What's Your Fantasy?
This weekend I'll be competing for the championship in my fantasy football league. I don't want to brag, but I'll just say that I'm favored to win and it'll be my second championship in a row. That said, I've grown tired of my fantasy sports leagues, so I've found some fun alternatives.
Fantasy Moguls allows you play Weinstein brother, choosing the movies you think will be most successful. You get a budget of $100 every three months to buy eight movies, which are priced according to their real-life budget, so Transformers will put you back more than Juno. Points are scored in four categories - total domestic box office, per theater average (PTA), IMDb user review score and placing in the weekly top five chart.
If you watch C-SPAN instead of E! or ESPN, there's even a fantasy league for you. Fantasy Congress is the brainchild of Andrew Lee, a student at Claremont McKenna College, who decided that he could combine the seductive power of fantasy football with his own interest in politics. Players (citizens) draft senators and representatives and get points when they pass laws, show up to vote, make the news or even break party ranks. One benefit (besides the obvious educational potential) is that Fantasy Congress doesn't allow you to be a homer, since there's a finite limit on how many of your own Congressman you can draft.
Fellow blogger Jason touched on Fafarazzi in a post last year. In Fafarazzi, you draft celebrities and get points when they make headlines on any assortment of tabloid and blogs. Not surprisingly, today's biggest earner was pregnant Jamie Lynn Spears with an impressive 33 points, followed by sister Britney and talk show hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (they made entertainment headlines for announcing their return to work next month).
Another fantasy league that requires watching the tabloids is Fantasy Fashion. The game, which "gives women a league of their own," involves drafting designers and celebrities. You get points for covers on magazines like Vanity Fair and Marie Claire, features on InStyle's Look of the Day and recognition at awards shows. Designers get points when a celebrity wears their work, while celebrities get points for winning awards, getting mentioned in the tabloids and even attending the Oscars.
If you're looking to get an early start on beefing up your retirement fund, why not practice playing the markets with a Virtual Stock Exchange. Plenty of personal finance teachers have made their students play similar games. With no financial risk, you create a fantasy portfolio with real stocks and funds on the markets, then compete for the most profit. Enrolling in this league would finally give me an excuse for watching Jim Cramer freak out on Mad Money.