3.27.2008

miss bimbo: because you're never too young to think about breast implants

Starvation diets, breast implants and huge mobile phone bills. Sounds about right for a nine-year-old, eh?

Parents in the UK, France, Australia and New Zealand are horrified at an online game being marketed to their pre-teen daughters: Miss Bimbo.
Parents' groups have condemned a new internet game in which girls as young as nine are encouraged to "buy" their virtual dolls breast operations and facelifts.

The aim of the Miss Bimbo beauty contest game, which was launched in Britain last month, is to become the "hottest, coolest, most famous bimbo in the whole world", and contestants who compete against each other are told to "stop at nothing", even "meds or plastic surgery", to ensure their dolls win.

Children are given a naked virtual character to look after. They compete against other players to earn "bimbo" dollars so they can dress her in sexy outfits and take her clubbing. They are given missions, including securing plastic surgery at the game's clinic to give their dolls bigger breasts, and they have to keep her at her target weight with diet pills.

Although it is free to play, when the contestants run out of virtual cash they have to send text messages costing £1.50 each or use PayPal to top up their accounts.

But fear not, plastic surgery and dieting are not only about self-absorption and mindless consumerism. They are vital weapons in service of that all-important goal: getting a man. Some of the targets:
Level 7
After you broke up with your boyfriend you went on an eating binge! Now it's time to diet... Your goal weight is...

Level 9
Have a nip and tuck operation for a brand new face. You've found work as a plus-size model. To gain those vivacious curves, you need to weigh...

Level 10
Summertime is coming up and bikini weather is upon us. You want to turn heads on the beach don't you?

Level 11
Bigger is better! Have a breast operation

Level 17
There is a billionaire on vacation... You must catch his eye and his love!

Are you nauseated yet?

A few quick Google News searches revealed a lot of parental outrage, which is good news. Meanwhile, telecom regulators are investigating the website, because it appears that children are being encouraged to call premium-rate numbers, and the game may "exploit or provide content that parents are likely to think unacceptable", which is inconsistent with the Phonepayplus ethical code.

I wonder, how many years from now will the name "Miss Bimbo" surface in eating-disorder support groups? The game will long since have disappeared, but its effects may be felt every time a malnourished young woman looks in the mirror and believes she is too fat.

Thanks to Mara for turning me on to this.

10 comments:

redsock said...

Okay, where's the link to The Onion?

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Seriously. Where is it?

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You've got to be hiding it.

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L-girl said...

I wish.

Funny you say that, tho. A commenter on a story about this (on a progressive site) said (paraphrasing): you idiots, this is satire!

But it's not satire. It's a real game, played by real girls, who spend real money.

If the game itself is supposed to be a satire, there's no indication of that, nor any indication that the girl gamers approach it as such.

Larry Gambone said...

Absolutely disgusting. these sociopathic creeps will go to no end to market their consumerist, misogynist ideology.

James said...

Once again, the gaming industry demonstrates that it has no idea what females are about. "Make a pink version about shopping" is about as clever as they get when marketing to girls. Sure, they put female characters in Mortal Kombat, but those exist only for the sake of giving teenage boys some breasts to look at.

impudent strumpet said...

But it's exactly like Sims, structurally speaking. You make money and use the money to achieve social goals. Except Sims has a more interesting variety of goals to achieve, and doesn't require real-life money at all except for the initial game purchase.

So why would anyone play this when they could play Sims?

L-girl said...

Would girls of this age know about Sims?

And can you play that online, or do you have to buy the game?

impudent strumpet said...

Sims 2 is only a couple years old and there's buzz for Sims 3, so I don't see why not.

I just googled Sims Online to see if it still exists, and it turns out it's free now! Damn! Must...resist...timesuck...

L-girl said...

Cool. Good to know for future amunition.

I wouldn't even know about Sims, but for a story I wrote a million years ago about recreation options for quadriplegics!

impudent strumpet said...

Quadriplegics can play Sims? I'm impressed! It's a complex interface - I'm using all three mouse buttons, both clicking on and scrolling with the scroller roller thingy, using the full range of the mouse's motion, and I have the other hand on the keyboard constantly reaching for keyboard shortcuts, often while mousing simultaneously. And if you play with cheat codes (and everyone does) you need to actually type too. I'm very surprised that they managed to make it at all useable to quadriplegics!

L-girl said...

This was a long time ago. Something tells me it was less complex then. Shit, I hope it hasn't gotten so complex that quads can't use it anymore.

Some of these folks have limited hand function, some use mouth sticks, some headgear, and some voice commands. But not fine motor hand skills. Then they wouldn't be quads.