Gossip Girl: Social Climbing

Common Sense Media says

Facebook game with backstabbing, sex, drugs, and drinking.

Age(i)

2
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5
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7
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9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The goal of the game is to attend various functions like lunches, fashion shows, and parties to be "seen" while choosing how to react to various random events. Responses range from vindictive to helpful or nonchalant: for example, if you're at a party and notice a server sneeze on a plate of appetizers, do you discreetly tell the server to throw the plate away, serve the plate to an enemy, or do nothing? Mean-spirited responses net Scandal Points, but earn too many and the player will be kicked out of the event altogether.

Positive role models

Characters are shallow, trendy New York socialites that are generally concerned with trivial issues like gathering gossip about their enemies, going to parties, and flirting with hot guys.

Ease of play

The game is menu-driven with plenty of text, but the basic gameplay is quite simple to master.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Plenty of situations contain references to sex, including seeing two "hot girls" making out at a party, finding a used condom in the bathroom, being hit on by a porno movie star, and spreading the rumor that your enemy has an STD. Some situations offer players the option of sleeping with men.

Language

Cute guys are referred to as "hotties." Occasional use of "bitch," "whore," "crap," and "jerk."

Consumerism

The game is based on the Gossip Girl television show. A banner ad for the show appears above the game at all times. Players take on the role of a privileged and affluent young adult in New York.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some events take place at bars or other locations where players can order drinks like Jell-O shots and get "utterly smashed." One situation involves spotting a friend doing lines of cocaine at a party, where the player can choose to confront the friend, ignore them, or join in.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Gossip Girl: Social Climbing is a social game played on Facebook based on the Gossip Girl TV show. Players assume the role of a wealthy New York socialite whose primary goals in life are to be "seen" at parties and gather juicy gossip. The game contains plenty of references to drinking, drugs, and sex, making it inappropriate for young teens who are on Facebook. Players can speed up the game by spending real-world cash.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

GOSSIP GIRL: SOCIAL CLIMB exposes players to the world of rich young adults in Manhattan's affluent Upper East Side -- or at least the shallow and outrageous world made popular by the TV show on which it's based. The goal is to attend events and earn Party Points and Scandal Points by choosing how to react to the random situations that pop up. The more outrageous your reaction, the more Scandal points you earn -- but too much Scandal and you'll be kicked out of the party. Attending events and completing quests earns players experience points (to move up the social ladder) and cash (to be used to purchase new outfits).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Gossip Girl: Social Climb lets players be outrageously vindictive, shallow, and nasty but also offers alternative choices that are mellower and sometimes downright helpful. With plenty of references to sexual encounters, drinking, and even drugs, this isn't a game for young kids. For older players who can recognize over-the-top when they see it, Gossip Girl: Social Climb represents a guilty pleasure that could be even better once some of the features listed as Coming Soon (like more special abilities to use during parties, and stronger social elements) are actually implemented by the developers.

Online interaction: Facebook friends who are also playing the game will show up in the player's social circle, along with a random assortment of non-friends whose trophies can be viewed. There's not much you can do with them at this point in the game's development.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about gossip and its potential to be hurtful. Why do people gossip? How would you feel if you found out that someone was gossiping about you?

  • Families can also talk about relationships. Are all guys potential "hotties" to be flirted with? What qualities can you look for in a boyfriend besides his looks?

  • Talk about safe sex and the consequences of drinking and doing drugs. Your conversations could lead to real revelations about your kids' lives or expectations.

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:January 24, 2011
Genre:Girl
ESRB rating:NR for (Facebook)

This review of Gossip Girl: Social Climbing was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLibstudent9 February 28, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
The show is a good role model on how not to deal with drugs.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Parent Written byCommonSenseParent February 2, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great game for older teenagers, highly reccomended

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant, 2, 4, 7, and 11 year old Written bylindsey678 February 2, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

BAD PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IF YOU LET A KID 14 AND UNDER PLAY THIS GAME THEN YOU ARE A BAD PARENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns

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