this game? Soon after the encounter, my "feed" pops up. This is apparently an off-brand Twitter. Willow is tweeting mad shade at me. I mean, not even sub-tweeting. She tags @Jenn. Man, I wish my Twitter handle was really @Jenn.
Kim calls me again. She needs to cancel our lunch date, but she wants to discuss the Willow situation. She is very OMG about the whole thing, and suggests that I get a PR rep. She recommends a lady called Maria, whose office is conveniently located in the same building as my new manager.
I arrive at Maria's office, and she begins our business relationship by accusing me of hitting on Dirk. My options for responding to her are "Apparently" or "I did." But I didn't! I wonder what would have happened if I really did, since I'm getting vilified either way.
Maria recommends that I go out on a date to quell the Flirtgate talk, and tells me to ask Kim to set me up. I go to Kim, and she gives me a choice of a male or female date. How progressive! I choose a woman, because I want Willow to feel extra shitty about her accusation. How do you like that, you insecure bitch? I'm not even into guys!
Kim sets me up with Michelle Murphy, who is a writer. She seems nice, and I start to feel guilty for toying with Michelle's emotions. She's looking for love, and this is really just a PR stunt. I'm a terrible person. I run out of energy lightning bolts early on during the date, and am unable to flirt. I'm invited to buy more with sheriff's badges, but I'm saving up for that hair and cat, so I pass. What's the point of earning money in this game if everything costs sheriff's badges?
Life Lesson From Kim #3: Use people for personal gain.
I decide to wait four minutes for more energy, all the while listening to weird ambient sounds of people laughing and plates clanking. I wonder if this was recorded in Kim's Kitchen. I also wonder why I capitalized Kitchen. She's getting to me.
Michelle and I silently fuss with our hair and examine our fingernails. When the four minutes are up, I've earned one lightning bolt. I am required to flirt three bolts' worth of energy, which I guess means I need to wait eight more minutes, so I close my tablet and unload my IRL dishwasher.
"Why are you playing that so you can write about how dumb it is?" my son asks me. I tell him I think my readers will think it's funny. He replies, "I think they'll think that you're not smart." I guess that all depends on whether or not I end up spending money on it.
I return to the date and flirt enough to appease Kim. I receive a call from Simon, who tells me that he's booked me a modelling gig at "PopGlam." He does not tell me where that is, so I'm forced to guess, and spend precious fake dollars riding the bus around Los Angeles. I find the location, and it's that same damn photographer again. Apparently, Kim thinks all photographers look alike. That's racist.
Life Lesson From Kim #4: All photographers are interchangeable.
Two days and ten (ten!) notifications later, I finally give in. My photo shoot has ended, and they'll tell me how well I did in an hour. I'm guessing not too well, since I literally just showed up at the shoot and then peaced out for two days.
I'm sent to a runway show, where I use up all my energy and am again promised an update in an hour. Modelling is hard work, y'all. Then, Simon calls to tell me that he'll call me in an hour. WHY. JUST WHY.
All of this took place in the span of two minutes.
I log out. Two hours and three notifications later, I log back in to find that I've been offered a job in a glass cleaner commercial, Kim has given me a new shirt, I've earned $950 and gained 1300 fans. Maria calls to tell me that Kim is opening a store in Miami and I should show up there and ask for a job.
Life Lesson From Kim #5: If you want something, just take it.
I show up at another modelling job and use up all my energy, but the job isn't over for two more hours. I learn through fake-Twitter that my glass cleaner ad is trending (??) and I've gained 239 more fans. I'm about to question who would be a fan of someone who appeared in a commercial with a non-speaking role, until I remember that back in the early 2000s, my husband and I were very invested in the career of a commercial actor we referred to as "The Milk Shaker." If I knew his name, I would totally follow him on Twitter. So.
Three hours later, I get a notification that my energy is full, and I'm actually excited. Things are looking grim.
I leave my photo shoot ready to fly to Miami, and Simon calls with another job. I'm annoyed at what a good agent he is. I take the job. He calls again. He wants me to "appear" at a bar. Fuck him; I'm going to Miami. My plane ticket costs $15. This is the same game where bus fare ranges from $4 to $8, mind you.
Life Lesson From Kim #6: Things cost whatever the fuck you want them to cost.
I show up at Kim's store and she's impressed with gumption, so I'm hired on the spot. I guess I live here now? What about my modelling career? Why do I need this crappy job anyway? Kim has me fiddle with some clothes and then tells me to meet someone called Misty to buy some clothes for the store. Okay. I fly back to L.A. to appear at the bar. I guess I'm officially a jet-setter now? I look up "jet-setter" on Dictionary.com to be sure.
When I arrive at LAX, Misty calls to set up a meeting. She's in L.A. How convenient!
I figure I should go to my original job and resign, seeing as I have a new retail job in Miami and I'm kind of a famous model now. I guess the boss already heard and he has an anger-cloud over him.
Life Lesson From Kim #7: Fuck the little people. They're all just cartoons, anyway.
I show up at the "event" and spend the last of my energy drinking. This is the first time this game has presented something realistic. I leave to meet Misty, and Simon calls with another job. Am I his only client?? I meet Misty and buy some clothes or whatever. Maria calls and tells me to buy a condo in Hollywood. But what about my job in Miami? Why would she tell me to get a job in Florida, and then, hours later, order me to buy a home in California? I guess in a world where plane tickets cost $15 and flights are instantaneous, that's totally reasonable.
Life Lesson From Kim #8: Time and money mean nothing. NOTHING.
I go to Simon's latest job, and he fucking calls me again, asking me to come to his office. I need to have a talk with this guy about boundaries. I spend all my energy drinking instead of modelling. Look what you've done to me, Simon. I log out.
It's 11:48 on a Friday night in real life. I'm drinking wine and eating potato chips when my tablet chirps. Kim is calling to me again. I briefly wonder if Kim eats chips.
I open the app and learn that my latest modelling job has gone well. That's a surprise. I decide to buy that condo. SIMON CALLS AGAIN, reminding me that I'm to meet him at his office. I go to the bus stop, and HE CALLS AGAIN. I'm so flustered, I take the bus to the wrong neighborhood. You owe me four bucks, Simon.
Life Lesson From Kim #9: Life is a fucking nonstop barrage of phone calls, until you die.
I arrive at Simon's office, and he talks for so long, I'm unable to retrieve the money that falls out of his talking bubble before it disappears. He wants me to manipulate Misty because her husband owns some important brand of vodka. Great.
Life Lesson From Kim #10: Humans are nothing more than rungs on the ladder to success.
To Do List:
- Buy a condo
- Do a fashion spread
- Manipulate a casual acquaintance, all while listening to ambient noise rekorded at Kim's house.
I leave Simon's office and GUESS WHO FUCKING CALLS. He's gotten me a meeting with Misty. Once again, he does not tell me where to go. The worst part about this game is that I have to memorize the geography of an imaginary world, lest I forfeit $4 - $8 in bus fare. Hell, even Game of Thrones shows you a map at the beginning of every episode.
What has my life become?
I meet Misty at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. When I enter, there's a woman who announces, "Hey! I'm a pharmacist!" What. I'm invited to network with her. Does Kim want me to score drugs? I think she wants me to score drugs. I choose to network, and I'm then invited to "charm." I do so, and then realize that I've spent all my sheriff's badges on this lady. Fuuuuuuuck.
Life Lesson From Kim #11: Drugs.
I meet another woman who announces, "Hey there. I'm a car salesperson." I have no sheriff's badges, nor fucks, to give.
Misty yaks at me for a while and I leave. Her husband, Tom, calls and tells me that I'm not famous enough to be his spokesmodel or what have you. I'm given the option to charm him for the low, low price of two lightning bolts. Is Kim really that charming? I give him the last of my energy and close the app.
The next night, I learn that I've made the D-List. If I tweet this information IRL, I can earn two sheriff's badges. God damn it, I really want that cat. I don't even remember why anymore, but I want it. I allow the app to tweet on my behalf.
Life Lesson From Kim #12: Dignity? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I realize that I can change my makeup and nail polish, and this makes me happy. I do so.
I try to buy the condo, and learn that I can't afford it. It costs $2000 (LOL), and I only have $1636. I need another modelling job.
WHO AM I?
I model until I run out of energy, then log in to Twitter and delete the tweet.
I'm so ashamed.
I log back in. The modelling shoot is over, and I now have $1880. I never paid attention to how much money I was making before, but apparently, I get paid less than a baby model. This is some unethical bullshit.
I have to promote Tom's vodka in three hours. What to do in the mean time? I notice that Kim's house is right down the street, so I decide to just walk in, all Bling Ring style. Unfortunately, she's home and wants to give me career advice. Ew.
Simon calls because OF COURSE HE DOES. I have another job. Bully for me. Bully for Simon.
I realize that I've been playing this for over two weeks, but I can't find a stopping point. I'm getting a little scared. I decide to stop playing once I get my condo. That seems like an attainable goal.
Am I addicted to this game?
I do the modelling shoot and leave with $1894. Simon calls and tells me to go to Miami to promote the vodka. I'm glad he called, because I can't keep all my jobs straight anymore. I spend $8 on the bus ride and $15 on airfare. I hope Tom pays well. Not that I know what a reasonable wage is for a D-List celebrity drinking vodka in a club. How the fuck is that a job?
I arrive at the club, and a Ryan Seacrest analogue subtly insults my outfit. I change. I enter the club. My tasks include "Socialize," "Mingle," and "Get comfy." I'm great at all of those things.
Oh, snap. Willow is here. You know, that girl that called me "ratchet"? She starts static with me, and I'm given the option of throwing a drink in her face. Girrrrrl, you know I did. I was rewarded with two lightning bolts. Someone immediately tweeted about it and I gained a bunch of fans.
Life Lesson From Kim #13: Life is one big soap opera.
Back to work. I now have to "Chit chat," "Make friends," "Bust a move," and "Do a shot." The shot took the last of my energy, which is fitting. I now have $1911, and I'm stuck here for the next three hours.
Another notification. I log in, and Kim calls to tell me that my birthday is approaching (??) and I need to throw myself a party. I poke a seagull on the street and earn two dollars.
I think Kim has bird issues.
I think Kim has bird issues.
I fly to LAX, and Maria summons me. I take the bus to her office, and Simon calls with another job. Why do I even need a condo; I never have any fucking down time! Maria instructs me to go to Las Vegas to check out a club that she thinks might make a good birthday party venue. Sure.
I do the modelling job and finally buy the condo. For doing so, I earn two lightning bolts and two sheriff's badges. Why not. Now I'm prompted to buy furniture. WHY?? I don't need a telescope or an ugly vase with a tumbleweed in it! I'm never even home! I wonder if I still have my old apartment.
Upon exiting the condo, I'm given the option to go to the street, or the garage. Garage? I'm curious. I enter the garage and I'm encouraged to buy a Land Rover or an Escalade or some such nonsense. Why? Why would anyone buy a vehicle in this stupid game? It costs $20,000 (again, LOL). That's 2500 bus rides! How often are you playing that this is a cost-effective choice?
Maria calls and reminds me about the club in Vegas. I realize I was supposed to stop playing once I bought the condo, but I made a commitment. I go to the airport and pay $20 for my flight. Why does it cost $5 more to fly to Vegas than to Miami? Vegas is way closer.
At the club, I meet an oil tycoon. For real, he introduces himself as such. The club guy tells me that a party will cost "thousands." I tell him that's "pricey." He responds, and I quote, "It is. Sorry, I just assumed you were rich, because, you know, you asked me about renting an entire club."
That's hilarious. Or do I have Stockholm Syndrome?
He talks to me about something for a long time, and I'm not paying attention, because money is falling out of his talking bubble. I have to dismiss the bubbles as fast as I can, because the money disappears after a few seconds. I need to grab my fat stacks. I think I work for him now? Not sure.
Life Lesson From Kim #14: People are not important. Money is.
On the way out of the club, I meet a lady who says, "Hey! I'm a physiotherapist." A fucking what now? I Google it, and apparently it's a weird-ass variation on physical therapist. Sounds very woo to me. Like a "naturopath" or whatever. Screw this lady. No networking for you.
It's 3:20 pm in the real world. My mystery job with the club guy starts in twelve hours. I can pay $40 round trip to go mess around in L.A. for a while, or spend 12 sheriff's badges (which I don't have) to bump up the schedule.
I close the app. Fuck this. I am done.
But wait, I still don't have that cat...