A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Barbie represented here is not the one with a greatly exaggerated figure. Rather, she is a cute, petite high school girl. Unfortunately, she walks with a runway-model's swish of the hips. Some of the behavior modeled in the game is negative, including a high school girl who lies and is snobby to others. Also, to win the game, Barbie must hack into the school's computers.
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What's it about?
Barbie, the popular doll, takes on the role of detective in THE BARBIE DIARIES: HIGH SCHOOL MYSTERY, based on the straight-to-DVD movie The Barbie Diaries. On the day of her school's \"Battle of the Bands\" competition, Barbie's Charmz band mate receives a threatening text message telling the band to drop out and someone vandalizes their staging area -- and Barbie decides to try to discover who is trying to bungle the battle of the bands. Barbie's path throughout the game is linear, but you have flexibility to explore the high school's seven locations, talk to whom you want, and click on sparkling objects you want to investigate. You go through the game by accomplishing a series of objectives, such as getting information about a specific student by talking to people or solving puzzles.
Is it any good?
The Barbie represented in this computer game is a refreshing change from the doll -- she looks like a pretty blonde teen with a normal figure instead of an exaggerated one. And while you still help her choose what she wears to school each morning, dress-up is a minor part of the game. This is a game that requires logic to help Barbie solve a mystery at her high school.
Testers really enjoyed solving this mystery. In addition to talking to characters, players liked the in-game puzzles and extra activities, including designing a necklace for a friend and decorating a friend's locker. A minor complaint was that the fun experience doesn't last long enough. While Barbie isn't a perfect role model -- she hacks into the school's computer -- she does show girls that it's OK to be smart, funny, and good at music.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Barbie represented in this software is different from the doll. Is that a good thing or a bad thing, and why? Parents might also want to discuss the part where Barbie hacks into the school computer to solve the mystery. Is it ever OK to break the law? Should Barbie have hacked into the computer or sought help from the school administration?
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