Missing My Monopoly Money

A few weeks ago I decided to play a game of Monopoly with my friends and family. It was my first time playing in several years, and most of my memories involved trying to get out of jail-preferably for free. So you can imagine my surprise when we opened the game and instead of wads of paper bills, I was handed a miniature debit card. After all the progress I’ve made on my credit card debt this year, I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry.

After I got over my shock, I did some research and discovered that Monopoly was updated in 2006. In this “new and improved” version, there are a few big changes.

  • Matchmaker Mary MonopolyEach player starts with $15,000,000, rather than a modest $1,500 and instead of collecting $200 each time you pass go, you now get $2,000,000. Thanks, inflation!
  • The railroads have been replaced by airports. Now, you can fly across the board with the help of Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles International, New York City’s JFK, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson.
  • Once upon a time, Monopoly players paid the Electric Company and Water Works. Now, bills are sent by the Internet Service Provider and the Cell Phone Company.
  • Goodbye Luxury Tax, and hello Credit Card Interest.
  • And finally, if you play the Electronic Banking edition of the game (like we did), the paper money has been replaced by plastic debit cards. What exactly are we teaching our children here?!

Unfortunately, Monopoly isn’t the only board game getting a modern day makeover. According to Family Circle magazine, the following games have also grown up:

  • Trivial Pursuit has ditched the Matchmaker Mary Monopoly Game Overcards in favor of a pre-programmed device loaded with over 2,000 questions. Unfortunately, 90% of the questions are still impossible to answer.
  • The Game of Life no longer cares if you have kids or own a home. Now, the game’s paths are more concerned with college and careers. Unfortunately, there’s still no option for marrying rich and retiring early.
  • Forget the parlor and the candlestick-in today’s Clue, you’re an undercover agent on a covert mission. Text the word “SPY” to Hasbro for insider knowledge during the game! (I wish I was making that last part up.)

While I can’t help but pine for the good ol’ days, when money was made of paper and text was printed on cards, there’s one truth about board games that will never change. No matter what, Monopoly will always have the power to ruin friendships and tear families apart. Now that’s what I call tradition.

Happy Monday,