Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear Makers of Monopoly,

I have enjoyed your game since I was a child. In fact, I loved it then. Now though, the game has changed. It’s still enjoyable in certain respects, especially the Canadian edition. I appreciate that I have visited several places on this Canuck gameboard (or want to) like Niagara Falls, like Rideau Canal, like Magnetic Hill, like Peggy’s Cove and even Moose Jaw. Just like when I was a kid, I covet certain properties sometimes with little consideration for their value. More ruthless players would “pshaw” at that notion. I guess I can’t blame them. Although the game is the same overall, some things just aren't right anymore.

I’m not referring to the fact that the luxury tax used to be $100 whereas now it’s $1Mil. That’s some serious inflation and it makes me slightly nostalgic for simpler times, but I know we can’t go back there. I need only drive by an Esso sign and its ever-increasing gas price to know that the good old days are long past.

And I am not complaining about the rules. As a kid, I had no idea what the official rules were and that seemed to work just fine. As an adult though, I’ve actually read the rules and they improve the game. And it all just makes more sense too considering that some of my old game partners claimed that you earned $500 every time you visited someone in jail.

I am also not complaining about the concept of the game itself. I recognize its merciless real-estate capitalism and despite that, I know it also teaches fiscal-responsibility-or-face-bankruptcy type lessons. Well, sort of: maybe not so much if you steal from the bank here and there. And that part is neither responsible nor realistic: we all know that in the real world the bank executives steal from us instead of the other way around. At the same time, the game still teaches another ongoing sad reality: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

But this is not what’s wrong with the game now. What bothers me is this: I can’t play Monopoly by myself! You market this as a family game? Now I say “pshaw.” My family consistently exhibits the following during this game:
1.      Bickering.
2.      Whining.
3.      Yelling.
4.      Freaking-out.
5.      Claiming to be Oprah and giving money away to other players in some selfless random act of philanthropy, but the real reason is just to irritate your brother, that and because you have no hope of winning.
And that’s the real problem Monopoly makers: shouldn’t this game teach social skills? Instead it highlights a lack of them! Sorry Monopoly makers. I rate this game a fail. And by game I mean my parenting skills.

21 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Have you ever played Reverse Monopoly where you dole out all the money at the start of the game and then see who can go broke first? It's a much faster game.

dbs said...

Sweet idea. I would call that the Lottery Winner's edition.

SherilinR said...

i kinda like the idea of randomly giving away money to your fellow players. it would allow me to be generous with my money since i'm too broke to do it in real life.

Alistair said...

Maybe you should try the board game we have instead. It's called 'rat race' and the board has 3 square tracks one inside the other. The outer track is the cheapest - you earn money being a shop owner and here you sell low value things until you get a university degree and move into the inner circle where you sell things of a higher value, pay more taxes etc untill you marry and move into the next inner ring which is the smallest wher you buy and sell luxury items like yachts and supercars etc. Of course you can always move back down to the 'lower' levels by divorce or bancruptcy etc where you lose everything and have to start over.

Actually, I seem to remember lots of bickering and squabbling about this game too. Maybe we should just open a bottle of wine or beer and watch the sun set instead.

what do you mean you want to go watch a movie?????

Chelle said...

We played monopoly a lot. I would get horrible game guilt if I was winning and bitter resentment if I was losing.

Eventually, my brother would pretend he sneezed and the bard would fly off the table.

Apples to Apples. Now there is a good social game.

Chelle said...

*board

wv- foron

Shana said...

We playes Monopoly a lot when I was a kid.
I think my borther cheated.

Christopher said...

I'm not sure if I've ever played a game of monopoly that ended well. My mother forbid us from playing it eventually.

paulsifer42 said...

Have you ever heard Dane Cook on Monopoly? Funny stuff. Lays the scene of Christmas morning (the only time you have enough time to finish this game) and it always ends with someone knocking the board over and yelling "Fine Grandma, you win!!!"

Penny Lane said...

When I played Monopoly as a kid I wish I paid closer attention to the real rules, maybe I could have learned something that would help me now.

That and the game of LIFE,

Elly Lou said...

Math is hard, Barbie. I think monopoly should involve unsecured credit cards. Then I could get into it more.

G said...

I was always rubbish at monopoly...and surprise surprise I'm hopeless with money now lol

Antares Cryptos said...

Who hasn't been tortured by this game?
Bad investments and random jail time.

Cheeseboy said...

I guess I still don't understand Monopoly inflaton. It's probably that greedy dog that made it go up so much. Either that or the sewing thumb guard thing.

Windsmoke. said...

I've enjoyed playing monopoly as a boy then as a teenager then with my two kids when they were old enough to understand and yes i agree there are arguments all the time, but it's still a top board game and better than sitting in front of a computer screen all the time :-).

dbs said...

@Sherilin I see your point.
@Alistair We might try that game. But better yet, wine works. So does beer. And by the movie comment you mean....oh wait are you showing movies?
@Chelle Game anxiety. Now that you mention it, I have felt that too. Shouldn't there be a class on board game behavior at universities?
@Shana Brothers do that.
@Christopher That seems to be the trend.
@paul I'm will check that out.
@PennyLane It does teach a few lessons but we human beings have a very hard time learning things the easy way. I can relate.
@EllyLou I would say that's a game on banking executives get to play.
@G The two may not be related. Remember we've all been raised by evil credit card companies.
@AC Ha! Random jail time. Well, just once. jk
@Cheeseboy I too am confused by the game pieces (and their evil powers).
@Windsmoke Yes. Sometimes the stars align.

Antares Cryptos said...

jk?

karensomethingorother said...

the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is right! Even a hotel on Baltic Ave couldn't make a dent in my brother's fortune when he owned ALL the good properties. And I mean all of them. I shudder even at the word "monopoly" now.

dbs said...

@AC Just kidding; I never went to jail but I did have to get in the back of a paddywagon once.
@karensomething Sometimes there's no better word for a brother than "bastard." Just sayin.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

High five.

dbs said...

Back at you Lisa.

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