Just like Tuesday's post, I have not in any way been paid to write about this product, though that will be abundantly clear once you start reading...
On Monday I got an e-mail from Geanna.
Subject line: Please write about this...
Body of text: http://gothamist.com/2013/02/
I have been both thanking and cursing Geanna ever since.
The gist of the article from Gothamist is this: A new Disney game promises to be a new kind of spirit guide, simulating the New York City experience for each player, giving tips on how to "climb the social ladder and make your dreams come true!" The program will also strip away your authenticity and uniqueness and transform you from "country bumpkin to glamour girl."
There's also this important element: Disney City Girl's players are mostly 20 to 29-year-old women—and a rep explains, "This is an adult game—the language, the storyline, the mission of the career progression, some of the humor, those have all been purposely targeted at adults." According to DNAInfo, "The concept was to combine the long-standing popularity of Sex in the City motifs with the growing 'pink' gamer demographic."
And finally, to get a real feel, take a look at this:
Want to know my favorite part about all of it? The fact that 20 to 29-year-old women play video games.They're not really right? That just accounts for all the crazies who played Farmville, right?
Of course I spent an hour playing City Girl last night. How could I possibly avoid all those adorable animated images of my favorite city in the world? Plus, I had to know if I could make it in virtual New York faster than I "made it" in actual New York.
In my brief experience with the game I have concluded that it is both completing insulting to the real life of a young, city girl and yet wildly accurate.
- The minute you move from the sad, no-potential farm to the big city, your blonde "friend" Jenna is like, "OMG you made an amazing decision! We've been waiting for you!" which is exactly what your blonde friend Jenna says when you move to New York.
- When designing the face for your avatar, the game offers you 14 eye shape options, 14 eyebrow shape options, 8 shades of eye color, and one nose. I really hope this is because a nose job is an option at later levels of the game.
- The very first thing you do when you arrive in New York is get dressed. You have the following the chose from: three top options, two bottom options, one dress option, and six pair of short-shorts. FIVE pair!! You know some 16-year-old programming genius was like, hhmmm, what do girls wear?
- After you're dressed, they give you an apartment. It is a tiny, crappy looking studio with an exposed bathroom and no furniture. They give you a free couch, but anything else costs ACTUAL money. First, this would be accurate if there was someone else living in the studio with you. Second, earth to "pink gamers" - DO NOT PAY REAL MONEY FOR FAKE FURNITURE FOR YOUR FAKE, ONLINE APARTMENT. Instead, take that money and actually move to New York!!!
- Next it's time to get a career. Your black "friend" Tasha "can make a few calls to line up something right away!" (where was she 9 years ago...). Then up pops this crap:
Of course author is locked?! Of course it's just a blue pencil sketch of what might be for the non fashion designers and chefs of the world. God it's so true it hurts... Also, what kind of author gets to walk their book down the red carpet, because I need to stop whatever I'm doing and pursue that kind of writing instead.
- In order to succeed in the game, you have to make sure your needs are met by accomplishing certain tasks. Here's the needs bar:
The needs are friendship, fun, health, hygiene, and rest. I'm going to ignore the fact that money and family are no where to be found on the needs list and instead focus on the fact that when you press hygiene your avatar goes and sits on the toilet with all her clothes. I guess that's okay because when you press fun she puts on the stereo and dances like an idiot, and when you press rest she magically changes into an adorable skivvy set and takes a disco nap. Oh, also, hahaha, I forgot this one: when you press health she presses some buttons on the microwave. 'Aint that the truth!
- You're required to go shopping to keep up your look because, as Jenna says, "fashion and the city go hand-in-hand!" The fake subway takes you to a store called Tempo where you can choose from a bunch of outfits. I had a really hard time with this, and I am ashamed about that fact. I didn't feel there was enough variety to really build a proper closet, and so I struggled with whether to go casual or formal. Literally. I literally struggled. Damn you Disney...
- One of my favorite parts of the entire game is that you're required to spend "friendship time" with your new fake friends in order to earn points (which equal money, which equals the ability to furnish your ugly apartment). There are lots of ways that you can spend friendship time, but the one that earns you the most points is watching TV together. I watched TV for 3 seconds with my friend Jenna, and then this message popped up saying, "you're now really close friends with Jenna." I was like, yep, that's correct.
- But my ABSOLUTE favorite part of the game is this:
Yes, that's an Oscar. They call it a "Gold Statue" but it's totally an Oscar, and it's offered among the several options for your apartment decor. Because who wouldn't want an Academy Award to brighten up their paint-chipped, 4th floor walk up?
Yes, I played this damn game until I earned enough money to buy that damn Oscar. I didn't buy a dining room table. I didn't buy a desk. I didn't buy new clothes. I worked my retail job, and I bought myself an Oscar.
And with that, ladies, I think we've learned what life in New York City is really all about.