No real consequences in “choice” games

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I love learning new things, like the fact that Demi Lovato is a real singer (cluephone, it’s for me) and that “choice games” are a thing.

My introduction to Demi was via a “choice game” called Demi Lovato Path to Fame.

In these animated cartoon story apps, the story allows you to create your character’s look and make choices, supposedly, with real changes to the storyline and consequences.

Nerd alert!

I played Mean Girls Senior Year, Demi Lovato Path to Fame and Demi Lovato World Tour 3 times each, creating 3 different characters:

*Character 1 – essentially me, a 47 year old brain inside a 17 or 22 year old cartoon body. I thought this surely was my ticket to the best outcome. Nope; being mature and reasonable fared the worst!

*Character 2 – Mean and rude girl. Choosing to do and say the meanest things worked in my favor in Mean Girls and came in second in Demi Lovato.

*Character 3 – Being spineless, overly sweet, and unable to set healthy boundaries did no favors to the 16 year old in Mean Girls but got the highest overall marks in Demi Lovato.

So, no real consequences, just slight changes in the storylines and LOTS of chances to make “in app purchases”. $99.99 in Mean Girls will get you all the cool clothes and fun choices, if you plan ahead. Yep, I took a screenshot EACH time I was offered a chance to spend money and tallied it at the end. You can bet the app makers are counting on teens being impatient and not planning ahead. The cost for EACH time to buy “gems” is well OVER $99.99.

I don’t know if any of these choices with pricetags would make a huge difference in the game. $99.99 is a lot of money for a test. I might have done it for $9.99 just for me and my readers.

And what do these games teach youngsters? That anyone over age 25 looks 90 and wears dorky sweatpants? That it’s ok to be cruel but using swear words is a no-no? That being rude, cheating, and acting mean will get them friends, fame and love?

One teen on an app forum got so angry at the Mean Girls app, she threw her phone across the room (my guess is that she didn’t pay for her own phone). Many in the app forum were mad about Mean Girls and wrote “play Demi Lovato instead”.

It seems there is no significant difference whether my character was a self-absorbed snot or an overly sweet, spineless suck up. In fact, the character did best as a backstabbing mean girl in Mean Girls, go figure. The overly sweet, insipid girl did best in Demi Lovato and there were no consequences for being downright rude and cruel- my mean character always got her own tour, cool clothes AND married her love on the beach in a designer gown.

Will I still play these?

Of course! They’re fun to play as an adult and free when you’re willing to wait the 3 hours in between stories.

Besides, I have to find out what happens when the Mean Girls go to college this year! 😉

Image modified from Episode’s Demi Lovato stories.

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