My son wasn’t feeling well this weekend so we spent it mostly indoors. He wanted to play Monopoly.
My wife somehow lucked out and went bankrupt very early in the game. I, on the other hand, made the grave mistake of winning, after at least three hours of playing that stupid game. My son called for a rematch, which, while I REALLY didn’t want to do it, it’s pretty much a rule in my house that you can call for a rematch. I didn’t want to break precedent so I agreed. Thinking I would let him win. MONOPOLY DID NOT LET ME LET HIM WIN.
How infuriating is that? I did everything in my power short of mortgaging everything and I still couldn’t lose. I couldn’t make it too obvious that I was throwing the game so I built Hotels on Mediterranean and Baltic. No one every lands on those. He landed on them. He had 4 houses on the red monopoly- Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. Those are expensive spots to land on, and most of the time you often land on them. I must have skipped over them a dozen times without landing on them. At this point we had shot past his bedtime and had been playing for at least 5 hours. Five hours of Monopoly. Parenting is a challenge.
I had something like $3000 in cash, he had around $300. I vainly begged him to let me concede. Maybe it was too obvious at that point that I was just trying to get out of it. Finally he agreed to let me off the hook by conceding that he is the Monopoly champion for all eternity and I am a terrible player and mostly a jerk.
It’s a fair rule that any board game you play should, at the beginning, allow everyone a chance to win. It should also allow anyone a guarantee of being able to lose, if they want. Like Jenga. No force on earth can make you win that game if you don’t want to.
So I’ve been thinking about solutions. Here’s a few:
- No going to jail. It’s just a waste of time and it makes me think the game was designed by 6 year olds. It’s a perfect non-sequitor. Yeah, maybe Top Hat guy got drunk at the Ventnor Hotel and got pulled over for DUI but I don’ t know what it has to do with building hotels. And would you continue to do business with someone who’d been in jail like 8 times? Jail is now free parking. Go to jail is also free parking.
- No $200 for passing go. Why? It just prolongs the game. And where does this free money come from? Do you have a second job on top of building hotels? All the corners are now free parking.
- You don’t need a monopoly to build. In the real world, parcels are drawn up specifically to be able to build something. And if you somehow owned a parcel so small you couldn’t put a single house on it, three of said parcel probably won’t big enough for an actual hotel. Anyway, maybe make it like this-you can build up to two houses but if you want to build more you need all of that color. Start building!
- You don’t need to land on a space to buy it. You can make an offer on things no one has landed on. And other people can make counter offers. Landing on a space only gets you right of first refusal. No more wasting the first 8 rounds just going around in circles.
- You can build on things you mortgaged. You just can’t sell them without paying off the loan. Like in real life.
- Income tax is 10% of your $$$, not 10% of everything. I know that’s not entirely realistic either, but it’s better than taxing you all the property you own, which, again, in the real world, is separately taxed as property tax. And it’s too arbitrary- only people who land on that space (or Luxury Tax, whatever that is) or draw a card pay taxes? Everyone pays taxes, even children know that. Instead of you get $200 for passing GO, you pay $200, as tax?
- Wait no, that sucks. How about we just assume that taxes have already been taken out of each $$$ you get from other players and that your accountant takes care of everything else? No more tax cards or tax spaces. Yes, better.
That’s what I’ve got so far. I really hope I can weasel my way out of playing again for a while though. The game is bumming me out. I keep thinking I will write a post on the Game of LIFE, but I’m home sick myself now and I’m not sure my mental state can stand a visit to that black hole of awful. Maybe tomorrow.