Celebdaq is an online game/community/stock exchange run by BBC Choice. The basic set-up is that as a celebdaq trader you trade shares in celebrities. Just as in a real stock exchange values fluctuate according to who’s buying, selling or getting their photo in The Sun. Each trader begins their celebdaq life with an automatic portfolio of “hotly tipped shares”, or £10,000 cool, hard, virtual cash. As demand for a celeb’s shares goes up, so does their price, and gosh how they go up. Any big media event can send a celeb’s worth rocketing, a lack of coverage can send them plummeting to the depths. Dividends are another important part of the celebdaq system, every morning the celebdaq office scours five tabloids and four broadsheets for celeb related news. These industrious wee monkeys then measure the square column inches devoted to each celeb featured in the ‘daq, this process is repeated weekly with two gossip glossies. Dividends are paid out at a rate of x per share, x increases as the column inch-age increases, and is higher for a broadsheet front-page, than an entertainment magazine inside page. A photograph of La Minogue on the front of The Times, for example, is going to earn you a far greater dividend than a couple of Kylie-related inches in the middle of Heat.

The game has been up and running for around eight months now, and has spawned its own virtual millionaires, it’s also had its fair share of dodgy dealers, playing the market like a small, purple banjo. Its even made a select few some real money, once a week a £100 cash prize is awarded to the trader with the highest percentage increase in worth for that week. In a recent development celebdaq will stepping up from the underground with a TV show, soon to be shown on BBC3, it will be presented by business news journalist Patrick O’Connell, apparently an avid celebdaq fan himself. He comments on the role of celebrity in Britain today; “You can't shake a stick in Britain without poking a celebrity in the eye.” And on the role he himself will play as celebdaq presenter, “Shenanigans have already struck the 'daq and already someone's had their fingers in the till. My role is to peer at these people on the Board, prodding them."

All in all celebdaq is great fun to play, a well written site that’s poking fun at the pop culture we’re immersed in today, while giving us an excuse to keep up with the gossip. Go forth and trade my friends, but beware the caveat posted at the bottom of each page,


You can find celebdaq nestling snugly at http://www.bbc.co.uk/celebdaq/ All information in this node researched from the aforementioned.