If you had the cash to invest, would you make or lose money? Kapitall is a free online game that allows you to simulate playing the real stock market as it unfolds daily, not a computer generated simulation.
Currently in an open Beta phase, Kapitall is shaping up to be a fun way to learn about investments and the stock market. Even at this early stage of its development, it is a highly polished package and offers hours of financial fun at no charge and at no risk.
Real investors spend hours poring over data and reports showing them what’s going on in the market. They have to identify trends, predict market changes, and pounce on opportunities. All of this is constantly putting them into a stress frenzy, since real money is at stake. Kapitall brings all the excitement of playing the stock market to your PC, without the stress of having your kid’s college fund on the line.
After you sign up for an account, which takes all of thirty seconds, you’ll have the option to dive right in and start exploring on your own, or you can choose the handy tutorial. In either case, you’ll be presented with various pop ups that describe what each section of the program does or means and how to manipulate it. The entire interface is contained within your browser window so there’s no need to download or install anything. You will need to have the latest version of Flash player installed but as that comes with most browser installations already, it’s not a big concern.
The main section of the interface is aptly called, “The Playground” and it’s here that you will do the bulk of your activities with Kapitall. The Playground is basically a virtual desktop that holds your investment information and, through a simple and intuitive interface, allows you to interact with them. You can search for companies and drag them to your Playground, where you can then decide to invest or not. Instead of traditional game levels, Kapitall offers you different portfolios to work with. Each portfolio has a set amount of virtual resources you can invest and by increasing the original amounts through smart and savvy market strategies, you will be able to attain the next portfolio with even bigger amounts of virtual cash.
The idea at the core of Kapitall’s experience is to treat the stock market as a game so you can test out your strategies, and hone your investment skills. Since all the data for the stock ticker and the various markets within the game are based on real life companies and their data, the results of your in-game efforts are supposedly comparable to what you could expect to achieve within the real world stock market. Kapitall does mention, however, that the game should be played only for entertainment purposes, never for actual investments. Sounds a bit like the lottery, doesn’t it? Also, with the investments being based on real data, they mature and develop in real time as well. This means the game can (and most likely will) be played over time, rather than a single session that takes a certain amount of hours, and also adds to the longevity of the game as an entertainment medium. With charts, graphs, and all kinds of other tables full of real data, you’ll find yourself enthralled with the exploration of the stocks and the market itself.
Kapitall also has direct connections to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, if you so choose. This allows you to, essentially, play the game with friends and show them how well you are doing. It also offers the chance to find out what others are saying about individual investments, offer your own opinions and advice to others, and enjoy an online gaming experience with them. There’s currently no dedicated mobile app available for it, but as with so many other programs, give them time and I am sure they will release one. Since the game is played in a browser window, however, you can play it from any mobile device that has a full-featured browser installed and the connections to Facebook and Twitter also cover a lot of ground in the mobile arena.
I did a good deal of exploring and tinkering with the game and I have to say that, while I am still not confident I could be a real life investor, I do feel I now have a better understanding of the market and how stocks work as an investment. This alone is worth the experience, in my opinion, and the bottom line is that I had a great deal of fun with it. I would recommend this game for anyone who has an interest in stocks, or even for someone who has never looked into them but has always wondered what they are all about. Since the program is currently in Beta, there’s no telling what great innovations and improvements they will make in the future, but I am looking forward to seeing them for myself. The sleek and polished design of the Beta version shows a level of dedication and professionalism from the developers that bodes well for the game’s future.
Until next time, my friends.
Requires: Internet connection and Flash player capable browser.
Play Kapitall here.