Tag Archives | board games

The Real Story of ‘Monopoly’ (It Was Anti-Capitalist)

As those of you who have seen the excellent documentary Pay 2 Play know, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the board game Monopoly. Now Mary Pilon is about to publish a tell-all book, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game, and the New York Times piles on with an article by Pilon titled “Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’”:

For generations, the story of Monopoly’s Depression-era origins delighted fans almost as much as the board game itself.

Landlords Game board, based on Magie's 1924 US patent (no. 1,509,312) (by Lucius Kwok (CC))

Landlord’s Game board, based on Magie’s 1924 US patent (no. 1,509,312) (by Lucius Kwok (CC))

 

The tale, repeated for decades and often tucked into the game’s box along with the Community Chest and Chance cards, was that an unemployed man named Charles Darrow dreamed up Monopoly in the 1930s. He sold it and became a millionaire, his inventiveness saving him — and Parker Brothers, the beloved New England board game maker — from the brink of destruction.

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Offshore Oil Strike: The BP Board Game

4790972726_686735dd37_o Want to teach your kids about the fun of deep-sea drilling? Pick up a copy of the unfortunate 1970 board game Offshore Oil Strike, produced by BP. “The 1st player to make $120,000,000 cash is regarded as the winner.” Via BLDGBLOG:

With this “exciting board game for all the family,” released in 1970, BP delivered all “the thrills of drilling, the hazards and rewards as you bring in your offshore petro-dollars.”

It’s “a race to find and develop the riches ‘neath the seabed,” where no deepwater is beyond the horizon of possible drilling.

Accumulating this fortune, however, is not without its difficulties. Each player has “Hazard” cards to deal with; here are some of the risks BP thought to include:

—”Fire breaks out. Pay $2,500,000 for repairs.”
—”Hit High-Pressure Gas—Rig Damaged. Specialists called in.”
—”Blow-Out! Rig Damaged. Repairs cost $2,000,000″
—”Drill pipe breaks. Pay $500,000 for replacement.”
—”Strike High Pressure Gas.

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