You’ve Been Playing “Monopoly” Wrong and Missing its Hidden Genius

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  • The world’s most popular board game might also be one of the worst. Anyone who has experienced the thrill and despair of a long game of Monopoly knows that the Parker Brothers classic can take a while to finish. Like, hours. And hours. And if you’re one of the first players to go bankrupt you just have to sit there (or hopefully do something else). It’s a mean, nasty game that turns friends into business rivals and exposes all the worst traits of capitalism. But what if the problem wasn’t with the game itself, but with us?

    PBS’ YouTube channel Game/Show takes a look at the history of Monopoly. The century old game was created during the height of America’s Gilded Age, when fat cats and robber barons will building fortunes and running rampant over ordinary Americans. The game was an example of the larger anti-trust movement, which tried to break up giant monopolies to allow a more even economic playing field. So all that nasty competition that Monopoly brings out in people? That’s the point! The game was designed as a lesson in economics. It’s also of a time when socialism in America was at an all time high. So there’s that.

    As to how you can actually play Monopoly better, watch the video! Or to put it simply, stop giving people money when they land on Free Parking.

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