So there it is. The Anti-Monopoly board game. I can’t say as I am surprised, but I just can’t see kids running out to play a board game that shows all of the exciting aspects of cooperative management and the joy of overpaying to purchase Fair Trade coffee from a three hundred million dollar company that uses a Guatemalan farmer for a logo.
I suppose squeezing Marvin Gardens out of your brother because he landed on Board Walk while the paint on your hotel was still fresh and he couldn’t afford the rent is now strictly verboten. Evil, evil Parker Brothers. The 1% is reviled, even if the money is pink and blue and yellow and lime-green.
There should be a special level of hell for parents who give their kids Mummenschanz puppets when they ask for a cap gun, or who proudly display the “Participant Trophy” when the kid finishes next to last in the sack race at the school picnic. (Front and center on the shelf where the “You’re really something!” certificate lives because Junior didn’t manage to actually WIN anything but needed an award to preserve the all-important self-esteem.) Or who buy their kids this game.
One has to wonder, in this Co-opoly game, if every card is a “Community Chest”, and when the bank runs out of money, there is a provision to go and print a bunch more. Which makes the money in the game less valuable to all the players. The little board pieces? A Sherpa hat, a little Subaru Outback, perhaps. A Birkenstock sandal. You get the idea.
“Where everyone wins, or everyone loses.” I doubt the board game makes mention that, in reality, when you are forced to be lumped in with “everyone”, there is no winning, only losing. Or that the enforcement of collective responsibility (and collective guilt) is entirely antithetical to individual freedom. But hey, grab your Fair Trade coffee and an organic bran muffin, pull up a wicker chair, turn the thermostat up to 58 and have fun. And remember, we are all winners for trying. Except in the real world.