Everyone envies the lifestyles of hip hop superstars: the mad stacks of cash, the bootylicious women, the warm, fuzzy cardigans... Walk a mile in those gigantic colorful Nikes, with Platinum Life, now in beta
From the makers of the iSamJackson iPhone app -- Austin's Heatwave Interactive -- and a group of hip-hop vets including an original Def Jammer, Plat's a Facebook-based distraction that lets you customize a male or female avatar, then choose your path as a rapper, R&B singer or DJ, and build a career from unsigned artist all the way up to mega-mogul, at which point you might get your very own iPhone commercial.
How it works: players spend "juice" points (which slowly recharge) to "perform" in challenges ranging from open mic nights to arena concerts, thus gaining the experience needed to level up and compete directly against other users for "fame" points in one-off battles, with winners determined through a combo of experience points and randomness; players can also engage in "beefs" (week-long fame-point competitions), whose results are posted to your FB wall, because ain't nothin' but a geek thang baby.
Winning battles, etc, earns you coin with which to buy better gear (mics, turntables), flashier clothing (new items added daily), pimp-tastic possessions (ice sculptures, big screens, cars), entourage members, and big-ticket assets ranging from pool halls to NBA franchises (with the exception of the Griz, who cost less than the ice sculpture).
Plat has got tie-ins with real life rappers and DJs, and a stable of artists will be lending their personas to the game, starting with Ludacris -- though playing that role might prove 2 Fast, 2 Furious, leaving you envying the sleepy, semi-employed life of Paul Walker.