World Review: BarbieGirls
Compatible with Operating Systems:
World Status: Operational
The first thing that literally leaps out and hits you with BarbieGirls is the pink. Bright luminescent pink. Pink everywhere. All the loading screens are pink, the world borders are pink, pink features heavily in all the rooms, the city streets glow pink, you never get away from it.
Straight away, this world is assuming and attempting to reinforce stereotypes. It is designed for young girls, aged 5-13, and it is so over the top stereotypically feminine from a pre 1970?s male ideal it makes you feel sick.
As with most worlds, the first thing you do after registering is create an avatar. All the avatars are supermodel figures, and you can change the hair style, eye shape and colour, as well as choose a style of full, pouting lip you like, and a skin tone.
Several hair styles, eyes and lips are locked, and can only be opened via a special procedure, discussed later on. Once the basic avatar is complete, it is time to choose a top, colour and style it, adding patterning, flowers, stars, and a range of pastel colours ? especially pinks.
Choose something to cover your legs ? lots of skirts, miniskirts, and some tight trousers. Alternatively just wear a mini-sundress designed to show off maximum figure. Again, many of the options, including a range of handbags and earrings, are locked.
Once avatar creation is complete, you enter the world, and are given 100 internal dollars (US based world) and a house to spend your money decorating. The house?s default colour is, you guessed it, bright pink walls and wooden flooring.
After changing the wall colours to something less sickening ?contrary to the designer?s beliefs, most girls do not love loads and loads of bright pink covering everything ? it is time to explore the house.
There is not much to it, just one room, a bed, and a cupboard. Inside the cupboard are a red armchair, a blue two-seater sofa, a lamp, and a white footrest. Big cupboard!
This turns out to be your starter furniture for your house. You can buy more ? a lot more ? elsewhere in the world, but for now click and drag to place the garish furniture, or recycle it (throw it out). With the house barely presentable, and lacking any non-ultra feminine features, it?s time to get out there and explore the rest of the world, and maybe find the community.
First off, we access the pull-down map of the world to see where we can go. Bright pink, neon glowing roads assault the screen, interspersed with locations to visit. Apparently when the girls grow up, it is expected they won?t hold jobs, but will be housewives, as the only places to visit are the park, a spa, a beauty salon, caf?, cinema, a fluffy pet shop, and other girl?s homes. Oh, not forgetting the clothes and furniture shops, to buy more clothes and shoes, and make the house look prettier ? nothing wrong with that normally, but when it?s the only thing to do, it gets old, fast.
The cinema is one of the locations to make money at ? if you go there, you are presented with a lobby that serves as a chat environment, with places to sit or stand about, and a selection of movie posters. Clicking any poster brings up a selection of films to watch ? all trailers for the latest Barbie products.
If you sit through 5-10 minutes of high bandwidth, flashy, buy, buy, buy marketing spiel for each one, you are ?rewarded? with $20 in world money per movie. Each can be watched over and over again, as many times as the participant likes, acquiring $20 each time. This effectively indoctrinates kids to the products, and increases the company?s bottom line in shameless marketing and promotion.
Likewise there are a collection of games to play, each one winning $10. One trialed, was nail care, in which the object of the ?game? was to paint the nails of your avatar using a selection of polishes and a one-click application. Paint all your nails in any colour or combination of colours you like, and you have won the game. But wait, there?s a promotion, buy this product, and it will allow you to paint your own nails the same way. Yay.
The locked items
As usual there is a collection of items that are locked and not for use. Why is that? Well, it seems Mattel, makers of BarbieGirls have one final marketing trick up their sleeve. They can be unlocked by a purchase. Purchase of a $60 Barbie-shaped MP3 player to be exact.
This MP3 player, when delivered, plugs directly into your computer?s USB port and interfaces with the program, unlocking all the items for as long as it is plugged in. Take it out, and everything locks up again.
But at least Barbiegirls.com presents the possibility of meeting another virtual Barbie, perhaps one whose accessories have been chosen by a girl halfway around the world.
Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K
Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K