An online game that has been launched aimed at young girls, has come in for a wave of criticism from parents this week after it was said to be encouraging children to diet and seek plastic surgery.
Launched in the UK last month, the game is titled Miss Bimbo and is aimed at nine to 16 year olds. The game gives each player an unique avatar which then competes against other players with the aim of becoming “the most famous, beautiful, sought after bimbo across the globe”.
Within the game players register and compete in beauty contests and send text messages to the site to earn currency which then can be used to buy lingerie, diet pills and a range of plastic surgery operations within the game. Alternatively an avatar can attract the attention of a rich celebrity.
The game states among its objectives to “Become a socialite and skyrocket to the top of fame and popularity.” With another stating “Even resort to meds or plastic surgery. Stop at nothing to become the reigning bimbo”.
The site has over a quarter of a million registered users in the UK and over 1.2 million play it in France, its country of origin.
It is not surprising that some parents are concerned about the mixed messages the game sends out. One parent said “It sends out all the wrong messages about what it takes to get ahead. I would rather my daughter learned that brains are more important than looks.”
It is not just parents jumping on the messages being sent out by the game either, it seems that the site is also being heavily criticised by groups working with vulnerable children.
“This is as lethal as pro-anorexia websites,” Dee Dawson, medical director at Rhodes Farm Clinic.
Chris Evans business partner of founder Nicholas Jacquart countered the criticisms saying: “It’s a fun game, many positive areas are being overlooked.” He added “members can send their Bimbo to university and are encouraged to love and nurture her”.
Personally I can’t help but question whether this game is as bad as games such as the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto series, which itself sends out the message that gun crime and grand theft auto is a reputable and cool way to make a living. This title is not on its own either with the recently banned Manhunt 2 due to be released in the UK.
I realise that these games are certified for 15+ but this is still leans towards the older age bracket of Miss Bimbo’s target audience. Is the nature of this game not meant as a fun spin off of celebrity tabloid magazines that spawn the idea of a Miss Bimbo!
Would like to hear your thoughts on this.