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Things about playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood in 2019

By Frankie Hart, January 18 2019 —

On Dec. 29, 2018 at precisely 12:21 a.m., I texted my friend to let her know that I re-downloaded the 2014 smash hit mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. After the download, I was asked if I would like to restore my previous save from November 2017. Ah.

It had been more than a year since I’d found myself in this position again. I have played, deleted and re-downloaded the app approximately five times since its release. Every time I reinstall it, I think to myself that this time will be different. This time, it’s simply a game I’ll play if there’s little to no alternatives. A game for playing on transit. A game for playing in the car. A game for playing on the toilet.

Maybe it starts that way. However, it quickly consumes me and I find myself procrastinating everything to sit around doing photoshoots and going to the bathroom when I’m out, specifically to check in on the game. One time when I was still in high school, I set an alarm for 4 a.m. to wake up and use the energy I generated in my sleep to finish the eight-hour event that I accidentally started before going to bed.

While my obsession with the game hasn’t gotten quite as bad this time around, I fear that it might get to that point. During the process of procrastinating and then starting to write this, I’ve opened the app probably about 10 times. What is it about the game that, even five years later, keeps me coming back? Here’s what I noticed about playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood in 2019.

Everyone’s upset at me about it:

Although my friend gave me a very mild response over text, when she saw me playing the game in person I received comments such as, “Why are you still playing that,” “It doesn’t even look fun” and, “It’s New Year’s Eve, why are you like this?”

My coworker glared at me at our student journalism conference as I played it during an elevator ride and apparently noticed when I was playing it in the bed of our hotel room before going to sleep. Then, I asked her to make the graphic for this article. Thanks, Tricia!

I’m upset at me about it:

I’m completely aware of how badly this app not only wastes my time but has caused me to consciously alter my schedule. That’s bad! And yet, here I am, with the app open, filming another episode of my reality TV show. Ultimately, my disappointment in myself for my lack of self control is simply not as great as the fact that…

The game gives me boatloads of instant gratification:

Something about tapping on stuff, seeing increasing numbers and getting calls from my dear manager Simon is just satisfying. I’ve found the dopamine button for my brain. The best and worst part is that since 2014, updates have brought more goals to work up to, businesses to buy and run, events, properties, gigs, clothes, contests and they added their own in-game app, a cross between Tinder and LinkedIn. It’s all so bonkers that while writing this, I’ve already reopened the app and worked on my current gig: Launching my own app.

I’m still embarrassed to play it in public:

Everytime that I’ve had the itch to play the app when I’m out-and-about has been a calculated risk. When I open it on the bus, I hunch over my phone and turn to the window while simultaneously lowering the volume of my headphones so that I hear if someone says, “Who the fuck is playing the Kim K game in 2019?” I can die of shame on the spot.

Other times when I find myself wanting to play the game, I stand in corners or pull my phone very close to me. But most times, the only place I can truly feel safe from judgement is in the privacy of a bathroom stall.

My legs keep going numb from sitting on the toilet for so long:


2019 was the year I did the unthinkable:

It is with great regret that I inform you that after so many years of resistance, I made my first mobile game microtransaction. Okay, I did it twice, but it was on sale the second time. But here’s the thing: You have to pay K-stars to open businesses to generate more K-stars. Obviously, I was making an investment in my future.

Writing an article about regretting playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood still won’t stop me from playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood:

I really thought that reflecting on my poor decisions might cause me to finally pull the plug. Instead, it’s actually made me realize how much time — and now, money — I’ve poured into this app. If I delete it now, all of that is thrown away! I can’t jump this ship. I’m going to have to sink with it.

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