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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stim City

For the next wave in Reality entertainment: What would happen if you combined Sim City, the web, and a real town?

Choose a small town anywhere with a reasonably friendly/stable government but still strongly favorable currency exchange rates vs. the major western economies, open a management office there with a satellite link, publish a detailed map (down to sub-building units), and allow people on the web (who may form groups for certain things) to, with their own real money, open businesses there, rent or even build buildings, hire people to do one-off jobs (distribute fliers, dig a well, whatever), etc. The management company would also publish a regular online newspaper with stories and photos from the town, issues and problems, progress, and keep the online map up to date, etc..

Yes, in some ways it's a bit twisted. But I wonder how it would play out? Consider the size of the online Everquest economy in real dollar terms. Could such a city, being the competitive focus of gamers all around the world, eventually become wealthy? (Could it become a new form of investing?)

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com