(Originally published on Blogcritics.org)
I worked in IT for 25 years, so I was a bit surprised when I saw the press release from software company3 Queens Media objecting to the “male-dominated” gaming space. The best programmer I ever hired was a female, so, I looked up 3 Queens at their booth at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition – E3 – held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 16-18.
The booth, besides having info on the game, also housed the CRUD Store – “got crud?” — and a spot for a photo op with one of the Crudashians. By the time I got there most of the Crud merchandise was sold out.
The 3 Queens were demoing their new, and very first, mobile gaming app Creeping with the Crudashians, “an outrageously humorous parody on America’s reality TV royal family,” which launched in beta at the show. Its tagline: You can buy fame, but you can’t buy talent.
Unlike their game, the ladies of 3 Queens, based in Silicon Harbor, South Carolina, were very serious. All three founded 3 Queens. In addition, Cara Florence and Nicole Young started Think Ideally, an incubator for startups. Florence focuses her free time on STEM education and workplace diversity. Young holds several degrees in Game Development and works to encourage young and future entrepreneurs. Maureen Coffey-Edri practiced law for six years before becoming a municipal judge in 2000, founded the Low County Legal Clinic, and developed WeConsent2, an app to avoid misunderstandings about sexual relationships.
When we sat down to talk at a table by the edge of their trade show booth, I expressed some skepticism about whether women were discriminated against in the gaming industry. “Don’t people always want the very best programmers?” I asked.
Young countered that it was often not a matter of active discrimination, but an environment where women don’t feel comfortable.
Just at that point, a young man ran up and interrupted us. “Hey,” he yelled, “You’re all gonna be famous. Kanye just took your picture!” Kanye West, whom I’m told is somehow related to the Kardashians, was in attendance at E3. I’m still waiting for the fame to hit.
Back at the interview, we moved on to the operation of the app.
Creeping with the Crudashians follows the play-for-free model, but allows you to make in-app purchases. You progress through the game by expending your fame and talent. Fame is easy to obtain and can be purchased for real money, but talent is much harder to develop and is a reward for in-game accomplishments. Fame can be used to buy special items that help the player advance.
As a player advances to higher levels, the humorous effects and difficulty level increases.
Creeping with the Crudashians, which features characters named Cym, Crusty, Lord D*ckhead, Crassy, Crawley, Dumpfries and Crewellina, will be available for both iOS and Android users. To be alerted when the app is available, you can sign up at the 3 Queens site and, of course, you can follow them on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.