Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (2014)

Kim Kardashian: HollywoodKim Kardashian: Hollywood is an app in which a cartoon version of Kardashian guides the player’s avatar through the social and financial ladder of Hollywood. The app, released on iTunes in 2014, is expected to make $200 million by the end of 2014.

iTunes’ description of the app reads: “Join KIM KARDASHIAN on a red carpet adventure in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood! Create your own aspiring celebrity and rise to fame and fortune!”

TIME’s article, “Kim Kardashian’s Genius New Game is Basically Dante’s Inferno, claims that “Kim is a Virgil for our time”.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood reminds me of that super-long 14th-century poem about the nine circles of hell, each filled with sinners punished in a manner fitting their crimes, poetic justice if you will. Kim Kardashian’s game is Dante’s Inferno.

“It’s basically the same idea, except you (Dante) can dress up in customizable hair and outfits that get increasingly elaborate as you get richer/closer to the center of hell. Kim is like Virgil, but she traded in her black robe for a sparkly silver dress, because shrouds are so 14th century. The circles of hell are levels of fame, natch.

“But what’s so hellish about an addictive game that allows users to play at being beautiful reality show stars? Um, everything. In the Kim Kardashian universe, your character can’t sleep, eat or see any friends who aren’t ‘contacts’ to help you get more famous. You have no family (Kim has family, but you don’t) and nobody to love. Your only human contact is with other hell-walkers game characters with whom you can either choose to ‘network’ or ‘flirt.’ You’re not allowed to do anything but go to club openings, photo-shoots or red carpet premieres. You can’t read. [. . .]

“It’s been nearly a month since the game came out, and I’m still in Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood, checking my eyeliner, changing my outfit, flirting and networking and promoting brands and slowly spinning deeper and deeper into darker circles of hell. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”    —TIME