UplandDood’s Gamified Virtual Property Investment
My thought process is a little different in this piece. While thinking about Why I bought What I bought, I was brought back to my childhood where we grew up creating our own games. Yes, growing up without PlayStation, X-Box, Nintendo, and cell phones had forced us to be creative in building our own play world.
If you were given nothing but what’s available in your environment and armed with a curious and inventive mind, you can come out with a lot of pretty good games to pass your time. This is especially true if you grew up with others in the same environment.For example, given access to paper, cooked rice (used as glue!), strings, and bamboo, what would you be able to come up with? Well, we made our own kites! And if you have glass, then you can make a "killer kite" by lining part of your string with pulverized glass and glue, thus becoming a terror to other unsuspecting kites in the air. Yeah, we were very naughty.
Why am I sharing this and what has this to do with the Upland game? Good question. You see, I was attracted to the Upland game initially by the possibility of buying properties to complete collections much like the Monopoly game that I loved.
To cut a long story short, I ended up in New York when the city opened up. I spent hours speculating on collections and researching neighborhoods and properties. Completing collections announced by the game developer means I will get better earnings from my investment.
However, as I do more research, I’ve found that there are properties that I like a lot but are not and may not end up being in collections. I started accumulating such properties. It has become a motivation to buy not based on current or potential collections but based on the uniqueness of the property and the history behind the property. I have essentially “created” a game within a game for myself. Completing this ‘collection’ becomes a reward in itself.
I’d like to say that this is where Upland Game is different from other games where you buy virtual properties. In Upland, all the properties are based on real-life addresses. It is because of this that each property has a real-world history behind it. In my opinion, it is also because of this that a property can have a demand whether it is part of a collection or not.
I’m sure you are now curious as to what properties that I’ve invested in. I’ll be happy to share with you. Please note that there are external links throughout this article that will take you to more details about the properties.
I’ll start with one property that was not in a collection but when I saw it on sale in the secondary market, I just have to have it.
It’s General Grant National Memorial (Grant’s Tomb) at 501 Riverside Drive. The original owner had it listed at 2.5x the original price. At that time I felt it was a little pricey but looking back now, I think it’s a bargain for a property with such a significant history behind it and for being the largest mausoleum in North America.
I'd also purchased 481 Riverside Drive which is located across from Grant’s Tomb. This is the address in Upland where the Riverside Church is located. Opened in 1930, this church has been prominent in global and national activism, hosting famous speakers such as Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, the 14th Dalai Lama, Fidel Castro, Rev. Jesse Jackson who gave the eulogy there for Jackie Robinson’s funeral service and Martin Luther King Jr who gave the “Beyond Vietnam” speech there.
Properties That Started The Hunt for Similar Properties
Awhile back, while doing research I came across an interesting property and that has gotten me on a hunt for similar properties in New York. The property that started this hunt was located at 217 East 51st Street. It is the address for Greenacre Park.
Greenacre Park is a privately owned park but accessible to the public. What's unique about this urban park is that despite the small footprint of 60 feet (20 m) by 120 feet (40 m), it features multi-level sitting areas and a 25 foot (7.6 m) waterfall! In my opinion, this is an exceptionally unique property in New York. Check out this short virtual tour on Youtube and I’m sure you’ll agree.
This urban park led me to a total of 10 community gardens in New York!
Another property that had gotten me started to further research similar property was the 121 Charles Street’s 200 years old only freestanding Farmhouse in Manhattan! The interesting history behind this house does not end there. In fact, it started way back in 1967 where this quaint little Farmhouse traveled from 1335 York Avenue to its current location on 121 Charles Street, an estimated 5 miles (8 km) journey. Regardless of what happens to this real-world property, I’m glad I own the virtual address of this Farmhouse and will continue to preserve its story as long as I’m able.
Since discovering this Farmhouse, I’ve been on the search for other wooden houses in New York and as a result, had acquired 3 other wooden houses; one even has a treehouse in the backyard. Imagine finding such gems in Manhattan. Many of us may not have given wooden houses in Manhattan much thought, but when you take into consideration that new construction in wood in Manhattan has been outlawed since 1866, it gives you a new perspective on how precious these houses are.
Got to have an Andy Warhol
When I was in college, one particular pop culture art that had stuck in my mind was the Campbell’s Soup Can painting by Andy Warhol. I have no idea why but it did. Naturally, one of the research projects for New York properties has got to be related to Andy Warhol. The result was 3 properties - 1342 Lexington Ave, Andy Warhol’s First Apartment; 159 East 87th St, his first Studio and 57 East 66th St, Warhol’s last home address. The latest, Andy Warhol's first studio was acquired while writing this article.
Fancy Owning a Pier?
There are some things that we can only daydream about - like owning a Pier. Well, owning a virtual one is as close as I can get to owning one in real life. In fact, I was fortunate to get 2 piers. One is Pier 57, where it’s part of the Hudson River Park Redevelopment plan. The second pier is Pier 98, a Con Edison fuel transfer facility. I invested in these 2 piers hoping that they will be part of the remaining unannounced collection in New York. Even if they were not, I believe they are still good investments as these are high visibility properties on the map.
A bet on collection - Chinatown
I have invested relatively heavily in this neighborhood as I believe there will be a collection from this neighborhood. It started when I headed straight to Chinatown after trying without much success in getting a few Little Italy properties when New York opened up. My Chinatown real estate portfolio started with a few properties at the famous “Bloody Angle” or “Murder Alley”. One of which is Nam Wah Tea Parlor, described as the “oldest continuously running restaurant in the Chinatown of Manhattan” and the Post Office across the same street. (Here's an interesting note on Bloody Angle: The phrase "Hachette Gang" originated here).
Subsequently, I acquired a few other Chinatown properties, including 16 Mott Street which at one time was considered the city hall of Chinatown and the honor of being “the first genuine Chinese building in New York”.
One of the last property I acquired In Chinatown was 98 Division Street (aka 1 Allen Street). The significance for getting this property is the “Greetings from…CHINATOWN” mural by artist Victor Ving. For the backstory, you may read this Forbes article. The decommissioned Manhattan Railway Co. Station No. 5 powerhouse is located on the same property, behind the mural.
A Surprising Discovery
There are numerous non-collection properties I can share but I’ll leave you with this one. It is undoubtedly the most interesting property that I came across and purchased. It’s 46 Walker Street. I'd never have known this if not for playing Upland Game and doing property research. What’s so special about this address? I'd put it this way - it is the birthplace of the modern Santa Claus. Santa Claus didn’t always look like what we are accustomed to today. It was at this address that a publisher named James G. Gregory published a book with a depiction of Santa Claus that had changed the image of Santa Claus forever. To many, it's just an address in New York. To me, this address tells a story.
Image Source (Edited): Daytonian in Manhattan
I started the article by sharing with you how many of us create games to entertain ourselves. My intention for sharing is not to show off my portfolio, though I won’t deny there is a sense of pride and sentimental attachment to these properties that I owned. I want to show you that a game like Upland provided me an avenue to relive my childhood of inventing new games. I bought these properties not because they are a part of the in-game collection, although that would be an added bonus if they were. I bought them because I had created my own collection game – I’m collecting a piece of history.
Time will tell if these virtual properties will be worth much more than what I have paid them for. If the positive direction of the Upland game is any indication of things to come, I'm certain they will be. Really? Yes and because virtual addresses based on real-life addresses are FINITE. In games tied to real-world addresses, you can’t just sell a Planet Pack and come up with more lands to sell. I’ll say it one more time and unless there's a future change in the gameplay - Land in the Upland Metaverse is finite.
Final Advice: Should you use a referral link?
That depends. Are you looking for free-to-play or play-to-earn? I’ll take you through these two options.
If you are looking for a free-to-play, then you start with 6,000 UPX and work your way to build up your property portfolio and increase your net worth.
However, if you want the fast track and you are open to play-to-earn, then I suggest you use discover.upland.me/UplandDood.
You’ll start with 4,500 UPX but this will entitle you to a one-time 50% additional UPX upon your first UPX purchase. You do the math. If you want a clearer picture of how this works, scroll to the end of this article for more details.
Do follow if you enjoy reading this as I’ll occasionally write about the Upland Game and other games that I choose to play.
Meanwhile, you can read my first submission entitled “Discover Upland – A Day in the Life of UplandDood”. In that article, I’ve included more links to other Upland articles.
Header Image (NYC Skyline-edited by author) Credit: Dimitry Anikin, Unsplash.com