A mobile game called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has hit the market, and as soon as I saw Polygon’s headline on the title, I knew I was in for a treat (read: shitstorm):
First off, the “faith in humanity lost/restored” shtick is absolute garbage. Oh yes, the fact that some celebrity placed her likeness in a videogame is the reason humanity is going down hill. Israel-Palestine conflict? Small apples in comparison.
So let’s ask the question: why is faith being lost because of Kim Kardashian’s game, and not others?
Why, because of Kim Kardashian of course!
It’s super cool to hate on Kim Kardashian. She’s either “famous for nothing” or slut-shamed for her sex-tape – which is hilarious to me, by the way – people who watch porn regularly seem to have no problem bashing her about it. Couple that with her relationship with Kanye West, who has his own judgmental criticism to deal with, and we get a recipe for disaster (and stupidity, but we’ll get to that).
So then Kim Kardashian teams up with Glu Mobile to make a harmless videogame. One that is not only popular because of the celebrity attached to it, but because of the fact that it’s actually pretty fun.
But nope, that’s not good! Thus the legions of declarations of “faith in humanity being lost”, and “mobile games are ruining the game industry!”, by gamers in Polygon’s comment section, and elsewhere.
Isn’t the number one conflict occurring in the videogame industry – besides its blatant and rampant misogyny and lack of minority representation – the fact that the people who play games are judged by the content within them? Gamers have no issue with defending games like Grand Theft Auto and every other AAA, big-budget, hackneyed Space Shooter as not causing violent tendencies in the people that play them, and yet playing Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood is apparently some statement about Western society’s obsession with vanity or some bullshit.
That new Doom game that was recently announced? The one that, in an article by Polygon, includes quotes like these?
“will be running on id Tech 6 — or “id Tech 666,” as the dev team calls it”
“The gameplay sequence showed off brutal melee attacks and buckets of gibs”
“in a particularly brutal offing, grab a demon’s arms and tear it in half. At the end of the demo, a flying demon got the best of the player, ripping his arms off and beating him to death with them.”
“carve up demons in different directions — through the shoulder, torso or straight down the middle. Rocket launchers separated demons’ top-parts from their bottom-parts.”
“Another segment of the demo saw the player rip the arm off of a nearby corpse, and use the appendage to activate a keypad on a locked door.”
It’s the same as Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood. Both are fantasies that the people who play them indulge themselves in. They aren’t representations of the people who play them.
And that doesn’t even touch upon the fact that, in comparison to other forms of media, videogames as a whole are still poorly written and relatively stupid, Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood or not. They’ve come a long way, of that I have no doubt – but some popular mobile game is not any worse than the majority of critically acclaimed and lauded games that are accepted by “hardcore” gamers, from a narrative and artistic standpoint.
Maybe it’s just because I’ve had a crappy day, but it feels like this sort of situation is a clear-cut representation of why the “Game Industry” as a whole still has a long way to go in being respected the same way as other artforms like music and film. Hardcore gamers still wish to force games into a box that only they enjoy – and until we pass that barrier, advances in the proliferation and acceptance of videogames as something to be enjoyed by everyone is only going to stagnate.
To put it more succinctly, and to end this half-analysis, half-tirade: