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Twitch Stock Market Game Puts Players in Control of Real $50,000 Portfolio

Twitch Stock Market Game Puts Players in Control of Real $50,000 Portfolio

Any gamers who have a secret wish to be Bud Fox or even better (worse?) Jordan Belfort now have a chance to show off the Sun Tzu-Art of War/Porsche Turbo-or-nothing side of their personalities with a new stock market game on Twitch. The trades made in the game are completely determined by players’ inputs, and the $50,000 portfolio is all real money.

Watch live video from StockStream on www.twitch.tv

If you’re wondering who would be brave, insane, and/or wealthy enough to throw down 50,000 real spendable dollars as play money for a crowd of random gamers who may or may not have a self-imposed fiduciary duty to their client, you’ll have to settle for a first name only: Mike. Mike is the creator of the game, which he’s dubbed StockStream, and he’s also the person who’s put his money where his online gaming community is.

Mike, a Seattle-based Amazon engineer, told PC Gamer that the game uses the same concept as other Twitch Plays games, except with a real Wall Street portfolio. It’s not exactly clear if Mike thinks that this is an especially advantageous way to allot these 50,000 bones, but he seems to have realistic expectations for how well gamers will do with his money. “I was able to do a simulation that lasted weeks even losing a hundred dollars a day—which is a lot to lose in the stock market,” Mike told PC Gamer. He added that he’s a little nervous.

The game works by allowing players to vote on stock trades, which are executed via the Robinhood app, every five minutes during the U.S. stock market’s operating hours. Whichever trade receives the most votes in a given five-minute period is executed, and because Robinhood has no trading fees, trading in itself isn’t detrimental to the portfolio.

As for winning StockStream, there’s no real incentive for players. If you execute a trade and your stock increases in value, you get points; if it decreases, you lose points. Mike makes it clear that he is the sole receiver of any financial gains, as he’s the one taking on all the risk. Which makes sense, although it seems like people may care a little more about your money if you let them have a taste sometimes (that’s the Tony Soprano rule of thumb).

So far Mike’s portfolio hasn’t moved all that much—it’s at $50,060.49 as of this writing—and it’s hard to say which direction it’ll go in. Apparently there is an automatic halt on trading if the account halves in value and drops to $25,000 due to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulation, however. Which honestly, kind of sounds like easy mode.

What do you think about this Twitch stock market game? Place all bets in the comments below!

Images: Flickr / htmvalerio

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