Today’s most popular real estate smartphone games allow players to renovate or decorate rooms, homes, mansions, and even gardens. Currently rated in the top 55 of free games in the Apple App store is Matchington Mansion, with other games including Homescapes, Design Home, Home Design Makeover and Home Street: Dream House Sim all growing in popularity.
A study by Bond University in 2018 showed that around 67 per cent of all Australians play all types of video games, with 65 per cent of these playing games on their smartphones.
These games are not only providing entertainment but also helping to build communities on social media forums, where tips and tricks for design are frequently shared.
Eduardo Velloso, a lecturer at the school of computing and information systems at the University of Melbourne, said that part of the appeal of these games was the ability to share your ideas, designs, and ultimately demonstrate your personality through instant virtual decoration.
Some gamers are even putting as much value in their virtual homes as their physical ones, with players spending big money to add virtual objects to their home.
As technology advances, Dr Velloso believes that the future of home-building games will see the physical environment of homes being used more and more as part of the gaming experience. This could utilise technologies such as augmented and virtual reality to provide a more realistic experience.
Microsoft is already using projects to map your home environment and turn objects in your house into an object in a virtual reality game. Dr Velloso said that this technology would also lend itself to virtual decorating, for example projecting designs onto walls without the need for new wallpaper or printed images.