Online 'Miss Bimbo' game has parents worried

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London, March 25 : A new internet game called 'The Miss Bimbo', which enables young girls to give plastic surgery to virtual characters and feed them diet pills, has become a matter of concern for parents.

Girls, as young as nine, can been seen taking interest in the game, and competing against other players in beauty contests to earn money, so that they can dress their characters in lingerie and take them to nightclubs.

"(To become) the coolest, richest and most famous bimbo in the whole world" is what the aim of the game is.

A player has to keep the character at a target weight with the help of diet pills.

The players have to work the missions given to them, which include securing plastic surgery to give their "bimbo" bigger breasts, and finding a billionaire boyfriend to bankroll her while keeping a constant check on her hunger, thirst, happiness and other statistics.

Since its launch a month ago, the game has earned about 200,000 players in Britain to date. Most of these players are girls aged between nine to 16.

Once a players runs out of virtual cash, the contestant can send text messages costing 1.50 pounds each to top up their accounts.

While French dieticians and parents have condemned the sister website in France, the game's creators claim it is "harmless fun".

The game's developers also say that it builds on the success of Barbie, the Bratz dolls and Tamagotchis, the virtual pets invented in Japan.

However, parents' groups fear that such a game may inculcate in teenagers the desire to have plastic surgery, and fuel eating disorders.

"It is one thing if a child recognises it as a silly and stupid game. But the danger is that a nine-year-old fails to appreciate the irony and sees the bimbo as a cool role model. Then the game becomes a hazard and a menace," the Telegraph quoted Bill Hibberd, spokesman for parents' rights group Parentkind, as saying.

"Children will do what they have always done with Barbie dolls and the like, modifying them with new hair styles and clothing. But the technology has changed and so have the fashions and trends.

"Children's innocence should be protected as far as possible. It depends on the background and mindset of the child but the danger is that after playing the game some will then aspire to have breast operations and take diet pills.

"Many parents have no idea what their children are looking at on the internet and there are financial dangers for parents too if they do not know what their children are texting when they pick up mobile phones," Hibberd added.

The game's creator, 23-year-old web designer Nicolas Jacquart, from Tooting, south London, said: "The game is structured in such a way that it simply mirrors real life in a tongue-in-cheek way. It is harmless fun."

ANI

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