Another effect is to get amateurs like me who put a market order on Bitcoinica when the spike goes down, and don't close it when the price swings wildly up again... Lesson learned, use limits. To add insult to injury, I shorted down from 7-ish and closed at a minor profit when I felt I wasn't so sure it would go lower. A few minutes later, the dump. Good thing I'm playing with pennies.
Fun and games!
Just wanted to give you a thumbs up for speculating for fun and learning.
I often have the feeling people risk more than they should, and get overly emotional over their personal losses, even leaving because of them. Not that I don't get emotional at times.
It's a difference though if people get stuck with excessive losses and can't get over it. Especially if they're missing the money afterward, as opposed to having accepted a chance to lose it all when they started speculating.
For me, there's real money involved, but I've made sure that both if I end up losing or hitting jackpot, it ends with a discussion of what happened and sushi. If I hit jackpot, I can treat everyone to the sushi! But sushi either way, like hell I'd speculate with the sushi-buying-money.
Yea, fun and games, that's what it should feel like!