Wall Street Bets is currently a very active subreddit, and has now been turned into a stock market simulator/idle game.
If you haven’t been following the news recently, then you have missed out on one of the most bonkers financial stories to happen in the last 20 years. I’ll give you a short summary. GameStop stocks were cheap, then they got really expensive, then you weren’t allowed to buy them, they got cheap again, and now they are starting to go back up. What does this mean? I don’t know, I just like the stock.
I did break my self imposed under $2 rule for this game, because it was just too good to pass up. I did it for the meme. Wall Street Bets comes in at $2.99, and that purchase was almost as bad as my stock trading history. I don’t know what I expected for an idle game, but a little something would have been nice.
It does include a news headline everyday, usually in reference to something that was posted on the Wall Street Bets subreddit, but the news headline doesn’t pop up. You have to actively look for it, and its usually not worth the click. There is no sound at all, and the background image of an office that looks eerily like a chess board, a good metaphor for the stock market I guess, is just kind of there with no interaction at all.
You start the game with $5,000 and three different stocks that you can purchase. There is a slider at the top of the screen that lets you adjust how fast or slow the day moves, and at the end of each day it tells you what your biggest gains/losses were. At the start of the new day, any dividends from the stocks you own are deposited into your account so you can buy more stocks. As you increase your net worth, more stocks become available to buy so you can further increase your earnings, or lose them that much faster. The basic strategy is, buy low, sell high. Sounds pretty obvious, but there is always the game of what if.
What if you sell and it goes higher? What if you buy more and it sinks way, way down? What if this game was real life? That last one is actually less of a what if and more of a reality. One of the highlights of the Wall Street Bets subreddits is the people that post there huge losses, referred to as loss-porn. Well, highlights for some people. Probably not so much for the ones posting it. But that’s the danger of playing in the stock market.
That being said, one thing this game does have going for it, is that if you really want to get a taste of trading stocks with no danger to your bank account, play this. You get an imaginary $5000 that you can choose to do whatever you want with. You might get rich, you might bet it all on BlueBerry Limited and lose everything as it sinks to $1.39 a share. Only time will tell, albeit at a more accelerated pace since you’re probably like me and set the passage of time to its maximum and watched as the year flies by, your money fluctuating with every passing day. This game may have felt a little too real for those of us that bought into the hype of the GameStop stock and are now patiently waiting to see what will happen next.
If you are looking for an escape from reality, this isn’t the “game” for you. There are certainly better games out there, especially ones that I have previously written about. 2/5 (And that’s only because of the meme.)