Monday, February 13, 2012


I've lost this game too many times to like it, but the Monopoly exhibit at the Museum of Play was really cool. The original 1933 board, hand-drawn by Charles Darrow, was round. It is extremely surreal to see the familiar illustrations on this board, just slightly different.

The original chance cards were not quite as decorative.

I do so love small things made big (in addition to big things made small).

The Landlord's Game was the precursor to Monopoly. It was patented by Elizabeth Magie, who hoped it would demonstrate the inherent problems in a system of land ownership in which rich people own everything and rent bits of it to poor people. This kind of game was popular in the early twentieth century, and people even made their own boards at home. The exhibit noted that Ivy League students played it, but changed the rules so that the winner was the person who could get the most money.

Probably the reason I never liked it is I'm basically a socialist.


Matthew said...

1) Does the round one still FOLD?
2a) Why is GOAT ALLEY not a space, nowadays?
2b) If you open a bar, will you name it GOAT ALLEY?
3) For some reason, the origin of popular board games has never crossed my mind. I wish "Riggins at Sea" was that, instead. (Maybe it is...)

Simon said...

1) No, I don't think so. It was just a big round piece of heavy cardboard with no creases in it.
2a) I wondered that too.
2b) Obviously, yes.
3) I wish "Riggins at Sea" was that, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm partial to "rubeville" myself (sounds like some places I have been), and Soakum Lighting Systems reminds me very much of Dewey, Cheetham and Howe. The later Monopoly game would have been more interesting with Goat Alley and Rubeville.