Tuesday, October 13, 2009


After writing my last blog, I was in the mood for a high calorie, all American meal. I hopped into my car and headed for those golden arches. Upon receiving my meal, (calorie count unknown) I was happy to see Rich Uncle Pennybags staring up at me with his ridiculous mustache and snazzy top hat! It was time for the McDonald’s annual Monopoly Game! Hell friggin' yeah!

Monopoly, a game of monetary and property domination usually played by people who can’t run their own lives, is as boring to read about as it is frustrating to play.

Even the iconic metal player pieces have little to no story behind them. They are just leftover garbage from miniature toy companies and other failed Parker Brothers games that George and Charles incorporated into Monopoly. But what you might not have known is that the British Secret Service, during WW2, sent this game to prisoners being held by Nazis, with maps, compasses and real money hidden inside. (I guess files baked into cakes were a little too obvious.) But since I took the time to read about its history, I might as well keep a blog log of it.

The history of Monopoly dates back to 1904, when a Quaker named Magie Phillips created “the Landlord’s Game,” proving that Quakers really suck at coming up with titles. The concept behind the game was to explain that privately owned land, enriched the property owners and impoverished tenants. (This was a Georgist philosophy where people believed that the government should own all the land instead and rent it out to the citizens.) Knowing that this concept would be far too difficult to explain, she crafted its lessons into a long drawn out game where it’s meaning would never fade or be forgotten?

Socialists, for some crazy reason, loved the game and spread it’s message and game play across the land. (If there is one thing I know about socialists...they have an unrelenting competitive nature.)

Soon, other people started making their own versions. Daniel Layman sold his version under an equally horrible name “The Fascinating Game of Finance.” And Charles Darrow learned the game and repackaged it again changing the name to “Monopoly," which now included Atlantic City street names.

Parker Brothers, after rejecting all versions of the game, eventually saw it’s popularity grow and proceeded to buy the rights to all three versions ironically giving them a monopoly over the game "Monopoly."


Oh yeah...if anyone turns up with Park Place, I'll go halves with you cause I just got Boardwalk....BOOYAH!

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