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Business-Focused Video Games

The American Mall Game Focuses on the Death of Shopping Centers

— February 12, 2018 — Tech
The American Mall game is a Bloomberg-created video game that documents the demise of the American shopping mall. The interactive storytelling of the game gives players the chance to understand and experience the situation of the dying American mall. The game was developed over the course of three months and was built by a team of Bloomberg reporters, editors, developers and the copy desk.

The American Mall game features a retro art style in a way that evokes the former glory of massive malls. Set in 2018, the game has players choose a character and then implement strategies to turn the mall around. The strategies can be as simple as slight rent increases, but can also go as far as zany marketing schemes.

While there is a way to win the game, it is incredibly difficult to do so and most of the game just feels like a crawl for survival. Gameplay is fairly light, but the message of the game and the experience it evokes are all done masterfully.


Image Credit: Business Insider, Ad Week
Trend Themes
1. Interactive Storytelling Games - The American Mall game showcases the potential for interactive storytelling games to provide immersive and educational experiences.
2. Virtual Reality Retail - The game's retro art style and focus on saving a dying mall highlight the opportunities for virtual reality retail experiences that recreate the atmosphere and challenges of physical shopping centers.
3. Serious Games for Business - The American Mall game demonstrates the potential for serious games to be used as a tool for business professionals to understand and strategize for real-world scenarios like the decline of shopping centers.
Industry Implications
1. Video Game Industry - The American Mall game indicates a growing market for video games that explore social, economic, and environmental issues in an engaging and interactive manner.
2. Retail Industry - The game's portrayal of a dying mall prompts the retail industry to consider new strategies for revitalizing physical storefronts or adapting to virtual retail experiences.
3. Learning and Development Industry - The use of interactive storytelling and serious gameplay in The American Mall game presents opportunities for the learning and development industry to create engaging training programs for business professionals.
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