Co.Design

Kickstarting: A Monopoly-Style Game For The Hedge-Fund Age

Monopoly’s focus on real-estate investment proved dangerous. What if a board game could teach us to master the stock market instead?

It seemed like Monopoly had the formula right. Buy lots of property. Improve it with plastic hotels and granite countertops. Then make money off the housing through rent or resale. What an obvious path to a secure financial future! That was, before we had the real-estate bust.

Daytrader is a new Kickstarter-backed game by ITAL/C. And whereas Monopoly focuses on property investment, Daytrader focuses on stocks. Each player begins by getting a job at one of several companies on the board. As more players join that company, earlier employees get promotions and the companies gain value. Salaries can be spent on stocks, and chance-like cards constantly affect the stock market. The first one to $3 million--the amount needed for retirement--wins.

“The hope is that this game can add a level of basic education of the concepts of investing to a broader audience,” ITAL/C’s Alli Taylor tells Co.Design. “For a younger audience, the game teaches concrete applications of the basic concepts of investing in the stock market. For the adult audience, Daytrader allows players to exploit investment risks and maximize gains to create greater wealth.”

While there are no cars, shoes, or top hats, the board does feature strong visual branding with a focus on approachability. Filled with original illustrations inspired by classic American signage and currency, Daytrader is meant to evoke the golden age of Wall Street. (Not the Gordon Gekko golden age, I’m guessing, but a time when ticker tape hadn’t yet given way to AI trading and Charlie Sheen dressing as a custodian.)

I imagine that Daytrader can get pretty cut-throat, underscored by all of the corporate ladder climbing and peer investment envy we have in real life. But at least, at the end of the day, you win by being the first one to retire rather than bankrupting all of your friends and family. So hopefully some of those values can translate to real life.

Daytrader is available for pre-order on Kickstarter now. It starts at $32.

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