The Case for Monopoly

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Christopher Carr

Christopher Carr does stuff and writes about stuff.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Monopoly strikes me as a game that is important to have played.

    Much like Candyland teaches the most basic structure of a game, Monopoly is a game that you graduate to.

    However, much like one of those 6th grade graduations, it should not, absolutely not, be seen as a finishing point. It’s another game that you have to graduate from.

    I watched a game of speed Monopoly a year or two ago. I didn’t play, just watched. Four adults. Took less than 45 minutes, all told. They played until inevitability and then boxed the game back up.

    It didn’t look fun.Report

  2. Avatar Road Scholar
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    says:

    When one is winning at Monopoly, it is easy to attribute it all to skill and self-virtue and one’s own sound judgement.

    You may be aware of a social psychology experiment where they sat participants down to a game of Monopoly but with a twist: one of the players would play by “special rules”. He would start out with more cash and his rolls were doubled — i.e., if he rolled a 2/3 he would advance ten instead of five spaces, thus passing Go more frequently.

    At the end of the game, which the “special” player inevitably won, he would be queried as to the reason for his success. The player would most frequently attribute his win to skill and strategy, seemingly oblivious to the obvious advantages conferred by the special rules.

    Draw your own conclusions.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Building hotels is so old-fashioned; a modern daughter wants to build her brand.Report

  4. Avatar Mr.Joe
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    says:

    Monopoly is a horrible game. It encourages zero-sum thinking and cut throat tactics. It exemplifies the worst of capitalism and encourages the worst of human behavior. In the end one person ends up happy and the rest angry. Players who are out early get fully excluded for the often considerable amount of time for the rest to finish. Almost never does the loser end up feeling “that was a good game, I look forward to the next game”.

    One of the most successful strategies is to get two cheaper color lots, excluding maroon, and build them up to 4 houses. This denies others the ability to build hotels. At that point you just slowly grind your opponents into the ground, collect other color lots and force your opponents to pay way to much at auction to even have a chance. It is long and cruel, but effective.Report

  5. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    1. Monopoly is a perfect metaphor for adulthood: you sit around for hours, nothing very exciting ever happens, the person with the most money (= the most greedy) wins.

    2. We used to play it occasionally. But we had some house rules – no auctioning properties if unbought; they just stayed “up for sale” until such point someone wanted them. Minimal mortgaging; if someone was going bankrupt the game ended and the person with the most money/properties was declared winner. Even with that, I don’t remember games often coming to a winner; usually either we ran out of time (a parent had to make dinner or something) or my brother or I would get bored and call it a draw, or someone got mad and “whoopsied” the board (hitting the table with a knee to make everything fall on the floor).

    I don’t remember particularly ENJOYING Monopoly; it was something you played on rainy days when there wasn’t much else to do.

    I enjoyed Mille Bornes (a card game based on the idea of a road rally) a lot more but unfortunately we didn’t own a set of the cards and I only got to play it at my grandma’s.

    And even “Sorry!” was better than Monopoly.Report

  6. Derek Edwards Derek Edwards
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    says:

    My main issue with Monopoly is that it simply takes too long to win a game. Not only do the losers spend the last several rounds without hope of winning, the winner can’t even enjoy an exciting victory. Generally, when I play it, I play it with a timer: Richest player at the end of the time wins.

    As a metaphor, I’ve always felt it was a bit strained. The real world isn’t exclusively made up of real-estate investors, for one thing.Report

  7. Avatar Kristin Devine
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    says:

    Great piece!! Enjoyed it!Report

  8. Avatar Curtis Adams
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    says:

    Monopoly is good for teaching how unfair real estate driven capitalism is, but it was a mediocre game in the 20th century and a lousy one now with the boardgame revolution. If it has a place, it would be in the classroom, where people are often expected to engage in tedious and frustrating work anyway.Report

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