My personal favorite idea that I would love to see someone build is a virtual housing stock market game. The gist would be that users buy and sell homes, track their gains, and receive points based on how well they do. I’m not sure if anyone is familiar with the old Wall Street Sports game (merged with CBS Sportsline in 1998) — being a sports junkie growing up, I can say it was AWESOME. I could buy shares of all my favorite players, like Ken Griffey Jr, Barry Sanders, Michael Jordan and Penny Hardaway, just as Wall Street investors could buy shares of IBM, Apple, or Microsoft. I could also see how my portfolio was doing relative to others’ on the leaderboard. It’s been a good decade, so I really can’t remember all the features that were incorporated into the game — though I do remember it was extremely addictive.
Obviously, if you’re interested in creating something like this, the features you decide to build would be up to you. I’m no developer — but if I were, here are some of the features I would build:
- Give everyone a pre-set amount of “play” dollars in order to build up a portfolio of properties.
- A fairly detailed leaderboard, perhaps with the ability to be broken down by geography.
- Enable groups of people to compete against others.
- Use the Zestimate value as a buy price for properties that have not been bought before.
- Create a marketplace for users to buy/sell homes based on market demand.
There is already a Hollywood Stock Exchange that uses this same concept, but with shares of Hollywood stars. It seems logical to extend the concept to real estate — where investors buy and sell property in real life already. Other than Weblo (which requires real money to play), I’m not yet aware of a “virtual” real estate market where real estate enthusiasts can spend their free time.
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