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Historical
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Title: 14 Monopoly Rules That Aren't Actually Rules
Source: Urbo
URL Source: http://www.urbo.com/content/monopol ... HOMEPAGE_US¶m6=33964233010
Published: Apr 14, 2017
Author: R.J. Wilson
Post Date: 2017-09-21 06:36:10 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 60
Comments: 1

The man who invented Monopoly did not invent Monopoly.

Here's the company line (and we mean that literally—Hasbro, which now owns the rights to the game, continues to print this story on the first page of the official Monopoly rules): Monopoly was born when Charles Darrow presented the game, fully formed, to Parker Brothers executives in 1934.

iStock

In fact, by then Monopoly had been entertaining players for three decades. The truth is that a left-wing feminist named Lizzie Magie invented the game in 1903 under the title "The Landlord's Game." Her deliberate goal was to highlight the evils of capitalism.

"It's a practical demonstration of the present system of land-grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences," Magie wrote in a contemporary political publication.

"It might well have been called the 'Game of Life,'" she wrote, "as it contains all the elements of success and failure in the real world, and the object is the same as the human race in general seems to have, i.e., the accumulation of wealth."

Magie's clear implication is that the capitalist insistence on wealth being the only measure of value is unacceptable. 

At the same time, she sure did make the struggle for financial dominance look fun. People are still playing Monopoly more than 100 years later.

If you want any more proof that Magie invented monopoly as a clever bit of left-wing propaganda, consider the original text of what has become the "Go" space.

"Labor upon Mother Earth produces wages," she wrote on her original board. That line is direct from the thinking of Henry George, the 19th-century anti-monopolist who favored taxing land-owners for the value of their holdings. Workers, who actually create value, should simply be able to collect their $200 and be on their way around the board.

Anyway, it's not surprising that a game with such a secret history has led to a profusion of house rules and niche tweaks so widespread that very few people play the game with orthodox strictness these days. Here are the "rules" that you won't find in the official Monopoly rule book.

1. If you're lucky enough to land right on the "Go" space, you can collect $400.

That money is supposed to represent the wages you earn by the sweat of your brow, remember? Why would landing right on the space pay double?

iStock

The truth is that it doesn't. That's just a house rule someone made up a long time ago, and it stuck.

2. Have you heard of the Monopoly Mercy Rule?

Monopoly can sometimes take all night to play. Not everyone has time for that. Somewhere back in the mists of time, a mysterious innovator made up the Mercy Rule, which holds that a player who first reaches a predetermined personal wealth wins automatically.

iStock

Go ahead and play that way if you want. Just don't pretend it's an official rule, because it isn't.

3. Chance cards are optional.

Some players insist that you choose whether you want to collect a Chance card when you land on the Chance square. In the official rules, taking that card is mandatory.

4. Free Parking pays pretty well.

Lots of Monopoly stalwarts pay taxes and fines into a collective pot in the center of the board. Whoever lands on Free Parking collects the whole payout.

iStock

Actually, you don't get anything from landing on Free Parking. All those taxes and fines should go right back where they came from: the bank.

iStock

The true benefit of the Free Parking space is that you won't have to fork over your hard-earned money to some evil land baron if you end up there.

5. You turn in your properties to the bank when you go bankrupt.

Capitalism is much more cut-throat than that. According to Monopoly's actual rules, the player who collected your last dollar gets to take all of your properties.

iStock

That's how the rich get richer.

6. When you choose not to buy a property you've landed on, it's simply time for the next player's turn.

Nope. All property must sell.

iStock

If you don't want to buy the piece of land you're standing on, the deed goes up for an immediate live auction.

7. Players can't collect rent on properties while they're in jail.

This rule makes a prison sentence even worse. Fortunately, though, it's a fake rule. You can still collect rent while you're in jail. Presumably, you've got people for that.

iStock

Your accountant, for example, may stay busy counting your money while you serve a little easy time for tax evasion. It'll be like that scene from Goodfellas in there. 

8. When three different players land on three related properties, each of them gets a cool $500 from the bank.

This one doesn't make any sense at all. It's the kind of rule that your big brother makes up to ensure victory. At first he would claim the rule is that only he gets the extra cash, but when you whine loudly and long enough, he'd probably modify the rule to pay everyone on the spaces.

What we're saying is that this is not an official rule. Why would it be?

9. A roll of snake eyes also pays $500.

Here's another total big-brother rule. At some point in the 1950s or whenever, some big brother rolled a pair of ones and seized the moment.

iStock

"Hey, that means I get $500," we imagine him saying. Nope. Check the rules backward and forward. You won't find any mention of the snake-eyes payout.

10. You can take loans from the bank or from other players to buy properties that you can't afford.

There's no official rule about loans in the game of Monopoly. If you land on an unclaimed Boardwalk and don't have the scratch, you just trigger an auction.

iStock

Them's the breaks. We did mention that this game is meant to be critical of capitalism, right?

11. You have to make it all the way around the board once before you can start buying properties.

That's not in the rules. Go ahead and splurge right from the beginning.

12. Landing on Go gives you the power of teleportation.

The kids up the street from us when we were growing up used to favor this silly rule tweak. If you land on Go, they insisted, you have a choice: You can either take your $200, or you can choose to teleport to any property on the board.

iStock

That sounds like a great way to see Boardwalk and Park Place snapped up pretty early in the game. It's also not an official rule, but don't try telling that to the kids up the street. They will not be convinced.

13. You don't have to own all the properties in a single category before you start building on them.

You totally do have to own all the same-colored properties before you can start building houses. The game is called Monopoly, after all. If you don't own all the related properties, you don't have a monopoly.

iStock

You have functioning competition and a level(ish) playing field, which is sort of totally against the spirit of laissez-faire capitalism, no matter what those Ayn Rand types would have you believe.

14. The game starts with a frantic cash grab.

Here's another treat from the kids up the street. Not every player starts with the same amount of money, they told us. Instead, you take half of the money in the game (which presumably represents the entire wealth of the whole world) and pile it on a table.

iStock

Everyone counts to three and then all hell breaks loose. Kids gouge each other in the eyes. They elbow their sisters. They push and pant and scream and pluck at the colorful bills, which inevitably go airborne and get torn into pieces and are generally reduced to confetti.

iStock

And that's how you determine how much money you start with. Whatever you can grab, you can keep. It's a melee. And while it might be slightly more realistic than the official rule (which is that everyone starts with $1,500), it's also a lot more violent. Our parents never liked this one. (17 images)

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#1. To: Deckard (#0) (Edited)

"Labor upon Mother Earth produces wages," she wrote on her original board. That line is direct from the thinking of Henry George, the 19th-century anti-monopolist who favored taxing land-owners for the value of their holdings. Workers, who actually create value, should simply be able to collect their $200 and be on their way around the board.

Labor is not wages. Your labor should not be taxed for if so than you should be able to itemize everything that goes with it. This also includes capitalizing from your birth certificate which is actually a stock certificate. This is where the term "net worth" comes from. Wages are those that are earned from using other people's money; not labor.

goldilucky  posted on  2017-09-21   7:28:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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