Gamed Stock

Back in the mid-aughts, before there was Spotify, I was in a “tape club.”

There were ten people in the group and each month, one member would burn a mixed CD and mail a copy out to each person, that way you got a new CD of music each month. (FWIW, my mix was “Songs to Walk in Slow Motion to.” My friend Zack still had the track list, and… it’s not that great, though I am proud it has not one but two lesser-known Swedish bands that aren’t The Cardigans.)

Anyway, this tape club was started by a guy named Jim Greer. Jim went on to co-found the gaming website/community Kongregate. Kongregate was acquired in 2010 by GameStop.

I was thinking about Jim this week and wondering if, a decade on, he still had any GameStop stock because WHOO BOY, what a week for that company’s shareholders.

When I first thought of writing about this topic on Tuesday, I was worried the story would fizzle out by Friday. I was obviously wrong. Double wrong. The story has only gotten bigger since then.

In a nutshell: A bunch of Wall Street types placed bets (short selling) that GameStop stock would fall. Because, of course, people can just download games now, who needs a GameStop?

In the other corner, a bunch of everyday investors on Reddit decided to screw those wall street fatcats and banded together to drive GameStop’s stock price up. Becase I’m Doug, and you’re dad, and I’m outta haaaaaayrrrre.

The result? Here’s what GameStop’s stock price looked like over the past six months:

You can read excellent explainers about the whole situation here, here, here and here. Or, you can just read this tweet:

I should unequivocally state that I am not a finance guy. Outside of my IRA, the closest I ever got to “playing” the stock market was literally playing the Stock Market Game board game in the early ’80s (I loved that game, you could choose between being a “policeman,” prospector, doctor or deep sea diver as your profession).

What’s fascinating about all this kerfuffle is that GameStop itself is now a game. Redditors don’t really think GameStop is that valuable. It’s akin to nominating Carrie to be Prom Queen, only, one hopes, with far less bloodshed in the end.

Look. I don’t know what it all means for our financial markets, but I do know you have generations of people who grew up playing videogames. And in those videogames, our hero is often trying to take down the big corporate bad guy. Hedge Fund managers just sound like a-holes (apols if you are one, I don’t really know what they do), that could use a good knocking down a peg.

With some literal clicks and swipes on their phones, these everyday investor folks can finally fight back and be the hero.

I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it’s wrong. It just is what it is.

Bloomberg writes that one possible outcome could be:

“the stock keeps going up to $1,000, every hedge fund is bankrupted, the stock market is shut forever and capitalism ends, ushering in a new golden age of kindness and abundance.”

Game over, man. The whole thing blows up.

Though, we’ll still need a cool soundtrack blaring as we walk away in slow motion from this capitalist explosion. So send me your song suggestions and I’ll add it to the Spotify playlist.

*Feature image via eBay.

Image via Tesla. Steering wheel via Knight Industries Two Thousand.
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Telsa Coin to Your Witcher

I have a little FOMO around not getting in on this whole GameStop rebellion early on. In my mind, I would have timed the whole thing perfectly and walked away (again, in slow motion) with a ton of profits.

Profits I could use to buy a new Tesla. I’m not a car guy, but I think the Model S is beautiful and now I want one even more after reading this story in The Verge:

Tesla’s new Model S will apparently play Witcher 3 on a built-in 10 teraflop gaming rig

For all you non-flop heads, that’s almost as many flops as an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. And since you can’t get either of those consoles anytime soon, it might be easier to just plunk down $80,000 for a new Tesla.

More Headlines

CDPR shuts down Cyberpunk mod that let players have ‘sex’ with Keanu Reeves – Real life Keanu, however, is down for whatever.

Rare Magic The Gathering Card Goes For Over $500,000 – You know, if the stock market is too risky.

G4 Confirms Revival of X-Play, Attack of the Show for 2021 – Because what you really need in your life is more shows to watch.

The Medium is slow-burning psychological horror on the Xbox Series X – in case the real world’s psychological horror is too fast-burning for you.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for reading.

Stay cool. Have a great summer. Class of ’90 rulez.

-Chris @ 40 Bit

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