Final Post: Borrowing From Others and Looking Back 

I visited Violet’s site and read all three of her posts on Kim Kardashian Hollywood to see what observations she made that I might’ve missed and are applicable to my exploration of American Dream. To be expected, I found a lot of relevant and interesting stuff.

 In her first post I found the note of the positive feed back like fame look that KKH  operates on very applicable to American Dream. Its such an integral part of the game that I didn’t even notice or question it. Getting gigs and shmoozing with the rich and famous gives you more K Stars or B Gems (Glu Mobile really has this down to a science) to use later to charm those too famous to normally talk to you, thereby building a network and increasing your fame. 

Violet’s second post on social media made me think of an aspect of American Dream that I didn’t mention in any of my posts. Spears’ game integrates Twitter (called Tweeter in the game) into gameplay by sending updates to the player in the form of tweets/tweeters. It also called for players to share progress on their own social media (which I discussed in my first post.) However, where KKH lacks an in game social network or communication system, America Dream brings in its own strange version. Players can send text blasts out into an open chat log that’s viewable by all players. I fail to really see the purpose of this feature, as most of the text blasts consist of expletives, silly shout outs, and a lot of posts in foreign languages. I’d be interested to know if any of the other Glu celebrity games have a similar feature. I wonder what Violet would think about this feature, as she said in game chat ” adds to the gaming experience and connects players in-game.”

Violets third post mentions the “radical transparency” of the Kim K brand and how this translates into her video game. This was one of the things I really liked about the mechanics of KKH. As someone who watches her reality tv show, seeing real aspects of Kim’s life in her game was exciting. I saw it less of being a pseudo Kim and more like engaging in the fantasy world that is her life, though that point totally makes sense to me. Anyways, I think this was really missing for me from Britney’s game. Though I am not particularly a Britney fan, so maybe I just didn’t know where to look or draw real world connections. 

I also found Desmond’s post really interesting because he examines a casual game that’s worlds different from American Dream. While the mechanics of Spears’ game deliberately inhibit immersion and time investment, The Room II sounds like it does the opposite. I wonder what the target audiences for these different style casual games are. Is the less immersive for non gamers and the more immersive for seasoned gamers? Or is it not so simple as that? 

As I briefly examined gender in GTA, I enjoyed Chris’ post on gender in Skyrim, particularly his quote “While women are not directly in danger to be saved in most cases, they are given no agency in the game. The women in Skyrim do not play roles that contradict the traditional trope that women lack power and a vital role in the story.” I think this is a really important thing that most video game designers and developers do not consider. Just because female characters in a game don’t fall into a harmful stereotype (like damsel in distress) doesn’t give it the OK on female representations. This is not productive enough to feminism in our society. Games need to be made that depict female characters in ways that challenge pre existing notions and stereotypes. 

I really enjoyed blogging about video games. I’m especially thankful this exercise brought me to the game Gone Home (thanks Dr Sample for passing along the link and sale info for that game.) I look forward to broadening my experiences with video games. Thanks everyone for a great semester. 

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