The mechanic is called "market manipulation" and is supposed to work like this:
- Players can enter the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
- LSE displays the stock prices of 8 to 10 companies and derivatives. This number is relatively small to ensure that players will collide in their efforts to manipulate the market in their favor. The prices are calculated based on
- real world prices of these companies and derivatives (in real time)
- any market manipulations that were conducted by the players
- any market corrections of the system
- Players can buy and sell shares with cash, a resource in the game, at current in-game market value
- Players can manipulate the market, i.e. let the price of a share either rise or fall, by some amount, over a certain period of time. Manipulating the market requires spending certain in-game resources and is therefore limited.
- The system continuously corrects market manipulations by letting the in-game prices converge towards their real world counterparts at a rate of 2% of the difference between the two per hour. Because of this market correction mechanism, pushing up prices (and screwing down prices) becomes increasingly difficult the higher (lower) the price already is.
- Players are supposed to collide (and have incentives to collide) in their efforts to manipulate the market in their favor, especially when it comes to manipulation efforts by different groups.
- Prices should not resolve around any equilibrium points. The more variance the better.
- Band-wagoning should always involve risk (recognizing that prices start rising should not be a sure sign that they will keep rising so that everybody can make easy profits even when they don't manipulate the market themselves)
Are there any game-theoretic considerations that prevent the mechanic from achieving these goals?