Wall Street Kid
|Release date||1989 (Japan)
|Platforms||NES, various emulators|
|Rating||Ideal for Stupid Kids|
|Would Scooter Libby play it?||Yes, if it was either this, or a Personal Accounting class.|
- Wall Street Kid is an "edutainment" game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Fueled by a groundbreaking, never-before-seen fusion of both buying and selling, it uses the latest in high-technology to bring the joy of irresponsible speculation to the generation that grew up with such blockbuster smash hits as Duck Hunt™ and Balloon Fight™!
Despite the fact that you're in business for yourself, you will spend every day, like any other nine-to-fiver, jammed into a depressingly small and terribly decorated office of your very own.
The scene outstretched before you recalls the vanitas paintings of the High Renaissance: everything is a constant reminder of the inevitability of decay, the ephemerality of life, and the stupidity of the people who waste it in places like this.
- A ripoff of the Wall Street Journal, on your desk every morning without fail, presumably delivered by your faithful but invisible secretary.
- A computer that suspiciously resembles an Apple Macintosh. Just like a real Apple computer, you can only do about four things with it.
- A vase with three flowers that will wilt, in a way not at all dissimilar to every relationship you've ever had.
When the flowers die, you'll be left utterly alone. So alone.
- A futuristic vital-signs meter, whose mysterious glowing life tonic subsides as you inch ever closer to dying an unloved, malodorous shutin, deprived of even the slightest amount of salutary exercise. Either that, or it's just sprung a leak.
- A magical clock that can transport you one day into the future, but curiously has only four possible configurations. And a severe lack of both numeric gradations and fashion sense.
- A window, which upon closer inspection seems the only way out of this room — and, indeed, your cyclical existence — despite being the only feature of your new workspace with which you cannot seem to interact. In all probability, this restriction on both its and your freedom of movement is likely owed to the day trader whose tenancy here only very recently preceded your own. The market took a precipitous fall, and accustomed as he was to following it, he did the smart thing and bailed out.
"To make money, you must buy stocks while they are selling low and sell stocks while they are selling high."
Most people have either a vague idea of what they're going to do with their pointlessly short and tortured lives or a concrete aspiration that is doomed to be left by the wayside as they struggle to put their accidental offspring through college.
- Buy your Dream Home for $1,000,000 dollars. No more, no less. And not just any home, but that one that's getting sold in three weeks.
- Buy a Yacht so that you can screw your new wife in various loving positions to the gentle sounds of waves lapping against your cabin.
- Get Married Might be nice to have that wife first before trying your luck at Goal #2. Check off 'Got married.' on life's checklist. Shred any credit cards you have lying around.
- Win a Castle in an Auction. There's only one bidder, and that's you, but that doesn't stop that sleazy foreigner from upping the ante.
- Pay for the Castle Remember that castle you agreed to buy whilst near-fatally inebriated?
Oh, The Places You'll Go
The travel opportunities open to a high-powered business executive of the 20th century are near-infinite. Just like a real captain of industry, you could write off a trip to Barbados on your expense report, fly direct to Japan for your sushi, and go on safari hunting exotic animals in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A sampling of the exciting travel destinations that await you and your lover at the end of every week:
- Pet Shop – "How much is that doggy in the window?" Too much. Don't bother to ask.
Buy the poodle, or lose half.
- Car Lot – "Honey, my car's broken. Can I get a new one?"
- Home Theater Store – "What's a woofer? I want the big one!"
- Art Gallery – "Sure I don't recognize any of these foreign names, but these have got to be worth something someday."
- Dress Maker – "Remember that party of mine I had you pay for? I NEED a new dress!"
Real men buy their wives gem-studded lace panties.
- Jeweler – "I know we're trying to save up for that castle you've always wanted, but I need something that sparkles! $70,000.00 should be a drop in the bucket for a big, studly man like you, right?"
...At least once a week, trained customer service representatives will inquire at a convenient time, by telephone, to offer you exclusive, valuable deals and to ask you vitally important questions to help you better understand the game.
Your Portfolio 
Speaking of pointers, it may surprise you to discover that the life of a Wall Street banker isn't all about finding, entertaining, and providing for the whims of flighty high-maintenance women. A modest deal of your work might in fact entail some oversight — either occasional or interminable — of the stocks in your portfolio and the state of the companies in whose ownership you now play a part.
One might suppose that with over twenty publicly-traded firms on the exchange, subtle differences between the operating styles and missions of the businesses peculiar to their various roles within various industries, and the unquantifiable potential for catastrophe that exists for any business at any moment, it would be unreasonably difficult or even potentially fruitless to try to classify companies by their viability, thereby to seemingly feign a falsely confident prediction of future performance. The intuition might exist that intuition itself is all that matters in investing large sums of other people's money.
That intuition would of course be ludicrous: investment veterans and small children alike know that there are only four kinds of companies in the world.
- Blue Chip – These high value companies are grouped together for their stable worth, safely tenable business models, and long-term strategic indispensability. Nah, actually they're all just the tech and telecom firms on the list, which means they're worth a lot of money. This is ideal if you currently possess "a lot of money" and are looking to acquire more.
(Which, being Wall Street Kid, we would hope you are.)
- Growth – This classification is awarded to stocks that are likely to appreciate sometime in the future. These are the hitters with big league potential, but minor league equipment and lineup. What needs to happen is that the company must hit a home run, be acquired by a holding company, and then allow the latter and their shareholders to profit from someone else's initial buy-in.
- Speculative – These stocks are volatile, meaning that while you could strike it rich in the same way that you might as armed with a stick of dynamite in a not-once-profitable mineshaft, at the end of the day, you're probably just going to blow your hand — or another part of your anatomy — off.
- Cyclical – This is a polite term for once graceful, stable stocks that took part in the race and are owed the benefit of the doubt before they are retired. If they bounce back, the title is merited, and if not, another former champion is put down and her pieces made into glue or something.
Tired of playing glorified arcade games that won't save your progress?
It's 1989, get with the program!state-of-the-art high-tech cutting-edge save system used by the hippest and coolest awesome games of this young decade!
Password saves are totally rad 'cuz you can write 'em down and share 'em with your friends. Yeah!
Balancing Your Busy Schedule
- Picnic – "I have another appointment." She could be cheating on you, for all you know, but I wouldn't really worry about it.
- Shopping – Probably your best bet. She does this every day anyway, so she should be used to it by now. Have fun holding the bag while she tries out all of those "cute outfits" she's been drooling over.
- Carnival – Bitch never wants to go to the goddamned carnival. I guess she's afraid of the unsafe rides, or the foodborne illness, or something. Maybe she just hates clowns.
- Work Out At Gym – Want to leave work early and get some reps in? Too bad. It's closed. Always. Don't even think about it.
- Swimming – There's a toxic pool chemical recall going on, but damned if that'll stop you from getting your daily laps. Oh, and it's closed.
- Hiking Trail – Don't ask how somebody can "close" a hiking trail, but them's the breaks. Plus, it just happens to always be tick season.
Faced with the ever-present threat of your partner leaving you and you subsequently losing the obnoxiously-large fortune you stand to inherit from your late uncle, you need to do much more than just come up with obscene amounts of cash on a moment's notice only to blow it on your spouse.
This is a game about the stock market, a highly-realistic simulator of the executive lifestyle. So, while it may be fun, you can't just sit idle and sacrifice your life nobly to the pursuit of supporting your new family financially by putting food on the table. You have a relationship to keep up!
Between ruining your productive years behind a monitor prudently observing market conditions, you also have to do the important things, like taking your sweetheart out, and taking care of your chiseled physique so that she doesn't kick you out like the fat sack of shit you are because she just can't get aroused anymore. In which case, it will be all your fault.
(or just the socialites!) and if you waste enough of your time...
and make enough money...
and lose enough of it...
(all the while adhering to the strict deadlines regarding each)