* Online game allows players to be part of “Jersey Shore”
* “Spread Snooki” iPhone app pops Snooki into your photos
By Christine Kearney
NEW YORK, July 26, (Reuters) - Want Snooki in your face? Ready to take on “The Situation” in a battle of flying pickles and tanning lotion?
A “Jersey Shore” online game and separate iPhone application are being released this week as the MTV hit reality series returns to U.S. television for a second season.
The game allows online players to square off with one another in humorous one-on-one battles between animated versions of the outrageous cast of young housemates, using household items that play on scenes from the show, MTV said on Monday.
“We have structured the game around the themes of the show,” said Tony Espinoza, vice president of social games for MTV Networks. “And it’s a social experience where people can interact.”
The social game will launch on Tuesday for “Jersey Shore”‘s 1.6 million Facebook members, and one day later on MTV.com for all other users.
It also offers players the chance to “GTL” — a term popular with the muscled Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino meaning gym, tan, laundry — activities that besides drinking and partying consume his spare time.
There is no mention of the terms “guido or “guidette” that have been criticized as stereotyping young Italian-American adults.
The new season, starting on Thursday, sees Sorrentino, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and other cast members take their antics to Miami from Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
The game will change after each new episode, tying in different settings and playing on one-liners or new adventures by the cast.
“There are always 3-5 things that happen (each episode) that are just so over the top that everyone is talking about them. Those are the things we put in the game,” said Espinoza.
Meanwhile a separate iPhone application called “Spread Snooki” is being released on Apple’s iTunes this week.
It gives owners two options — superimposing fist pumps or head shots of the show’s outspoken young star onto existing personal photos, or into live photos as they are being taken.
If the application is successful, apps for other cast members will follow.
“It’s fun, It’s simple, it’s Snooki,” said head of MTV wireless Michael Scogin. “These guys have become pop culture icons as they are larger than life characters. This is the perfect franchise to broaden out from that.”
The first season of “Jersey Shore” was the No. 1 cable series among 12-to-34-year-olds. Its last episode drew an audience of more than 4.8 million people, triple that of its 2009 debut, MTV said.
editing by Jill Serjeant