Snoopy’s Street Fair: The Pyramid Scheme

Those of you who have been following the show (all 7 of you – we count the pageviews) know that in this last episode, I accepted a challenge from Marvelous Mike. For those of you who haven’t listen to the episode, Marvelous Mike has been ranting about this new magical App called “Snoopy’s Street Fair” which has claimed his life for the last several months. It all started when I visited with the Marvelous One at Minto Inc Headquarters and witnessesed his addiction first-hand as my host took time out of my visit to check on his fair. I observed an obsessive compulsive desire to constantly check on the state of Snoopy-ville, and began to worry for my friend’s sanity. I watched helplessly as he ranted on about “Snoopy Dollars” and getting his town ready for Christmas. Also, I was dismayed to learn that the addiction was beginning to spread to those around him.

But first, what is “Snoopy’s Street Fair?” Developed by Beeline Interactive games, Snoopy’s Street Fair is an iOS game that combines the appeal of social games like Farmville with the timeless characters from Peanuts. The basic storyline is that Charlie Brown’s baseball team needs uniforms to go to the big tournament in New York City. Where their team plans to play in NYC is never specified, but we all know the Yankees wouldn’t let a bunch of kids tarnish their sacred fields. So the big game probably takes place in Flushing, and if anyone is familiar with baseball in Flushing – Charlie Brown may want to investigate whether this is a clever ploy for the Mets to field a cheap team without having to pay anything. I knew the Bernie Madoff scandal hit them pretty hard, but c’mon tricking a bunch of kids into playing for your team AND making them pay their way? That’s just cruel. Alas I digress, so because Charlie Brown couldn’t find a corporate sponsor (should’ve asked Marvelous Mike for advice – he has experience in this area), he’s forcing his friends to come in and set up sweatshops on the street to peddle their wares. Marvelous Mike & Friends does not endorse child slavery, only games loosely based on the concept. By collecting more coins, the player, as Charlie Brown, can open more booths and invite more friends to participate in the fair. After a certain amount of time has passed, the player must collect the house winnings earnings from all the suckers kids who visited the fair that day.

However, there is one key element that I left out of this description. The Snoopy Dollar. You see while “Snoopy’s Street Fair” may appear to be a fun, light-hearted game on the surface, I know its true purpose. “Snoopy’s Street Fair” is a pyramid scheme. (author’s note – incorrectly identified as a Ponzi Scheme on the Podcast) For the definition of Pyramid Scheme, I turn to the most trusted source on the Internet – Wikipedia. A pyramid scheme is defined as a fake yet seemingly credible business combined with a simple-to-understand yet sophisticated-sounding money-making formula which is used for profit. In our case, “Snoopy’s Street Fair” is a seemingly credible business combined with a simple-to-understand formula which is used for profit. The more actual dollars players spend, the more they can do with their town. Want to have Linus or Lucy or some of the more popular Peanuts characters come to town? Better cough up your “Snoopy Dollars”which are hard to come by without spending some actual dollars. But how does this tie in with the concept of a Pyramid Scheme? Again – Wikipedia describes the process as: The essential idea is that a “con artist” Mr. X, makes only one payment. To start earning, Mr. X has to recruit others like him who will also make one payment each. Mr. X gets paid out of receipts from those new recruits. They then go on to recruit others. As each new recruit makes a payment, Mr. X gets a cut. He is thus promised exponential benefits as the “business” expands. So in our case, Mr. X…let’s call him Miraculous Marty for purposes of this hypotheticalMiraculous Marty downloads “Snoopy’s Street Fair” but to get more Snoopy Dollars, he has to either buy them with actual dollars or get a bonus from having friends join. If Marty gets 5 friends to make the download, he gets the bonus. Then the friends recruit. And the more friends Marty has (for purposes of our hypothetical, I’m capping it at 5), the more bonuses he can get. Thus the pyramid continues.

And so, I have bravely decided to accept the challenge posed by Marvelous Mike. But my true goal must be made clear from the outset. I am determined to infiltrate and expose this pyramid scheme from the inside out. Now it won’t be easy. Snoopy is so darn loveable and cute that I know I will be tempted to turn my hard earned cash into the elusive Snoopy Dollars. Wish me luck, fair readers. I am going to need it.

Godspeed

– H

Hilarious Harry’s opinions and comments are completely expressed for comedic purposes. Hilarious Harry actually quite enjoys Snoopy’s Street Fair, and Marvelous Mike is not nearly the obsessed fiend he was made out to be in the above article. Close, but not quite.

 

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