(Disappearing) American Mall, the Video Game

mall-food-court-890 (Disappearing) American Mall, the Video Game

Like (I hope) the IPE Zone blog itself, there’s an amusingly droll American Mall video game developed by, of all people, Bloomberg. With consumer spending constituting the lion’s share of economic output in most countries, the fate of the shopping mall format is of considerable political-economic interest. The anchor department store…the food court…the originators of these retail concepts are American through and through. Having created it, the Americans are now at the cutting edge of retail evolution in moving away from the mall in a big way. What will it hold for retail in other countries?

It’s hard to tell what will happen elsewhere. Among other things, there’s less of a glut of retail floor space in other countries as well as the emergence of the mall as something more than a “shopping” destination. For instance, in the highly Catholic Philippines, its largest mall features regular church services.

At any rate, enjoy the video game. It’s even developed something of a following online:

Average gamers are playing about 4 minutes per session, though it’s topped one hour for some. And, for now, this is the only game in town for Bloomberg.com, but it is its most ambitious storytelling to date. (The site built The Trading Game, about picking stocks, two years ago.) The highest scorers are those who keep the mall open the longest, as of this writing more than 2,000 days. 

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