Coolest Girl In School, a mobile phone game which invites young players to “lie, bitch, and flirt your way to the top of the high school ladder”, went on sale in Australia yesterday – and could soon be marketed internationally. However, some people are calling for it to be banned.
Adelaide-based developers Holly Owen, of Champagne for the Ladies, and Karyn Lanthois of Kukan Studio, claim to have been “shocked” by pre-release international interest in the game – one of the very few developed for female players. “It’s amazing how many people had such strong opinions about the game before it was even released. Coolest Girl In School has obviously touched a universal nerve!,” said Owen in a media release.
Comments have included “toxic”; a “game that encourages girls to be slutty bitches”; and “grossly irresponsible”. Perhaps to the delight of the promoters, the Australian Family Association called for Coolest Girl In School to be banned.
Holly Owen told CDN yesterday she’s delighted with the first-day’s response to the game’s release in Australia – and even more by interest being expressed from overseas, including queries from PocketGamer, the largest UK mobile gaming site, and a similar outfit in the US.
Owen is now working on what she describes as a cross-platform drama series, which mixes streaming video with other components delivered to a mobile by SMS messaging.
She intends to keep concentrating on games for female players. “The potential audience is huge,” she says. “Well over half of casual mobile gamers are women but very few games are made specifically for female audiences.”
And was she the coolest girl at her own school (Heathfield High, Adelaide)?
“Ask my classmates,” says Holly Owen, coolly.
Coolest Girl is available by texting “coolest” to 19punk86. It’s also available at www.coolestgirlinschool.com. It costs $5.55, either charged to the user’s mobile bill at Vodafone, Virgin, Telstra, Optus or “3”, or deducted from a pre-paid account. – David Frith