Virtual realty: can a computer game turn you into an ‘evil’ property developer?

Delaying repairs to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landlord and learns some interesting – and depressing – lessons

Building my first high-rise tower wasn’t too difficult. I threw up some studio apartments, hooked them up with power and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collection, and welcomed my first tenants. I packed the people in, stacked the units, and the profits soon began to pile up nicely.

It’s fun being a virtual landlord. I’ve been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate management simulation, since the game’s release in September. It gives cash-strapped renters like me a chance to indulge the wild fantasy of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landlords and larger developers actually do business.

I found it cost effective to evict low paying cafes and cheap liquor stores and bring in some higher paying ‘creatives’

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