Simoleans, Galleons and Flurbos, oh my! 🧙🏾♂️🧝🏻♀️🧞♂️
Have you ever wondered what your house would be worth in The Sims? Or wondered how many Galleons you'd get if you cashed in your savings at Gringotts? Or how many games of Roy you could afford at Blips and Chitz?
Yup, we've just added support for all of your favourite fictional currencies inside the app ;)
You can now change your whole portfolio to Gold Dragons and find out if you'd be richer than a Lannister, or you can add a specific account representing all the Galleons you've saved up for when your letter FINALLY arrives and you get to go to Hogwarts.
Here are all the fictional currencies you can find inside Lettuce:
|Gold Dragon||Game of Thrones|
|Copper Penny||Game of Thrones|
|Federation Credit||Star Trek|
|Flurbo||Rick and Morty|
|Big Mac||United States|
(Sure, the United States isn't a fictional world, but we thought it would be interesting to let you convert your whole portfolio to Big Macs, for lols).
You can find all of the fictional currencies in the normal "add an account" flow, or by changing the currency you think in, inside the menu.
Why did we do this? Um, because it's fun!
How we worked out fictional exchange rates
Generally, we picked an object from each fictional world where there was a known price, and you could also buy that object in the real world. And we priced each item in US Dollars, and derived the exchange rate from there.
For each currency, we are indebted to the fan-communities who did most of this analysis!
Gold Dragons - Game of Thrones: 79,858 USD / 1 GDR
This one is from Rodney Edvinsson, a professor in economic history from Stokholm University:
In Tales of Dunk and Egg, taking place around 90 years before the events in Game of Thrones, it is stated that a man could live well on three Gold Dragons a year. However, prices fell between the two periods, similar to the fall in prices in England after the Black Death up to the War of Roses 1455-1485. In Tales of Dunk and Egg, a knight’s horse was sold for 750 silver stags, while during the War of the Five Kings, the price had fallen to 210 silver stags. This would imply that at the time of the events of the Game of Thrones it may be assumed that a man could live well on 210/750*3 gold dragons, or 10080 copper pennies, per year. Assuming that an average college graduate in USA earned 68,000 dollars, that would imply that a gold dragon was equivalent to around 80,000 dollars in 2019 in the USA.
He also points out that when Tyrion tells Podrick Payne to pay each of the dwarves who were humiliated at Joffrey's wedding feast 20 gold dragons, he was paying them the equivalent of $1,6-million.
We derived the Copper Pennies value from the same source (thanks, Rodney!).
Federation Credits - Star Trek: 0.5 USD / 1 FC
In the fabulously camp season 2 Original Series episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles", Uhura is offered a tribble by a bartender on Deep Space Station K-7 for ten credits.
You can buy a real-life hamster for about $20.
Wondering what a tribble looks like? We're so glad you asked.
Simoleans - The Sims: 3 USD / 1 SIM
Sims Forum user yomanlol101 did an extensive analysis where they compared multiple furniture items to their real-world equivalent prices. They found that the exchange rate scales with the size of the item you're buying, so smaller, cheaper in-game items (like furniture) have an exchange rate close to 3 USD = 1 SIM, but larger, more expensive in-game items (like houses) have an exchange rate closer to 2 USD = 1 SIM.
You can see this most clearly when you analyse in-game cars:
The next car we will be taking into account is the 2012 Toyota Prius MK2 which was added into the game as free in store content. This car has an in-game price of 5,500 simoleons while its 2012 MSRP was $24,000. This would give us an exchange rate of $4.36USD per simoleon ... But what will happen to this rate as we add in more expensive cars?
The final car we will be taking a look at is the Margaret Vaguester which has an in-game price of 105,000 simoleons. This car represents a 2009 Porsche 911 Turbo which had an MSRP of $128,700USD, providing an exchange rate of $1.23USD equaling one simoleon. So, as you can see, with cars, the higher the price, the smaller the price gap is. However, the average exchange rate for the cars would be $2.90USD per one simoleon.
We decided to settle on 3 USD / 1 SIM for simplicity.
Galleons - Harry Potter: 6.64 USD / 1 GAL
This one was easy! Back in 2001, J. K. Rowling herself said in an interview that the approximate value of a galleon is five pounds (GBP). Using the USD / GBP exchange rate, that gets us an exchange rate of 6.64 USD / 1 GAL.
It should be noted, though, that the Harry Potter Fandom Wiki has pointed out that this exchange rate would make the wizarding world a ridiculously cheap place to live, and that an exchange rate of 1 GBP / 24.6 GAL is probably more accurate today. We blame Brexit-based inflation ;)
We ultimately decided to stick with J.K.'s "canonical" exchange rate.
Septims - Skyrim: 50 USD / 1 SEP
Hat-tip to this anonymous user on Reddit who figured this out for us:
So what if we compare other things, like home values! A 2 bedroom house like Breezehome, in a nice city with low crime and low unemployment like Whiterun costs $5,000. A 2 bedroom, single family house in a nice prosperous town with low unemployment and low crime in America probably costs about $250,000. This means that each septim could be worth about $50 USD.
I'm realizing now that I have spent way too much time on this, but I've come to realize that skyrim probably doesn't have inflation at the top of it's list of problems.
Galactic Credit Standard - Star Wars: 20 USD / 1 CRED
Hoo-boy, did we fall down a rabbit hole with this one.
You see, the first problem is that the Star Wars stories take place over a long, loooong time span, and it's hard to put a specific pin in a specific year and talk about the value of a credit at that time. Galactic Credits themselves underwent many evolutions: they fell out of use around the time of the Clone Wars, especially in the outer rim planets. And later, the Empire continued to use Credits but rebranded them as Imperial Credits. After the Battle of Endor, dozens of new currencies emerged and exchange rates swung all over the place.
Also, there are a lot of different pieces of Star Wars media, and a lot of data points about what different things cost.
Eventually, we realised that we'd been thinking about this for WAY too long, and we had a business to run and bills to pay, so we threw in the towel, and just decided to trust Sci-fi Money on this one, who base their figure off the cost of a T-14 Hyperdrive Generator (4,000 credits), which we know thanks to the Phantom Menace video game.
Flurbos - Rick and Morty: 5 USD / 1 FLU
This one's thanks to u/Foxmanded42 on Reddit, who pointed out:
the plasma gun KM bought was 3000 Flurbos, or an excessively rich man's stay at a Blitz and Chits if he went on tons of rides. The average price of a gun is between 400 and 600 dollars, so that means 5 flurbos equal 1 dollar
KM, if you don't remember, is Krombopulous Michael, our favourite (former) Gromflomite assassin (rest in peace).
Big Mac - United States: 5.58 USD / 1 MCD
This one's for you, economics nerds! And our source for this is Statista.
A quick explanation for why we included U.S. Big Macs: there's an idea in economics called the "real exchange rate", where you take the price of an item in one currency and compare it to the price of the same item in another currency (this is also called "purchasing power"). For example, if a delicious head of iceberg lettuce costs £1 in the United Kingdom, and it costs A$ 3 in Australia, then you could say that the "real" exchange rate of the GBP:AUD should be 1:3. At the time of writing, the actual exchange rate (the rate you'd get if you actually went to an exchange bureau) is 0.5:1, because actual exchange rates are influenced by a lot more than just purchasing power.
The Economist famously demonstrated this point in the 1980s by introducing the popular Big Mac Index, that compares the cost of buying a Big Mac hamburger in different countries around the world in the home currency, then converts that back to US Dollars (in July 2018, the most expensive place to buy a Big Mac was Switzerland at $6.57, and the cheapest was Egypt at $1.75). This is called a purchasing power parity analysis.
Coming soon... your favourite fictional currency!
Do you have a fictional currency that you'd like to see in Lettuce? We'd love to hear about it! Reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime ;)