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Real Estate Gaming Apps Help Mini Moguls Learn the Business

Nearly every person of a certain age can remember sitting around the dining room table with his or her family in the 1970s with a Monopoly board game at the center of the action. We’d argue over who would get to have the cool silver car as their board piece instead of the top hat or iron, and scream in delight if we ever progressed enough to the point at which we’d buy hotels and place them atop luxury streets like Boardwalk and Park Place.

Little did we realize as kids that we were learning a whole lot about real estate issues back then, with subjects like renting versus ownership and utility payments teaching us things we’d later use in life. (Hopefully that doesn’t include the “Go directly to jail; do not pass go, do not collect $200″ lesson as well.) And although Monopoly board games are still very popular, lining the shelves of stores like Target and Wal-Mart these days, they’ve also added formats – allowing the choice to buy Monopoly iPhone gaming apps from the iTunes Store, something I didn’t envision as a youngster enjoying the game.

As a 45-year-old who just typed “Monopoly” into the iTunes Store search box, I was surprised to learn there are many different versions of the game available for folks with that nostalgic real estate bend, stuff that hadn’t yet morphed into all these options when I was a kid. There’s a version for hotel moguls, a bingo-focused game, a slots gambling game and even one for pretend millionaires. And these aren’t knock-offs. The “EA” logo that proves these are the real-deal games from Electronic Arts are emblazoned across the Monopoly games that land in the top spots of the search results.

Playing realtor on the Google Play Store

In the Google Play Store, conversely, when one types “real estate” into the search box, the first batch of resulting apps that appear are not exactly gaming-focused. There’s the requisite Zillow real estate site’s app that’s beloved by many, along with offerings from major players like Realtor.com, RE/MAX and others.

Eventually, though, games pop up in the list – like Real Estate Monopoly by Chad’s Creative Creations – how’s that for nice alliteration? It helps to look for the cartoonish appearances of some of the realty-focused apps to try to uncover the games in the list, even if the popular ones that turn up – like this Hidden Object: Mystery Estate game – aren’t exactly designed to help teach kids how to launch into a career directed around property buying and selling.

The Clue-like gameplay, however, does help little ones hone their detective skills, or big kids who still love finding objects and solving riddles like the famous “It was Professor Plum, in the Billiard Room, with the knife” who-done-it Clue game used to help us perform. And it helps with property design skills as well, as they are allowed to make makeshift castles and such. Either way, all these games focused around real estate just may turn a kid playing around with apps into a highly rated realtor one day, and the gaming fun won’t go to waste.

Paula Mooney, Venture Beat