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Monopoly Payback

Posted August 25th, 2008 at 07:33 PM by NamibianScaper
I don't believe in Karma. I'm a Christian. But there is something in the universe that makes it understandable how the idea of Karma is so popular.

As I grew up in a house of 4- dad, mom, me, brother; we spent every Friday night (almost) doing game night. We rotated the choice. Dad's favorites were strategy or card games. Mom's favorites were cards or board games. Brother's favorites were board games. My favorite which I'm basically ashamed to admit now was Monopoly.

My parents hated monopoly so much that they talked me out of it nearly every single time and convinced me to pick something else. I can honestly only remember getting to play it 5 or 6 times in my life. It may have been more than that but what I remember is I never won. In fact, I lost miserably. I was convinced that getting those two cheap little purple properties by the start were the key to winning. I can't even remember what they're called now. Every time my parents tried to convince me after playing that I shouldn't pick it again. I don't know why they didn't just burn it. Years after I stopped requesting it, they still remind me about those days.

It was sometime in my teens when I started playing Risk and Axis & Allies with my friends that I realized Monopoly really was a terrible game. I probably hadn't touched it since 1994 or '95... until last week.

Some of our friends' kids apparently have the game and brought it over to our house last week. I should have known better than to even let it into the house. By some strange act of providence, God allowed the kids to forget their game at our house. Then, what do you know... it was Friday night. Our plans to go camping had been canceled just a few hours previous. We had nothing planned to do. Before I could prepare the fire to burn it and build a heroscape map, my wife and son had set it up on the table.

It was five, or six, maybe even seven hours later (does the game ever end????) when Son had won the game by no skillful play or clever tactics of his own. I couldn't fathom ever playing it again. I finally really truly understood why my parents resisted it all those years. I had never personally disdained it when I stopped requesting it. I just figured out there were better games. When that night finally ended I thought it would be the last time I ever touched it. I thought I had received my payback in full.

Not only was it a horrible experience, my Son didn't even get the American cultural benefit of buying and selling "boardwalk" and "park place." No, we played the South African version that features "Clifton" instead of "Boardwalk" and some other place that is so hard to pronounce I can't even type it instead of "Park Place."

Then, Monday came. I normally have elders' meetings on Monday nights and am out of the house. However, tonight the meeting was canceled, also having to do with the aforementioned camping trip. Again, we had nothing planned to do.

What could I do? I was outvoted. I pleaded for Heroscape once, twice, three times. Wife and Son were under a spell. I conceded only adding one condition, that we use Heroscape figures instead of the little metal markers to move around the board. My goal was to drive the game into the ground with as little mercy as possible. I wheeled and dealed to a victory within the first three hours.

My Microcorp Agent put up double-rent and hotels all the way from Park Place to whatever those cheap blue ones are called on the first row. Son's Kee-Mo-Shi was taxed and dismayed with no one to mind shackle but herself. Wife's Syvarris foolishly overspent his savings to put log cabins and treehouses on all the green properties while flying around on my network of overpriced airports. Son didn't even get the cultural experience of riding on the reading railroad. All they have in the South African version are jumbo jets hopping from Cape Town to Durban, etc.

All I can say after that is: 1) God, thank You for humbling me. 2) It could have been worse. It could have been Mousetrap.
Total Comments 3


WarpedPoodle's Avatar
I have the same issue in my home. My 7 year old son likes to play our Star Wars monopoly whenever possible (and seldom wins but has heaps of fun).
I have found some relief in using the quick version of the game, ie. shuffling the properties and handing about 5 to each player at the start of the game. This gives it a kick-start and promotes some good trades straight up.

I like your idea of using heroscape figures - I might try that next time
Posted August 25th, 2008 at 09:23 PM by WarpedPoodle WarpedPoodle is offline
Pickledpie's Avatar
At the time, monopoly, was a good game. But yes, now, it arguably stinks. I like the Heroscape figures idea. Hey! Maybe they'll come out with a heroscape version of monopoly. Ok... maybe not. But you could still use some monopoly rules to play heroscape with. Like, you get dealt a certain amount of territories, and you try, not with financial outwitting, but military strength, to capture your opponent's territories. And, you could even use glyphs as a way to obtain money to buy more units!
Posted August 26th, 2008 at 07:00 AM by Pickledpie Pickledpie is offline
flameslayer93's Avatar
I like Monopoly. I just enjoy it when my fellow players and I amass so much money that the bank goes broke(of course the bank is never truly bankrupt).

Adding in house rules are one of the reasons the game is still fun(that reminds me of another game).
Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 02:21 PM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is offline
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