[NetBehaviour] Monopoly was stolen from socialist land-reformers and perverted.

aharon aha at aharonic.net
Fri Nov 9 11:37:31 CET 2012

Hi Marc and all!

Hope the bug in your belly doesn't kill the fire..

I wonder if monopoly is associated with bad/wet weather and slight family
boredom.. Somehow sounds like a portrait of capitalistic experiences.. (eg
effects on the environment, alienation, etc..)
Probably "reading" too much into this..

I had feelings, similar to the luck of monopolizing urge, when introduced
to chess.. However, once discovered that by conversing the game can change
into questioning each other's methods, thinking, imagination - by saying
stuff like: Hey wtf did you do this move?, arguing about it and perhaps
changing later on - chess becomes a lively experience.. (..mind,a similar
thing is cool with Go..)
Perhaps my imagination failed me, or monopoly is indeed and far more
arbitrary and brutal game then chess..

Yes, I think you are right Marc, there probably is a space to explore,
perhaps aspects, of the original game.. Perhaps even more so in London
with the mass deportations via land ownership due from April '13 onwards..
Maybe a psycho-geo version..? (probably not, but that seems to be stuck in
my head..)

David, an interesting point regarding kids playing monopoly and possible
effects.. Could also be argued that playing the game might be a solid way
to prepare rejecting such practices IRL..?

Cheers and have a fab day!


> Hi Aharon,
> Sorry for not answering earlier.
> After getting back from a conference late Sunday evening from Edinburgh
> I suddenly came down with a horrible tummy bug, which I am still
> fighting with at the moment.
> I am at home, and not supposed to be on-line - especially when I've got
> so much furtherfield things to get done, but I think our team will
> forgive me my brief jump back into the list before I run off to the
> toilet again -----ooooh..
> I was first made aware of this a little while back when reading Mary
> Flanagan's excellent book 'Critical Play'.
> Not only that, Flanagan in her book also highlights many (many, many)
> wimmin, who have 'invented or been been part of making games with
> others' but, have been left out of history.
> I have played Monopoly mainly in my youthful days when on a family
> holiday for instance - either in a caravan or in some strange other
> worldly butlins camp, whilst it poured with rain outside (british
> weather).
> For me, it has always brought about a kind of angst between the players
> involved, almost as though the properties were real, as well as the
> money. I would rather play Lizzie Magie's original version 'The
> Landlord's Game'. Worth exploring if there is an updated version
> somewhere...
> Wishing you well.
> marc
>  > Thanks Marc, for the tip!
>  >
>  > A very interesting link indeed - points how monopoly collapse into
> itself,
>  > monopolising  other people's efforts, and by connection, properties..
>  >
>  > On a personal level, I never actually "got" the idea/motivation of the
>  > game, why would one want to monoplise? Seems an arbitrary requirement
> by
>  > the game. Indeed, now that the history of the game is mentioned, it
> looks
>  > like the initial ideas, regardless of politics, were more interesting
> on
>  > conceptual and desire/urge levels - at least for me.
>  > I wonder if anyone else experience similar disinterested feelings in
>  > playing monopoly..?
>  >
>  > Cheers and all the best!
>  >
>  > Aharon
>  > xx
>  >
>  >> Monopoly was stolen from socialist land-reformers and perverted.
>  >>
>  >> Cory Doctorow.
>  >>
>  >> Christopher Ketcham's beautifully written Harper's feature on the
>  >> history of Monopoly, "Monopoly Is Theft," traces the idealistic
>  >> socialist land-reformers who created the game and modified it over
>  >> decades, and the unscrupulous "inventor" who claimed to have created
> it
>  >> and sold it to Parker Brothers. Monopoly's forerunner was "The
>  >> Landlord's Game," created by Lizzie Magie, inspired by Henry George,
> who
>  >> believed in the abolition of land-ownership and created a powerful
>  >> movement to make this a reality. Many of George's devotees played The
>  >> Landlord's Game, learning about the evils of real-estate and rentiers,
>  >> and they modified the rules together, creating the game as we know it,
>  >> changing its name to "monopoly" (all lower-case). Then "an unemployed
>  >> steam-radiator repairman and part-time dog walker from Philadelphia
>  >> named Charles Darrow" copied it, patented it, and sold it to Parker
>  >> Brothers. The rest is history.
>  >>
>  >> http://boingboing.net/2012/11/05/monopoly-was-stolen-and-perver.html
>  >>
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