Friday, October 12, 2007

Functional Fantasies?

Came across an interesting adaptation to the fantasy sports hobby that has become an obsession for many sports nuts (19 million participants in the U.S. and Canada alone according the Fantasy Sports Trade Association) - a similar points based fantasy game for wannabe TV Executives. provides players with a virtual budget of $300 Million dollars with which to create their own television network comprised of existing shows. Points are earned on actual ratings performances, finishing first for a specific time-slot, ratings growth, magazine covers, Golden Globe awards, etc. Players can then buy and sell the programs in their network to further bolster their budgets and points totals.

For the networks themselves, interactive involvement by viewers to this degree has to be appealing on account of the heightened attentiveness that participants will likely give to guest appearances and other newsworthy items, which in turn can generate added promotional buzz amongst the players themselves. Moreover, if networks are tapped into why players are selling specific shows, and for what reason, there are learnable opportunities for possibly turning a show around, or fortuitously cutting the chord sooner rather than later.

Now, considering that most people's career daydreams involve themselves as a Rock Star, and that settling for the life of a Record Label Executive isn't too far behind, why couldn't a fantasy game for wannabe music executives be a big success? Say, give players a virtual budget with which to invest in a number of actual upcoming releases. Points could be accrued on sales success, chart position, magazine covers, Grammy and music video awards, and lost upon release delays, etc. The insight which could be gleaned for artists attracting a lot of investment attention, as well as the increased awareness of album release dates before they've streeted, would certainly be valuable for informing the real decisions that occur within our walls.

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