No game represents our country’s economic values better than Monopoly. Not Checkers, not Chess, not Don’t Wake Daddy — it’s Monopoly.
The point of the game is for you, as the business owner, to purchase as many territories as you can, while you are competing against other rival “owners.” You gradually make trades, gain or lose money, make trips to jail, and eventually, one person monopolizes the entire region.
In the game, monopolies are encouraged.
In real life, it is extremely debatable whether monopolies truly are a good thing. In fact, I think I can safely say that more times than not, they are bad.
But that was the American Dream back in the 1930s when this game was invented. You had free reign to start your own business, and you really had no bounds as to how far you could go. Our economy allowed for entrepreneurs to become magnates, or moguls, of the business world.
Flash forward 80 years later, and nothing has changed. And that’s what make the game Monopoly so significant. It has long served as a replication of our country’s economical philosophy. Business and real estate owners make trades. They take over other companies or territories. They often go to jail.
Sure, there have traditionally been spinoff games of Monopoly, like NBAopoly featuring sport steams, or Simpsonsopoly, and I’m sure a Gleeopoly is in the works. But, for the most part, the original has stood the test of time, and still remains popular in 2013.
It’s unchanging, traditional and consistent format is what has made it so special, so historic, so —
They did… what?!
Oh god. From Jan. 8 to Feb. 5, Habsro, which publishes the American version of Monopoly, held a poll on its Facebook page, allowing the public to choose a new token, or board piece. For decades, Monopoly’s traditional pieces have been a wheelbarrow, battleship, race car, thimble, iron, shoe, Scottie dog and a top hot.
But, now, the iron is out. The public has spoken. It has been replaced with:
I love cats, I do. But you can’t change the pieces!
If Monopoly changes , then what changes next? Are we suddenly going to turn Checkers pieces into hexagons? Is the middle bubble in the game Trouble going to turn electronic? Are we going to replace the bishop in Chess with a figurine of Nicki Minaj? This is not a good precedent to set.
Imagine the makers of Monopoly in the 1930s, the good and honest people at Parker Brothers, one day knowing that one of their silver concoctions would be swapped because of a public vote on a social networking website.
Hasbro also offered the public the opportunity to vote what piece to eliminate, and they chose the iron. Apparently America disapproves of the act of straightening their clothes. The public chose its replacement, the cat, in a separate poll, over a diamond ring, helicopter, guitar and robot.
But what Hasbro should have done is the put the matter to a poll, and then taken the least voted upon choice and declared it the winner. That would have been in the true spirit of Monopoly.
Although, apparently this actually isn’t the first time the game has retired a piece. Other than the iron, Hasbro had previously retired a Man on horseback, a Howitzer (a cannon), and a sack of money, the latter of which was featured in the game from 1999 to 2007.
Here are those retired pieces:
And now we can add the iron to that list. May they rest in piece. (“Booo!”)
The news of this revolutionary change was so big, that the winner was actually revealed live on NBC’s The Today Show, which is actually a very telling and upsetting testimony to the entertainment world of today.
Heck, the news was so big that the Arabic news broadcast Aljazeera even reported on it, which is also a very telling and upsetting testimony to the news world of today.
This landmark change was obviously a marketing ploy to regain people’s interest in the age-old game. It may have worked, who knows, but I am strongly against it. I am a traditionalist, and I think our board games need to stay as they are.
Although, a chess piece designed to look like Nicki Minaj may actually be pretty cool.
Food for thought.