Everyone has a story about a Monopoly game gone wrong.
Fighting with friends and siblings 2 hours into building hotels and passing go is nearly as much a rite of passage in America as baseball. The game itself, with it’s long list of often-misremembered rules, is only a small part of the experience. It was the ruthless, unfriendly cunning that it took to play against your opponents. You see, monopoly is all about exploiting the weaknesses that you perceive in others – the paper money is just for show.
But what happens when you turn the game on its head, and make the objective be that everybody wins?
It looks as though we’re about to find out.
Hasbro, the maker of the beloved family game Monopoly, released a special edition of the game called Monopoly Socialism. The satirical twist on the decades-old game replaces Monopoly’s traditional player tokens with a phonograph, a pocket watch and an old fashioned rotary phone. And instead of players collecting $200 when they pass “Go,” the socialism-themed edition instructs players that will receive a $50 “living wage”.
One assistant professor of History at Rutgers University-Camden is apparently not amused. Professor Nick Kapur wrote in a lengthy thread on Twitter, “I bought a copy of Hasbro’s mean-spirited and woefully ill-informed “MONOPOLY: SOCIALISM” board game so you don’t have to.” He took offense at the portrayal of the political ideology, “It goes without saying that this game is entirely uninterested in trying to understand what socialism actually is and how it might function.”
The internet was not kind to the new addition to the Hasbro lineup.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz got the ball rolling.
We could do the Venezuela edition: start out (in 1950) with the 4th highest GDP per capital in the world: end starving in the street with massive shortages of food & medicine. 2/x
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 22, 2019
It’s sort of weird that Hasbro has a version of Monopoly trying to mock socialism considering that the capitalist goal of the original game is to bankrupt your friends and take all their stuff https://t.co/S1fpXern9r
— maple cocaine (@maplecocaine) August 22, 2019
A socialist version of Monopoly? Is the goal to end up with the fewest hotels and properties? If so we can’t call that person a winner, only a loser. So it all makes sense: Socialism is for losers! https://t.co/AdiS1e86i3
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 22, 2019
Context is key.
If Monopoly Socialism has been published under a truly socialist regime, sure, there’s an argument for calling it protest art.
In current capitalist USA, it’s ill-informed punching down humour *at best*
— Eric Lang (@eric_lang) August 23, 2019
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