I’m a late adopter so I didn’t download the Kim Kardashian game app, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” until this weekend, a move I quickly began to sort of regret, as it is quite possibly the most addictive yet utterly pointless and unchallenging game ever created. I don’t even want to tell you how late I was up playing it on Sunday night. Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. THREE IN THE MORNING. Basically, the point of the game is to go from E-list to A-list celebrity by performing a variety of “tasks,” earning and spending money, growing fans and followers and building buzz through social media and networking. You do all that by tapping shit that appears on your iPhone screen. I wish I could say it was more complicated. I wish I could say that all that tapping is so boring that you’re inclined to just delete the game after 15 minutes. But that would not be true, because again, I was up until 3 a.m. playing it. In fact, I’m thinking about it right now, wondering if I should expect a call from Kim soon inviting me to her house in Beverly Hills. Luckily, only getting a few hours of shut-eye wasn’t for naught. See, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” exposes some bitter, depressing truths about real life. For example…
1. I’m always working. There are two primary reasons to work in Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood — for the money and the fame. For example, when I needed cash in order to afford a $400 shirt to wear to my first meeting at Kim’s Beverly Hills mansion, I had to pick up multiple half-day shifts at So Chic in Downtown LA. And it’s not like Kim just rolled out the red carpet — she got me a job at Kardash in Miami, where she or one of the shopgirls made me fold shirts and dress mannequins multiple times over.
But because I don’t want to be in retail forever, anytime my manager Simon or publicist Maria calls with an offer that might develop buzz, I take it. That means when I’m not folding bullshit or dashing over to Kim’s Beverly Hills mansion for a quickie convo that could have been done over the phone, to be honest, I’m working photoshoots at PopFix and GLAMM Magazine, where the photographer keeps me busy for hours, reapplying my makeup, changing my outfits, fixing the lighting, and posing — so much posing.
Plus, let’s not forget the many networking and promotional events at clubs in Miami, LA, New York and Las Vegas, where, sure, I’m paid to dance and mingle, but often with people who want me to pay them for the time of day. And by the way, despite never getting a moment of sleep, my take home pay is barely enough to cover the rent on my barren condo. So when Simon and Maria suggested it would be a good idea for me to buy my own apartment, I was like, WITH WHAT MONEY?!
2. I’m always out of energy. It doesn’t matter how much enthusiasm and time I have — every time I do ANYTHING, I expend energy and I only have so much to begin with. In fact, work — be folding clothes at So Chic or schmoozing with various “denturists” at a promotional party at LIF in Miami — uses up TONS of my energy, but there are only three ways to get more in Kim K’s Hollywood — buy energy with K-Stars (which Kim bestows to you oh-so-sparingly), earn energy by completing tasks (tasks which deplete you of energy, remember) or wait it out until my energy recoups every five minutes. Even then, I won’t have enough energy to finish all of my tasks for hours — and Simon and Maria won’t stop calling with even more for me to do!
3. I put a lot of effort into looking good, but no one seems to appreciate it. When you’ve finally made some money, you can buy new clothes and accessories to dress up in — and the more extensive your closet gets, and the more outfits you wear, the bigger a fashionista you’ll become. But no matter how many times I change my hairstyle, hair color, shoes, makeup, and clothes, no matter how drastically I switch it up, no one seems to really notice or care. I wore a bikini to a networking event at LIF in Miami, and no one — not even Joshua Rogers, a fashion stylist, batted an eye. Same thing happened on a recent date with Eric Hughes, this lawyer I’ve been dating. I thought he was into me, but given that he didn’t compliment me on my orange corn rows and long, black, fur-rimmed cape — which cost me a fucking fortune — I’m starting to question our relationship.
4. The tackiest shit is the most expensive. Just like IRL, the ugliest clothing and accessories can be yours for a small fortune. I spent an utterly unreasonable amount on a striped beach tote. Seriously, the tote looks like it’s from Target. The one good thing, though, about TASTE apparently not mattering in this game is that it’s actually sort of fun to dress up in as much tacky shit as possible. I also like to show up at Kim’s house with a full face of goth makeup.
5. Some things are so exclusive, they can’t be bought with money. A lot of the clothing, shoes and accessories remain out of reach until you get more — LOTS MORE — Kim-bestowed K Stars. Actually, you need K Stars to get access to a lot within Kim K’s Hollywood. And the only kind of money that will buy you that kind of exclusivity is the real kind. Yep — while you can very very very slowly earn K Stars by completing certain tasks and moving up levels, you can buy K Stars with real American dollar bills, charging them to your REAL LIFE CREDIT CARD through the app store. And lest you think that sounds like crazy talk, may I remind you that you also can’t get into certain events and are shunned by people you meet without them. In other words, you cannot advance in Kim K’s Hollywood without her goddamn personal currency, so you either do it at a snail’s pace or blow your real life wad. Or you do what I did and cheat. (More on that later.)
6. Birthdays are fucking stressful. The good news is that Kim heard it’s my birthday and totally wanted to come to my birthday party. The bad news is that just like in real life, birthday parties are a stressful pain in the ass to throw. Yeah, I thought attending a party in my honor at a club in Las Vegas was going to be fun. Fat chance! Kim got to kick back and relax, but I was stuck working my own party for eight long hours, mingling, networking, buying rounds, and making sure everyone else was having a good time. It was enough stress to make me wish I had stayed home with the stray kitten I adopted on a whim (different from the purse kitten, which sucks), before I realized how valuable those 20 K-Stars actually were.
7. Dating blows, but you have to do it. To be honest, I am as uninterested in dating in Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood as I am in real life. But dating — especially people who are more famous than you — can get you lots more buzz and thus more social media followers, aiding your rise up the social ladder. So even though it’s totally fucking boring to go on yet another kissy date full of romantic glances at The Brew Palms or Panino with some guy who only gave me his number because I charmed him with K-Stars — especially when all those heart points don’t get me any closer to owning a beach house in Miami — I have to, because apparently people think you’re weird if you’re single all the time.
8. Dudes be sending lots of mixed messages. Speaking of dick, the vast majority of dudes who are down to date in Kim K’s Hollywood are either douchebro Ed Hardy nightmare social climbers or sociopathic Hollywood high rollers, both of whom will totally dump you if you don’t give them enough attention. Seriously, doesn’t Tony Murphy the sportswriter understand that I’m a busy — very busy! — je setting career gal with a million obligations and that I can’t squeeze in a date with him until I get back from NYC? No, no he doesn’t apparently, as he totally dumped me last night because I wasn’t giving him enough attention. I mean, I would love to invite the dudes I’m dating along to some of my work obligations, but in Kim K’s Hollywood, romantic connections refuse to help you out professionally. SO TYPICAL. (And rumor has it, things only get worse the more famous you become. A friend of mine who has 87 million fans said that his boyfriends have started to extort him for K-Stars, refusing to go out on another date unless he pays them for their time.)
9. Buying property is not all that’s cracked up to be. There’s a lot of talk about the importance of owning property, but I can’t for the life of me understand what owning condos in LA and New York, a house in Calabasas, and a vacation home in Miami really does for a person. Since I’ve hacked the game (more on that in a second) and attained unlimited cash and K-Stars, I’ve bought tons of property and four cars, yet my social status has barely improved. And it’s not like I’m ever home to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I haven’t even had a spare second to sit down on the chaise lounge by the pool in my Miami abode, let alone water the flowers at my house in Calabasas. I’m working all the time! Seriously, I think I would have been happier just staying in my barren Downtown LA rental, even with the gross landlord barging in at all hours.
10. The only way to truly get ahead in this world is by having a lot of money or cheating. In Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood, there are two forms of currency — cash and K-Stars. You can’t earn either without the energy to work and accomplish all of the tasks Simon, Maria and Kim throw at you. And you can’t accrue the energy needed to actually earn all that money and K-Stars at a pace that is reasonable for a game that is supposed to be FUN without spending IRL dollars. (The game will give you “free” K-Stars and cash in exchange for watching video ads or clicking through a variety of sponsor offers that either cost real money or result in tons of spam email, so fuck that.) And I don’t know about you, but Kim is making enough goddamn money off this game that I refuse to put any more in her pocket.
Luckily, I didn’t have to. The Daily Dot has an exhaustive guide to hacking the game that, while a little complicated and labor intensive — though not any more than a half shift at Kardash — is a guaranteed ticket to UNLIMITED cash and K-Stars, making your dreams of A-list stardom all that much more attainable. The message is clear: Play by the rules and you’ll be chilling on the D-list for weeks. Cheat and all the (virtual) clothes, boyfriends, cars, homes, and pets (I have five — three dogs, a cat and a cat in a purse) you could ever want will be yours.
Except I reached the A-list last night and nothing has really changed. I’m still working all the time. I’m seriously dating multiple dudes, but one of them is my IRL gay friend Greg so I don’t know what to believe. I have an apartment in Paris and another beach house in Punta Mita, but I rarely get gigs out of the country so I barely spend any time there. I think there’s a blister forming on my right index finger from all the tapping. Oh yeah, and I can’t sleep because I feel so guilty about buying So Chic Boutique out from under my old supervisor Luther — especially since I’m now his boss. It doesn’t feel right.
And Kim? I haven’t seen her in, like, three levels. I want to keep going — I still have multiple levels to complete and shirts to buy — because I want to see what happens at the end. Does Kim make me her BFF? Am I the most famous person in the world? Does Kim kick me back to the E-list before I can steal her crown? Or will I die, the most bitter truth of all?
I guess I’ll have to keep tapping to find out.