Well, this site launched, I guess, in 1996. As I start this review in late 2008, I don't even remember when I first started playing HSX, could've been in '96, could've been a few years later. But either way, I've been doing it for a good number of years now. There have been several changes over the years, and another major overhaul just happened (probably the biggest to date), with which at this point I am not particularly happy, and I'm not alone in that. But I'm sure the bugs will get worked out, and we'll all get used to it. I suppose. I don't intend to give up on the site just yet, seeing as I've been at it so long. (Edit, 2013: bugs seem to have long since been worked out, and I hardly remember what the site was like before. Still playing the game, still like it.)
There are things I'll miss, but maybe I'll do new things. Then again, there are surely new things in which I have no interest, as there have always been aspects of the site that didn't interest me. One thing I definitely miss is how in the earliest days of the site's existence, there were a few people, or characters, with regular columns which I found both amusing and informative. I doubt I could remember all of them, now. (Edit, 2013: I thought to check out an archive of the old site using the Wayback Machine, and found the names Les Buggs, which I remembered, along with Miss Information, Max Broker, Mac Daddy, and Dr. Zeros.) Anyway, those columns have been gone for years (though you could probably read them via the archive). I should also mention that there used to be several useful fansites, the one I mainly remember being "The Trades." (It eventually moved to a new address, and later stopped being about HSX. And none of the other HSX fansites I've ever been aware of seem to be in existence anymore, as far as I know. There are some sites that HSX itself provides links to, but I've never looked at them, and I assume they started after the other sites disappeared.) Before moving on, I should also mention that for a little while, there was a spin-off site called the Interactive Music Exchange (it started as a subsection of HSX, but later IMX got its own site, and a partnership with the music channel Fuse). But IMX is long gone now, too. (I played it a little bit, but was never quite as into it as I was HSX, and never really watched anything about it on Fuse.)
Anyway. So, I dunno if it still works this way, but when I started out many years ago, they'd give you H$2 million (Hollywood dollars) to start. With that you can buy MovieStocks, StarBonds, and Movie Funds, as well as a few other things that I mostly don't mess with. The prices of all these things can of course rise and fall, so the value of your portfolio rises and falls. And eventually stocks and funds and things delist, or you can just sell them whenever you like. (Of course, you also earn interest for whatever cash you have on hand, that is, money that isn't currently invested in stocks and such; but this tends to be rather negligible.) And that's about it. That's the game. It's really like the stock market, you just make investments, try to earn as much H$ as you can. Of course you can also talk on the message boards, but I haven't done that in years, and never got that into it, anyway. There may be some other little games you can play, but I'm not interested in that (there were some older games I used to play, which are gone now). And there's a shop where you can buy merchandise with the HSX logo, using your Hollywood dollars... but it still costs real money, too. (Edit: that seems to be gone now, too.) Of course, there's stuff going on every day, like IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), and even if you don't get too serious about the game, you can still learn about upcoming movies much sooner than you otherwise might (possibly years sooner, when movies are just in the concept stage). Anyway... I mostly don't even try to earn a lot, I invest in movies or stars that are of interest to me, and hope for the best. And after all these years, my net worth is (as of this typing) around H$170 million. (Edit 2013: now around H$322 million.) Not bad, I suppose. (In years past, some people have sold their portfolios for one real dollar per million Hollywood dollars. That is yet another thing that isn't done anymore, and I doubt I'd ever do it anyway.)
Anyway, I hope I'm not forgetting anything I meant to say. But in spite of all the changes over the years, it remains fun, and a good source of advance info. So... yeah, I guess that's all for now....