Having some real money in the game is necessary to make us aware that this is not a video game--it's a business just like any other but you don't have to worry about all the expenses like rent, insurance, salaries, inventory, etc. like a retail business.
On the other hand, if you treat it like a casino, subject only to the whims of chance, you will never learn how to make it a successful business. Get into a solid learning program that will teach you why the market moves as it does. You can pay someone now, or pay a lot more later as you lose your stake on 'hunches'.
Trade safely and well