In the real world, house prices are so high that owning your own home is a pipedream for millions.
But what would it cost to buy a house in, say, Skyrim, if it were in the real world? Well, all of a sudden house prices get a bit more realistic.
Mortgage broker L&C Mortgages spent some time working out the real world cost of property in a raft of video games, including Skyrim, Fallout, Zelda and The Witcher 3.
Using virtual to real world currency conversion based on a surprising level of knowledge of the games in question, L&C Mortgages estimated the real world cost of a house in Skyrim would be as low as £9242.
That's the price for the gaf in Breezehome, Whiterun. The fancier Proudspire Manor in Solitude would set you back £46,208, which means it would probably have to be based in Barnsley or something. You're not getting a manor for that much in Brighton, for sure.
So, how did L&C work this out? It converted the Skyrim Septim to real world currencies by establishing a common ground between the real world and the Elder Scrolls universe. It looked at food items which appear in both worlds, such as carrots, spiced wine and goats cheese, and took into account the cost of producing food in Skyrim. "Nothing is mass produced in this Nord wilderness, so we made the assumption that the value of this organically grown and pastorally-farmed food would be more akin to the organic produce you can buy in UK supermarkets," L&C explained.
I quite like this methodology! Of course it's not scientific at all, but you know what they say, the price of everything is based on the price of a loaf of bread. Or did I make that one up?
Elsewhere, the real world cost of Home Plate, your house in Fallout 4, would be a paltry £652 (it costs 2000 bottle caps in the game). L&C took into account the economic factor of the scarcity value of food in The Commonwealth to generate a scarcity "score" for each converted item. So, extremely scarce items such as the Fresh Melon had a higher score than the likes of canned food.
Still, even with this working out, property in The Commonwealth is cheap as chips (I don't want to compare a fictional nuclear wasteland to Barnsley, but, if the boot fits...). People care more about survival items such as food in Fallout than they do a roof over their head, the analysis showed. Perhaps this is where L&C's methodology falls down a bit. After all, we're talking about a post-apocalyptic universe compared to a non-post-apocalyptic universe. At least for now, anyway.
I like L&C's real world cost of a property in Hyrule based on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Link's house with Bolson's discount would cost just £3098 (IT MUST BE IN BARN-no, I'm not doing this again). With the original price and fully furnished, it would cost £53,082.
Like with the other games, L&C calculated a Rupees to GBP conversion rate based on the price of items in the game versus their equivalent cost in the UK. Raw Prime Meat in BOTW costs 15 Rupees. In the UK, an organic fillet steak costs £12.75.
Also analysed were Grand Theft Auto 5 (the price of property in San Andreas is in dollars, so there's no currency conversion necessary) and The Witcher 3. The real world cost of a property in Toussaint is £979,661, it turns out. That's for a vineyard, though.
Touissant is based on France as it was in the Middle Ages, L&C points out. If the average cost of a vineyard in France is €136,400 per hectare, and the average size of a French vineyard is eight hectares, and assuming Corvo Bianco is an average-sized vineyard in France, then its base value would be around €1,091,200. Done and done.
The outlier here is MMO Final Fantasy 14, whose virtual property would cost tens of millions of pounds in the real world. This is because demand is so high. "There are only four Residential Districts in this universe, and plots are very limited," L&C explained. "Eager buyers are constantly checking for plots becoming available, which only happens when the owner wishes to sell or hasn't entered their property in 45 days."
Final Fantasy 14, then, would be in London.
So, what have we learned from this fun experiment? Well, I've learned that video games (apart from Final Fantasy 14) are the place to be if you're a first-time buyer. Here's a solution to our housing crisis: let's all go live in Skyrim.