Web Game Creator: Buying Condoms, Adopting Orphans is 'Stylish' Fun
by Amy Hatch Jan 27th 2010 3:45PM
The controversial new My Minx Web craze has outraged parents' groups.
Credit: Tim Stewart News / Rex USA
An online game designed to let young girls create a character based on breast size, adopt third-world orphans a la Angelina Jolie and take "anti-baby pills" has parents up in arms. The "My Minx" Web game encourages young girls to buy condoms and engage in all kinds of scandalous virtual antics, London's Daily Mail reports. They also can visit an "adoption agency" -- where orphans are named after the adopted children of celeb parents such as Jolie -- to choose a child as an accessory to make their avatar more fashionable. The paper goes on to report that 4-year-old Zahara is said to be Ethiopian and a fan of eating guinea pigs, while Maddox enjoys cockroaches. Actor Ewan McGregor's adopted Mongolian daughter, Jamiyah, doesn't escape unscathed, either. She, apparently, prefers a diet of rats.
Chris Evans is the founder of Blighty Arts, the UK-based company that created "My Minx." He tells ParentDish that the game is intended for users ages 11 and up. He says the kerfuffle over the Web site is the work of "rogue journalists" who don't have their facts straight.
"It is not aimed at children," Evans says. "This is for teens or early 20s. When you register, you can't register if you are under the age of 11, and even so, there is nothing on there that would offend any child who might play the game."
When we signed up for our personal "My Minx" character, we were able to select from a drop-down menu description that included "single," "unhinged" and "horney [sic.]." We were unable to shop for fashions in the game's "boutique" section, because the game requires users to pay for the privilege of dressing their characters. Boys can play, too -- a male avatar is available.
A page from My Minx. Credit: Tim Stewart News / Rex USA
Any kid with a PayPal account can buy "pounds," which can then be used for purchasing "anti-baby pills," condoms and lingerie. When pressed on these facts, Evans maintains that the average age of "My Minx" users is "19.1" according to Blighty Arts' database.
"This is a stylish game for stylish ladies," Evans says. "This is a fantasy world and there is no way that we are going to get customers that young. I can't see how an 11-year-old would have any interest in it." He adds that the company has no intention of lowering the minimum age requirement and points out that the site is closely monitored. "I don't think there is anything on that site that [a child] would be damaged by," he says. "We have a strong team of moderators making sure that there is no bullying going on, and if anyone is causing trouble we ban them." It is, he says, "a responsible site."
Blighty Arts has been criticized in the past for its "Miss Bimbo" game, which lets girls give their virtual characters breast augmentation and diet pills.
Parents' groups in the UK are outraged, according to the Mail. Andy Hibberd is the spokesman for parents' rights group Parentkind. He tells the paper that parents won't have "any idea" that their kids are playing the game and that they are too young to appreciate its irony. "Having them getting virtual condoms or morning after pills will not make them any less promiscuous," he tells the Mail. "As regards child adoption, this game encourages them to think that they don't need to worry about morals or ethics."
According to the Web site, "My Minx" is a beta version of the game. What will the final version include? Evans refused to answer, calling the update's features a "secret."