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December 2014 Retro Gaming Article

December 14, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Are celebrity-based mobile games simply vehicles for their own self-adulation or recovery?

Lindsay Lohan has a mobile game. So does Kim Kardashian. They may be free-to-play games, but I feel they dilute the marketplace that may miss something wonderful like Monument Valley with all the attention given to celebrities.

Lindesy Lohan's mobile game- The Price Of Fame
These sorts of games and apps seem more self-serving to the celebrities than offering a good experience to the player. These games are endless loops of activity-reward, then it repeats. I'm not sure I need a "reality show game" wedged into my smart phone's meager memory.

I may be the wrong person to judge this since I also don't understand the appeal of Candy Crush. However, I've found a lot of mobile games that really take advantage of the medium in terms of game-play and timing.

I'm primarily a console gamer who feels many mobile games don't often take advantage of how mobile differs from traditional gaming. For example... are these celebrity inspired games doing anything for gamers? I see more benefits to the celebrity who is all but absent in the entire process.

In Lindsay's case, I can't help but feel a light-hearted game with her guiding you in gaining Hollywood fans is little more than a propaganda piece to boost her appeal as a employable actress. The game, The Price of Fame, involves little more than frantically swiping the screen to gain fans and then spend them as capital on upgrades. I see this as a way to put Lohan's name into the public domain in a way in which she'll be perceived as fun & hip.

LKim Kardashian: Hollywood mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood wants to let you live the glam-life on your tiny screen. I doubt Kim needs more money, but think about the lucky developer who can legally use her name! Still I wonder if this is an attempt to spread her fame to a new platform.

Being famous for "being famous" is about as absurd as it gets. Some of that absurdity shows itself in game objectives from dating & dumping celebrities and ruling the red carpet.

As smart phones become more technically capable, I rather hoped games would escalate in ways that took advantage of new technology and processing power. Peddling to Reality TV genres seems counter to advancing mobile gaming. I understand everyone wants to make money for their efforts, but these "games" benefit the celebrities more than the players or developers. Celebrities are fun and exciting, but when the game advances them without offering much to the player, I get discouraged.

I've played plenty of RPGs and have enjoyed Tomodatchi Life on my 2DS. Where I see a differentiation is in the game's focus. A good RPG, or any game, delights the player which rewards the developer via sales. There is no celebrity in the wings taking a cut of the profit or trying to re-shape their public image via a strategically placed game.

AAron Paul's iOS game- Yo Bitch I loved Breaking Bad as much as the next person, but do I need an app to send "Yo Bitch" to friends and family? The idea is funny, but it's less amusing as an actual app, especially when Yo was already a prior success.

I'll mention it again because when I play Monument Valley I have to wonder about the motives of celebrities who peddle mobile games focused on their name. Games like Hungry Shark, Card Wars or Bad Piggies leave the player with the satisfaction of achievement without bolstering someone's lax acting career. Don't make me get Flappy Bird in here!

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