Cat got your monopoly, a requiem for an iron

Thursday, 21 February, 2013

Players of board game Monopoly recently voted to replace the iron token, that has been on the scene since 1935, with that of a cat.

Seems appropriate then the discarded game token should deliver a farewell speech, while taking a swipe, or three, at cats:

I am the slow and steady back-and-forth of the enterprise one must have to dominate the world! Cats go back and forth too, but it’s a lazy pacing, waiting for someone to bring them food. I incinerate nations! That is, if you leave me unattended long enough. Left alone, a cat knocks your most valuable vases from the mantle and then falls asleep in the sun. And the only thing it’s willing to destroy is a helpless, empty toilet paper roll.

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Monopoly as an aid for escaping from POW camps during WWII

Tuesday, 8 January, 2013

Board game Monopoly has an impressive back story, now I read it was used during World War II to help British prisoners of war escape from German war camps:

Included in the items the German army allowed humanitarian groups to distribute in care packages to imprisoned soldiers, the game was too innocent to raise suspicion. But it was the ideal size for a top-secret escape kit that could help spring British POWs from German war camps. The British secret service conspired with the U.K. manufacturer to stuff a compass, small metal tools, such as files, and, most importantly, a map, into cut-out compartments in the Monopoly board itself.

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Monopoly, the preferred game of landlords since 1903

Monday, 29 October, 2012

Everything you ever wanted to know about the history, and origins, of popular board game Monopoly.

The earliest version of the game was known as “The Landlord’s Game”, when created in 1903 by Lizzie Magie, an actor who wanted to promote the philosophy of US writer and politician Henry George, who believed that property ought to be owned publicly rather than by individuals:

For close to thirty years after Magie fashioned her first board on an old piece of pressed wood, The Landlord’s Game was played in various forms and under different names – “Monopoly,” “Finance,” “Auction.” It was especially popular among Quaker communities in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, as well as among economics professors and university students who’d taken an interest in socialism. Shared freely as an invention in the public domain, as much a part of the cultural commons as chess or checkers, The Landlord’s Game was, in effect, the property of anyone who learned how to play it.

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Dager is a five letter because I say so and there is one in your back

Tuesday, 21 August, 2012

Scrabble tournaments… mostly serene, even docile, affairs? No, not necessarily

Scrabble is a game of personal honor; opponents police themselves and each other. As a result it is rife with feuds and imagined slights and muttered complaints. Players are as sensitive as flowers to any sign of “coffeehousing” – the practice of trying to throw off an opponent by slurping a drink, writing loudly… or talking during a match. After losing to Sam Kantimathi in Las Vegas, Geary stomped out of the room, growling, “The one guy I didn’t want to lose to.” Why? “He’s an ass. I just don’t like him. If I could find a way to kick his ass, I would. He tends to rattle his tiles whenever you play but manages to be so quiet when he’s playing. Aggghhh. Sam. Sam I am.”

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Make money online with Monopoly’s virtual properties

Thursday, 23 February, 2012

Web lovers edition of Monopoly

Istanbul based design studio Make Some Design has created a version of Monopoly that features web properties such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, and the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) rather than the more usual streets and railway stations of London.

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Thinking outside the square, in many ways, with three way chess

Wednesday, 30 November, 2011

A chess board, with a circular design, allowing three people to play at the same time, could prove indefinitely more challenging than the two player format… for instance can you maintain offensives on two fronts? Could you fend off the dual attacks of a possible alliance between the other two players?

Deceptively mind boggling?

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Mayfair is expensive but is it worth paying for a monopoly on it?

Tuesday, 20 September, 2011

Some useful tools for fans of board game Monopoly… calculators that work out the values of the properties that you own, or are considering buying, that also take into account the individual circumstances of the game being played.

The amount of income you would expect to earn from a property depends primarily on two factors. The first is the number of opponents you are facing in the game. The second is how many rounds the game is going to last. With this information you can come up with a mathematical expectation for the income you would receive from any particular property.

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Monopoly’s house rules are still part of the game’s official rules

Monday, 1 August, 2011

Playing board game Monopoly according to house rules, or unofficial variations of the game’s official rules, could be putting a dent in the game’s popularity, as such rules have the effect of prolonging games and reducing interaction between players:

The first question is why is everyone playing a variant of the actual rules without actually realising it. Well the answer here is that no-one ever actually reads the rules of Monopoly. Monopoly is something you learn through word-of-mouth in childhood, like riding a bike or tying your shoelaces. Your mother, who never read the rules but was instead taught them by her father, taught you, and one day you will teach your children, again without reading the rules first. She passed on broken rules to you and you’ll pass them on to your kids.

But what makes Monopoly “house rules” so common in the first place? Look no further than the actual official rules of the game, which apparently encourage their development and use.

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Choose your own font with the typographic version of Scrabble

Wednesday, 9 March, 2011

Scrabble board design by Andrew Clifford Capener

Andrew Clifford Capener has devised a version of the popular word game Scrabble especially for lovers of typography… the A-1 Scrabble designer edition:

The purpose of this project was to revive an old, but loved game. The idea was to excite people about typography by giving them the ability to choose what font their scrabble set would come in. The set would be available in the font of your choice or with an assorted font pack.

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“Communist” Monopoly makes bread the currency of choice

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011

Queue, a new board game that is being hailed as the communist equivalent of Monopoly, was recently launched in Poland. Whereas Monopoly’s objective is to ultimately buy up every property on the board, while bankrupting other players in the process, the aim of Queue is to acquire as many basic food and household items, such as bread and toilet paper, as possible.

Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as building a property empire, does it? Still, the game’s creator Karol Madaj believes it will be a valuable educational tool – and fun too… probably. “The game not only makes players understand shopping in Poland under communism. It also teaches them what queueing is like – something people seem to have forgotten,” he said.

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