May 28, 2020

New Monopoly

Monopoly was originally called The Landlord’s Game and was  “invented in 1904 by Elizabeth Magie as a way to demonstrate the system of land grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences.  She based the game on the economic principles of Georgism, a system proposed by Henry George, with the object of demonstrating how rents enrich property owners and impoverish tenants.” -Wikipedia   It was then stolen by a game maker who fucked Magie over and turned it into the stupid kid’s game we all know now and has lost it's original message.

I have never liked this game and learning it’s roots just solidified my hatred.   Actually a lot of people hate it and get mad when they play it but that's how it was supposed to be.  You were supposed to get mad at a system designed to fuck over normal people. The more I live as an adult and learn about how the injustices and corruption and greed has skewed things for most Americans I thought the game Monopoly could use an update to rekindle that original message Elizabeth Magie  was trying to convey.

Just loosely spit-balling, my rough idea goes something like this.  

The game set up is the same at first but before the cash is distributed, each player rolls a set of dice and whoever gets the highest number is now the beneficiary of being "Born into Wealth" and gets 3 times the amount everyone else gets and a full color set of properties to begin the game with.  Which color property is determined by dice rolls.  Each time this player passes go they collect not $200 but a $1,000 allowance from the family estate. Each dice roll counts an extra 3 spaces but if the space they land on passes a desirable available property they can simply pay $500 to move their game token up to 3 spaces forward or backward to help them end up on the space they wanted. This player is also automatically exempt from paying any taxes in the game.

The Luxury Tax space does not exist in this version of the game.  This space will be replaced with "Recession".  Player with the most money in their bank will get a "bailout" and collects $500.  All other players collect no money next time they pass GO.  Because the economy isn't doing well.  

If a player owns all Railroads they can increase the rent on those spaces up to double the normal rent. Additionally, if they own the Railroads they can expand the railroad onto up to 3 adjacent spaces for a percentage of the purchase cost of those properties (owned or not) Owner of the property can still collect their normal rent from other players but will also  have to pay an environmental impact fee to the banker for having a railroad operating on their property. Fee is a percentage of rent and to be paid every time a player lands on that property.

A new card is added to the Chance deck “Pay off a Senator” if you get this card and have $20,000 in your bank you can use it to pay off a Senator and get a law passed that clears you of any crimes and allows you a permanent Get Out Of Jail Free card. If you do not have $20,000 in your bank, you can offer to sell this card for $1000 to someone who does. In addition there will be new Chance and Community Chest cards as well as updates to existing cards that benefit the wealthy and punish the poor.

There is a new twist on Hotels.  Once a player has added a Hotel to each of the properties in a color set. For an additional fee they can then expand the hotel chain onto adjacent properties throughout the entire board (owned by them or not) Hotel cost increases the farther away the hotel is from the original property. The player must land on the original property owned by that player to expand the hotel chain. Owners of the properties with hotels not owned by them will get a small percentage of the Hotel fee  in addition to the rent fee they are owed when another player lands there.  Hotel owner keeps the remainder of the hotel fee.  The hotel tokens will come in different colors. One for each player to keep track of the hotel chains.

I forgot to mention, also at the beginning of the game the player with the lowest amount on the die gets half of the normal amount of money for being "Born Poor" . Passing GO gets you only $100 salary and taxes are increased by 1/2.  You are exempt from the Get out of Jail Free card.  If you land on the Free Parking space and have less than half of the original player amount it is deemed suspicious and you are sent to jail.   If you end up in Jail you’re there for the rest of the game unless you own all colors of a property.  You can mortgage these properties and get our of jail.  If there are Houses or Hotels (owned by you) on those properties you can offer to sell them to another player for 1/2 of the rent amount of that property.  Hotels owned by another player remain as assets of the hotel owner.  If no one owns the property the smaller percentage of the hotel fee goes to the banker while the hotel owner keeps the remainder. 

If at the beginning of the game you roll an even number, highest roll or lowest roll you are now considered a female for the game.  Female players whom have not benefited from being "Born Into Wealth? or been "Born Poor" will only collect $175 salary when passing GO.  To buy property she must wait an additional turn, stay on that space and not roll dice.  If another player lands on the property they intend to buy while waiting her additional turn can buy the property... but, if the player is male he can buy it at the listed price.  If the player is female she must roll dice with the female player waiting her extra turn.  Highest roll wins and can buy the property.  If the player who rolls the highest dice at the beginning of the game is female, benefits are reduced by 10%.  If the lowest die roller is female, she will only collect $75 salary for passing GO.  She can roll the dice upon passing GO.  If she rolls doubles she "has a baby" and can now collect $175 for passing GO for the rest of the game. If she does not roll doubles she collects nothing on that turn for passing GO.  All other female rules apply.  If you pull the "Pay off a Senator" card and don't have $20,000 you "Get Sexually Assaulted" and roll a die to determine the number of times you can get out of jail free.  

If you rolled an even number and do not want to be female, you can keep your original rank and roll again but if you roll even a second time you must play as Female.  If you roll doubles  this time you identify as LGBTQ and cannot play, as this game fears what it does not understand. 

Normal rules apply for remaining players.  Taking into account the new rules for Railroads, Hotels,  income inequality and gender.

Sound unfair? Welcome to real American life.

Disclaimer: I wanted to include race and immigrant status into this but I was getting pretty complicated already.  I also wanted to do more with the utilities but I think you get it and understand the point being made.  I'm not actually making a game.