London: Another French export has triggered a debate in Britain — a website that allows people to create and interact with doll-like characters in a virtual world. Critics however, argue that the game is sending a bad message to young girls in the real world.
The website, Miss Bimbo, has been created by Nicholas Jacquart for young girls and is hugely successful in his native France. However, it is now causing outrage in Britain.
In Miss Bimbo, players get their own female character to look after. Dressing, feeding and keeping her happy are the innocent basics of the game.
But to win you must do so much more. You're encouraged to choose sexy lingerie.
Keep her waist thin with diet pills if necessary and make her more attractive — even if it means with cosmetic surgery.
You can also find her a rich boyfriend who will look after her and play a game called French Kiss where her lips must catch as many boys in a nightclub as possible.
This site has more than a million members in France and over 2 lakh members in Britain.
However, critics describe it as frightening and dangerous.
Psychologist, Dr Linda Papadopoulosm says, "The message is clear and simple. A girl's value is in her looks and if you're not happy with it then fix the way you look and that's the only way you'll be happy."
Adds Eating Disorder Expert, Dr Dee Dawson, "It tells you that a balanced diet is a plate of vegetables which is clearly nonsense and it tells you that cereal bars make you fat. Those are not messages that we should be giving to young children."
This website has triggered a loud public debate in Britain. And the people who run Miss Bimbo admit the numbers using the site here have soared because of that debate.