What Is It About Monopoly?


family playing a board game

It’s true that traditional games are on the up & up, but what is it about Monopoly that makes it such a bone of contention? Unlike any other board game, Monopoly causes arguments. tantrums, cheating (and that’s just from the adults)! It also seems that no matter how fraught tensions get, Monopoly still remains high on the Board game of choice.

The History

The game Monopoly is derived from an invention of Lizzie Magie, The Landlord’s Game. She created this in 1903 to support an economy which rewards wealth creation and promote the taxation concepts of Henry George.

The Landlords game

 It was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935, until that firm became Hasbro in 1991. The game is named after the economic concept of monopoly—the domination of a market by a single entity.

The Popularity of Monopoly

At this point in time there are 1144 versions of the game, with the most valuable version being valued at $2 million. Created by San Francisco jeweller Sidney Mobell in 1988, it is made from 23ct gold, and is set with 165 gemstones, including 60 diamonds, 47 sapphires and 24 rubies. It’s popularity remains so high that even in the UK alone there are 144,286 games of Monopoly bought each year.

Mickey Mouse Monopoly

What Is It About Monopoly?

Unlike any other game, Monopoly provokes intense competition between everyone. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Banned in our house …partner always wins …kid always cry & I’ve usually consumed too much alcohol just to get through it”
  • “No one will play this with me in our house because I take it too seriously”
  • “When we were younger my little sister got annoyed so she binned the money”
  •  “I’ve had a game of monopoly last for 2 days”
  • “It ends in the game being thrown and everyone arguing in this house”
  • “Monopoly is too competitive for us to play, so for the sake of us all still talking it’s a no”
  • “That game causes so many arguments, that’s why I’m on Happy pills”
  • “Monopoly, any day. Until one of us buys Mayfair and Park Lane. It still gets us going, just not in a very nice way”
  • “I remember playing one game for 3 weeks. Monopoly has something about it….you just have to keep playing”
  • “The last game of monopoly we had was a nightmare. My brother bankrupted me. And then I ran out of gin. I’m never playing it again”
  • “I got so obsessed with it. I could only leave for food/drink/toilet and to make a bottle up for the baby”

What’s your family games night favourite?

Images by Mike Mozart, Mike_Fleming


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