I was fascinated to recently read about the uptake of online property games in Australia and how “thousands of Aussies are building property empires online”.
Highlighting this trend was Century 21 Australia’s game ‘Property Mogul’ which has apparently recorded over $3.4 trillion worth of property transactions since it was launched a year ago.
While I‘ve only had a brief flirtation with the game, I was reminded of my love of playing Sim City growing up. I think it was Sim City 2000 to be more precise.
The open-ended city-building game handed you the task of founding and developing a city from scratch. While I played this game purely for fun, I’m sure it would have set me in good stead if had I planned a career in town planning or local politics.
The game allowed you to revel in the constructing of huge skyscrapers and bridges but it also required you to consider that your residents required electricity and water. You also had to think about budgets and finance such as setting tax rates and collecting money to develop your city further.
My point is this: while online property games are designed for fun, perhaps there is merit in teaching people about the property market in general. Just as I learned that my people needed basic utilities, players of property games will learn the ways an investment property can generate income. The aim is to educate and demystify wannabe property investors and that can only be a good thing.
Granted there are some massive differences – in Property Mogul you start out with $1 million in virtual cash – but the basic task of buying, selling and managing properties remains the same. And just like real life you can climb the property ladder and even increase your reputation as a good landlord.
So without further ado, I’m off to create my property empire!