That special time of year has come around again: Thursday, November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day!
In advance of some solid family time this Thanksgiving, pull out your dusty board game and reinvest in a worldwide tradition that spans more than a billion people and 47 languages worldwide. Nothing brings people together (or tears them apart?) like a few hours away from the Internet and the potential to run amok as the next great development tycoon. If you can’t make the time, at the very least, give a silent, celebratory nod to the long life of the board game itself: Monopoly celebrated its 80th birthday this year.
Its history is a long one indeed. Funny enough, Monopoly is based on a scheme by anti-monopolist Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips, which she patented as The Landlord’s Game in 1903. Phillips developed the game as an educational tool to warn against the single-tax theory and the hazards of private land monopolies. Charles Darrow of Philadelphia eventually sold his version to Parker Brothers in 1933, after it was first rejected as full of fundamental errors (52 of them to be exact) and too complex to be any fun.
The original Monopoly most of us grew up on was based on the streets and transport systems of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Ahh, yes, the wonderful Boardwalk and Park Place. Its Short Line Railroad references the Shore Fast Line, a streetcar of the time, and the Electric Company and Water Works pay homage to Atlantic City Electric Company and the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority, respectively.
While the game’s 40-space board with 28 properties has held over the years, it’s seen a number of iterations. The 2006 U.S. edition Monopoly Here and Now features top landmarks across the country and increased monetary values. Its railroads were replaced with airports like O’Hare and JFK, and its basic utilities supplanted by Internet and cell phone providers.
Whatever your version of the board game calls each property square, statistics don’t change. The three most-landed-on spaces in the classic game are Illinois Avenue, Go and the B&O Railroad. There’s also a 64 percent chance that players will stop at one of the railroads each time around the board.
In 2014, when the Hasbro company (which now owns Monopoly) crowdsourced new official rules from a list of 10 common “house rules”—no, that center jackpot from other players’ fines isn’t actually supposed to be yours when you land on Free Parking—The Economist published a great blog post asking its readers for even more imaginative ideas that might “reflect the reality of doing business today.”
It’s no surprise that one of the first responses suggested that players be able to insure their properties against building repairs, high rents and bankruptcy. Proposing that the bank serve as an insurance company, the commenter argued for the availability of an insurance policy at a cost of 10 percent for each property bundle with rising premiums based on the land’s location on the board. The scheme was really quite detailed and even a bit confusing, but the sentiment was right on.
Whether in play or life, property owners need to insure against damage and liability. If you need help getting coverage, contact AIS today. We’ll find a policy that’s right for you—and likely easier to understand than the ones proposed for the Monopoly world.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.