A internet based music trading game, Popex puts most bands onto a virtual stock exchange (hence the name), where people can buy and sell stock in pretty much any bands. Divis are given out to certain bands (based on record sales?), and people who earn more than a million virtual quid get silver or gold discs.

As with most long term internet games, those who started early get a massive advantage.

A UK based webgame, actually titled PopEx (ie Pop Exchange), it's first incarnation was setup in 1998 by Paul (Pauly) Clarke who had just left the New Musical Express after working on its website. After running it off his ISP allotted webspace and becoming a victim of its own success he was probably relieved to have it bought by Fortunecity (for some magic beans) in October 1999 but this didn’t last too long as it was subsequently bought by Channelfly in February 2001.

Throughout this time there have been many changes (and resets, although none in the last few years) to the way the game plays to ensure fun for all;

  • The current incarnation ranks punters by their percentage growth over the course of a week as well as tracking their entire earnings, enabling brand new players to ride high in the charts, while monied incumbents have to make a killing to chart well.
  • Additionally when you earn a million you get 'gonged', a practice "..mercilessly ripped off of popbitch.com", which entails recieving a silver disc by your name and your money reset. If you get 10 silver discs you get a gold disc instead.Unfortunately it's not quite that simple as 17 million is represented by -silver-silver-silver-gold, described as "..a kind of Roman Numeralesque way..".
  • There is also a tax on earnings over 20,000 in a week, which reduces the speed at which the rich get richer.
  • A huge number of bands have been added and the Shitophonics removed, the explanation given being that Pauly was getting bored of being asked why they were called that. Strangely enough the Stereophonics were added shortly after.
  • The addition of a control panel showing net trades semi-live, which has led to even quicker changes in prices.
  • A semi-easter egg is the picture of Sammy the dog, which when clicked will offer sage advice on what shares to buy, or it could just be a random javascript list.
Players start with 5,000 quid. The divies are paid out in the early hours every friday (GMT) and the amount paid out is dependent on media exposure of the band as well as their chart placings both in the UK and the US.

Links; www.popex.com
PopEx, 109X Regents Park Road, NW1 8UR

All quotes from http://www.popex.com/faq

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