kottke.org posts about Monopoly

The antimonopolist origins of Monopoly differ from Hasbro's official storyNov 16 2012

According to Hasbro, Monopoly was invented by Charles Darrow in 1933 and sold to Parker Brothers soon after. But that's not quite the whole story.

The game's true origins, however, go unmentioned in the official literature. Three decades before Darrow's patent, in 1903, a Maryland actress named Lizzie Magie created a proto-Monopoly as a tool for teaching the philosophy of Henry George, a nineteenth-century writer who had popularized the notion that no single person could claim to "own" land. In his book Progress and Poverty (1879), George called private land ownership an "erroneous and destructive principle" and argued that land should be held in common, with members of society acting collectively as "the general landlord."

Magie called her invention The Landlord's Game, and when it was released in 1906 it looked remarkably similar to what we know today as Monopoly.

But it was Monopoly with a significant twist:

The game's most expensive properties to buy, and those most remunerative to own, were New York City's Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and Wall Street. In place of Monopoly's "Go!" was a box marked "Labor Upon Mother Earth Produces Wages." The Landlord Game's chief entertainment was the same as in Monopoly: competitors were to be saddled with debt and ultimately reduced to financial ruin, and only one person, the supermonopolist, would stand tall in the end. The players could, however, vote to do something not officially allowed in Monopoly: cooperate. Under this alternative rule set, they would pay land rent not to a property's title holder but into a common pot-the rent effectively socialized so that, as Magie later wrote, "Prosperity is achieved."

With a lengthy section on the philosophy underpinning the original version of the game, this is more interesting than an article about a board game has the right to be.

The "rules" of MonopolyJul 26 2011

If you've ever played Monopoly, you probably haven't followed the rules. The Campaign for Real Monopoly (via marco) would like to remind you of the real rules and the reasons for sticking to them.

BUYING PROPERTY...Whenever you land on an unowned property you may buy that property from the Bank at its printed price. You receive the Title Deed card showing ownership; place it face up in front of you.

If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder. The buyer pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option to buy it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.

Although, as Andy Baio notes, the rules of Monopoly weren't always the rules of Monopoly.

Contrary to popular belief, Charles Darrow didn't invent Monopoly in 1933 from scratch. It was heavily based on The Landlord's Game, an innovative board game patented in 1904 by Lizzie Magie, to be a "practical demonstration of the present system of land-grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences."

The Wire MonopolyOct 07 2010

A version of Monopoly based on The Wire.

Wire Monopoly

(via @tcarmody)

The shortest possible game of MonopolyJun 15 2010

Here are two people playing the world's shortest Monopoly game (21 seconds long):

The four turns required are detailed here.

Helvetica MonopolyOct 03 2008

A Helvetica-themed version of Monopoly. (via df)

Print your own Monopoly moneyMay 23 2008

Unlike the US government, Hasbro lets you print out your own Monopoly money. There are PDFs for 1,5,10,20,50,100, and 500 dollar bills.

Hasbro is releasing a special "Regular Monopoly"Nov 20 2007

Hasbro is releasing a special "Regular Monopoly" edition of the popular game, following the success of hits like Star Wars Monopoly and Simpsons Monopoly.

[The game] replaces the iconic, high-valued properties of Mariowalk and Luigi Place with its own fancifully named "Boardwalk" and "Park Place."

How to win at Monopoly, a surefireNov 14 2007

How to win at Monopoly, a surefire strategy.

Always buy Railroads; never buy Utilities (at full price). For every other property type, only buy them to complete a monopoly or to prevent opponents from completing one.

A new version of Monopoly will doJul 25 2006

A new version of Monopoly will do away with the cash and replace it with Visa debit cards. (thx, janelle)

Winerd (wine + nerd, get it?) is aOct 14 2005

Winerd (wine + nerd, get it?) is a board game that involves wine tasting and looks like a cross between Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Asshole.

Tags related to Monopoly:
games money

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