Terry is back with another interesting take on a Holiday. Now I’ve given up on verifying Terry’s “facts”, but I always enjoy the unique perspective. – Editor
Dear fellow traveler ~
Did you know that Monopoly – that wonderful game of slumlords and Rockefellers alike – celebrates its birthday on March 13th?
Now technically, the game has had many birth dates. Originally, it was created as means of illustrating that paying rent was good for the landlord, but not the tenant.
According to the “interwebs”, those invisible tacticians providing us with what we now call history, the game was originally called The Landlord’s Game circa 1903.
It was the first board game to use continuous play, with no designated end, and was the first to allow “ownership” of a board spaces without requiring the player to remain on the space to continually claim it.
The hope was to illustrate financial health: running around town, buying up properties with a set bank roll that only increased on the off chance that a player landed and owed you rent.
With the only goal of acquiring more and more while wiping out the bank accounts of others, it became apparent how ruthless the real life scenario had become.
To be fair, the creator of The Landlord Game tried to sell the idea to Parker Brothers but they said no.
As with any creative endeavor, if someone has thought of it once, you can bet others were having the same original thoughts around the world.
Somehow, Parker Brothers came to create Monopoly without retribution of The Landlord Game, but other game creators sued decades later instead.
It became a matter for the courts, and countless hours were spent recreating Monopoly’s 50+-year history for the official records.
The company eventually won, sometime around 1980 or so, splitting hairs as to ownership of the name and concept to Parker Brothers, and other elements registered to the game itself.
Comical that a game meant to simulate the negative aspects of modern economy would be so involved with the growing litigious economy of the 1970s and 80s.
Today the game has indeed, become a monopoly.
There are countless spinoffs of the title, with specific design elements to please the collector of just about anything.
Like the show American Choppers- they have a version for you. Indiana Jones fans- they have one for you too.
Unfortunately the state of Iowa does not have its own version, like Illinois does, but the town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa can claim an edition.
Some sources state there is an Iowa Hawkeyes/ Iowa Cyclones version but again, this is Internet conjecture.
The modern era has brought about a new age in Monopoly with the use of credit cards instead of game cash.
Again created to outline the perils of purchasing on credit, it seems instead to once again reinforce negative spending habits rather than quash them.
So this month sit down with the family and pull out whatever version of Monopoly you have, argue over who gets to be the shoe, the thimble, or the dog, ect. and use it as an opportunity to think about the current state of your financial affairs, and maybe think twice before buying that Baltic Avenue estate!
This is Terry Traveler saying, it may not be true, but it might as well be.