I don’t keep up with the Kardashians via their uber-popular television show and its geographically diverse spinoffs, but my mind has somehow hoarded unnecessary information about each of their lives. I know that Kendall and Kylie have somehow written a sci-fi dystopian novel, Lana del Rey hypnotized crowds at Kimye’s rehearsal dinner and “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” the no. 1 free app in the iTunes app store, is sucking soul and productivity out of halfway-decent human beings all over the world.
I fell prey to the addictive and idiotic application one bored summer afternoon, after seeing some slight buzz about the game on Twitter. Since recovering from my painful and abusive love affair with 2048, I had banned myself from downloading gaming apps onto my phone to maintain my sanity. But as I figured, “I don’t even watch the Kardashians, so there’s no way this game will take all my time, money and energy!”
As you can probably tell, I was utterly wrong.
The game’s premise is pretty simple: Become the no. 1 celebrity in the world.
So how does it all begin? Do you sing on the streets of Canada and get discovered by Usher? Do you breakdance on the Las Vegas strip until you make enough money to fly to New York to pursue your dream of performing on a Broadway stage?
Well, of course not, because having actual talent takes too much time and hard work.
You, a nameless E-list celebrity, get your start while working at So Chic boutique in downtown Los Angeles, when one fine day, Kim Kardashian stumbles into your shop, looking for a new outfit. You graciously help her pick some new threads and give them to her, free of charge —as if she couldn’t afford them herself. Just goes to show that even rich people love free stuff. Your generosity and a certain twinkle of desperation in your eye intrigue Kim, and right on the spot she decides that the two of you are officially BFFs and that it is now her personal goal to make you famous!
Kim’s hasty decision to make me her new protegee seemed a bit sketchy. If this were the real world, I would’ve just asked for a quick Instagram pic and sent her on her way.
But this isn’t the real world. This is Kim’s world, and we’re all just living in it.
Suddenly I had a manager, a publicist, a birthday party set at the hottest nightclub in Las Vegas, a beach house, a boutique and a dedicated paparazzo watching my every insignificant move.
I was on the cover of every magazine, flying from LA to Miami to Mexico, day in and day out for photoshoots and guest appearances. People recognized me on the street from my growing social media buzz, and my address book was inflating just as fast as my ego.
In less than two weeks, I had become the no. 1 celebrity in Hollywood, all while in the comfort of my own pajamas.
Having reached this milestone, I sat back, stunned and ashamed at how much time, effort and iTunes store credit I had spent on this game, which all sprung from a small spark of naive curiosity.
I had done it —I had finally made Kim proud. But at what price? Compromising my moral sensibilities to do a nude photoshoot? Endorsing a motor oil company just because it was the highest-paying gig? Kim had given me the opportunity of a lifetime and the chance at a life of luxury and celebrity, but the view from the top was lonely and troubling.
My career had taken over my life. I would leave countless photoshoots to receive dozens of phone calls from various romantic conquests, telling me that I had been neglectful and that this was the end of the road for our relationship.
But what was I to do?! Kim needed me there. Kim had given me this chance, and I couldn’t just waste it.
My existential crisis ended when a text notification popped up at the top of my screen. It was my mother: “Pls fold the laundry.”
The illusion was shattered. I arose from my dazed state and remembered that I was not on top of the world; I was on top of my bed, obsessively gripping my phone like a crazed maniac.
Reluctantly, I put down the game and walked to the laundry room, muttering under my breath.
“Folding laundry? Don’t you know who I am?”