Buy Big

What if mistakes were made? That’s how we all learn, isn’t it? Taking a closer-range view, it’s fair to say that I could do without having lost two million beans, but if that’s the nature of the mistake then so be it.

It all started with a new augmented reality game called Buy Big. I should have guessed from the tagline – “Conveyancing, lawyers and embezzlement… oh my!” – that this was no ordinary adventure game, and perhaps one to be a little wary of. It didn’t occur to me to read all the conditions of play, and I blithely signed off on all the contracts, as you do.

In the game, you use a currency called ‘beans’ to purchase properties in your real-life neighbourhood, which you can then inhabit in-game. I bought right in, even ordering the special glasses and other overpriced accessories to enhance the realness of the experience. Soon, I was hooked.

A key part of it is accruing more beans by conducting questionable financial dealings inside your newly acquired properties, and I got right into that. I had particular success in linking other players to my private network of conveyancing services. Clifton Hill became a bit of a hotspot for those shenanigans.

It was only after I’d been playing for a few weeks that I received a very rude shock: the ‘beans’ I’d been accruing represented actual dollars, which I’d been racking up in actual debt. See, they start you off with one million beans to get you started, but this is actually a real-world loan which you are required to pay back within a fortnight, presumably through funds gained from reeling in other clueless souls who don’t read the fine print. If you don’t repay in that timeframe, they double the amount you owe.

In short, it’s a Ponzi scheme disguised as an innocent make-believe real estate market. The worst of it is that you aren’t actually getting anything for your money except higher levels of gameplay. You don’t get to own any of the real-world properties that you own in the game, so that two mil I owe is essentially for nought. Still, we live and learn.

Paperwork, Unfamiliar to Many

BIG plot twist tonight on The Great Australian Trade-Off, as the tradies were forced to contend with property management. It’s by far the least ‘practical’ task they’ve had so far, after all the other weeks were about fixing things and creating…more things. But it’s week four now. The weak ones have been weeded out, and there’s nowhere left to hide from the judges.

Yes, I’m a little bit addicted, but paperwork is my jam. I do it all day at work, so seeing someone else put through it on national television is just amazing. Just think of all the conveyancing lawyers who’ll be watching this episode, yelling at their TV screens as the tradies mix up their sale of land act with the mortgage payments. It gets pretty complicated, though, and you don’t realise until you actually have to sort out this stuff for a living. Property conveyancing is a whole lot of admin, and if you’re not organised, you might as well just do another job. Like real estate agency. Ha! Burn!

Anyway, the tradies had to do all sorts of conveyancing and property shenanigans, and it was clear that they were outside their comfort zone. Makes sense, though…if these people want to run their own businesses, they need to learn to sift through paperwork. People get pretty upset when it comes to payday and you’ve lost their tax file numbers, or you need to find a receipt for work completed seven months ago and it’s somewhere in a massive pile next to your desk.

Of course, as per usual they had an actual conveyancing expert in the tent. A professional, I mean…not that they have an Elwood conveyancing professional in there every single week, no matter the task. That would’ve been silly when they’re fixing boat propellers. But wow, they went there. A whole week on paperwork, and now I am hooked.