Imagine you and some friends get together to play a game and decide to try your hands at Monopoly. You know the game – where you buy and trade properties, spend money to upgrade those properties, make deals with other players and hope for a little luck each time your turn comes up? Having decided on the game, you pull your copy out of the game closet and get ready for a wild and crazy night.
As often happens in narratives like this, there’s a small problem. One of your friends decides she doesn’t want to play because she always loses. After a few minutes of complaining about how the game’s not fair, another friend starts to agree because she’s only played it a couple of times and will be at a disadvantage. Friend #3 starts to nod his head at what they’re saying since he’s only had 6 hours of sleep and will lose because everyone else has had more sleep.
Then you get an idea – change a few of the rules to make it more fair for everybody! Instead of all that capitalistic nonsense where you try to earn more money, why not play a socialist version where nobody loses? You pull out your game scalpel (and purple marker) and get to work.
A while later, you’re ready to play your new and improved version of Socialist Monopoly where there are no losers so everybody will be happy. Here’s how it’ll work (This will be so fun!):
- To make sure there are no advantages by any one player, the Socialist Monopoly board is changed up a bit – now there are just Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues for properties. There’s nothing special about these two – you just happened to have a purple marker so editing the board and cards was easier. Now your game has 11 Baltic Avenues and 11 Mediterranean Avenues (Check out the fantastic new board below!).
- Now, because some people just don’t have a lot of luck or horsepower between their ears, making buying and trading decisions would be harder for some. Instead, you deal out all the Baltics and Mediterraneans (can that even be pluralized?) so you everyone has 5.5 properties to start (you had to tear a few in half to make it all equal).
- Because of that difference in luck and horsepower thing, you also decide that whenever you land on someone’s property, the bank pays the owner $5 (instead of whatever’s listed on the card). If there are houses or hotels on a property, the rent is still just $5 when someone lands there.
- Each time you pass GO, turn all your money in to the bank (Think of it as taxes to play the game) and collect $200 (your paycheck). Railroads and Utilities are owned by the bank, so you don’t pay anything if you land on those (yet another benefit of playing on this board –expenses like that are taken care of for you)!
- When you draw a Community Chest or Chance card, read it out loud, nod understandingly and then ignore whatever it says.
- When you’ve all decided you’ve had enough and want to call it a night, each player automatically advances to GO. Turn in all your money and property to the bank and then total up what everyone has left. In the guaranteed event of an emotionally draining tie where nobody wins, nobody loses and nobody cares…welcome to socialism!
In keeping with the intended pro-capitalistic sentiment of the article, if you’ve never played the game and would like to give it a try (or are interested to see how many different flavors of the game there are now), click here to buy yourself a copy. If you’re looking for non-political light-heartedness, click here.