Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

2020-08-02 08:55:16 0 Comment 1065 views

Due to its simple and easy-to-use gameplay, as well as the game content and its rich features, it still has a lot of attention fans today and is a fre

I believe that most players have come into contact with a tabletop game called "Monopoly" in their childhood. Because of the simple and easy-to-play gameplay, the game content and its rich features, it still has many features today. Paying less attention to fans, he is a frequent visitor to various board game stores. The video game adapted and produced by Daewoo Software is even more popular among Chinese players. Among them, "Monopoly 4" is well-known nationwide. Whether it is a board game or a video game, Monopoly is a puzzle game suitable for players of all ages, and it is an enlightenment work for many younger players on economic cognition.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

We all know that, If you want to win in "Monopoly", the most direct way is to buy every piece of land you go on the board and develop it, by charging other players high "tolls". The game board has four lines, representing the "four streets". The author still remembers the horror of being dominated by a whole street of "hotels" when playing with friends. However, in fact, the gameplay has already run counter to the idea when it was originally designed. The idea of ​​the game inventor is far from being as simple as letting players act as landlords to entrap each other.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

"Progress and Poverty"

The origin of the story goes back to the 19th century. There was a political economist named Henry George. His family was poor since he was very young. When he was very young, he went out to do odd jobs and failed to study. In this way, until his youth, there was basically no hard work that he had not done. Therefore, he faced the poverty and the difficulties of the people at the bottom. Life has a clear understanding. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early 20th century, the United States justJust after the Civil War, the economy and technology have been improved by leaps and bounds, and the free economy and market system have been established. Therefore, the economic strength of the entire United States has also increased significantly and has gradually become a major power.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

However, the growth of economic power does not mean that everyone becomes wealthy. Due to the intervention of capitalists, rich people become richer and richer.The poor are getting poorer and poorer, and the gap between the rich and the poor is suddenly widened. The poor have to endure the contempt of the rich in order to make life, and they have to make a living for it is difficult to pay for their labor. In the long run, it will inevitably lead to various contradictions, and the crime rate will increase. George saw all this in his eyes. He began to think about how this huge difference was formed. For this reason, he read the works of many old economists, and he personally inspected all over the United States, and finally he came to a conclusion. : The key to widening the gap between rich and poor lies in the private ownership of land that prevailed in the United States at that time.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

Henry became an economist, and he proposed his Viewpoint: As more and more land is developed, land will continue to increase in value. It is easy for the rich to buy land, while the poor need more and more money to buy land, plus Most of the poor people hold the concept of "the poorer the more livelihood", and the population is increasing, so the competition has become fierce, and the wages of the poor will be continuously diluted by the company. The reality has indeed developed in the direction predicted by Henry. With this view, he wrote and launched his personal theoretical work "Progress and Poverty" to express his opposition to private ownership of land. This book caused a sensation throughout the United States and triggered the entire society.The public opinion at the meeting finally made people aware of reality.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

The cover of "Progress and Poverty"

"Landlord Game"

Among the thousands of people affected by Henry's work, there is a media worker named Elizabeth Maggie. She is a feminist, a woman with a very strong personality,The feminists at that time were not as ostentatious as they are now, they just came forward to hold injustices for those lowly and oppressed women.

By chance, she came into contact with the work "Progress and Poverty". She agreed with Henry's work. At the same time, in order to further verify Henry's theory, she designed a tabletop game. In this game, she distributes the board into multiple identical squares to represent "land" and "railway". The four corners of the board are various public facilities and landmarks, and considering the high crimes at the time Rate, one of the four landmarks is a "prison", the whole chessboard is square, the rule of play is to control the movement of the chess pieces by rolling dice and act according to the content on the chessboard.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

Elizabeth Maggie

Elizabeth named the game "The Landlord's Game", which was the prototype of "Monopoly" or "Monkey Chess". The least known is that Elizabeth made this game There are two sets of rules. The first set is the way we are most familiar with buying land and collecting tolls from local owners. This rule is named “Monopolist” by Elizabeth. So why doesn’t anyone know the second set of rules? The reason is actually very good. Simple: Because this set of rules is "not fun." ElizabethThe second set of rules is named "Prosperity". The game is played by any player buying land, and its ownership and income are shared by all players until the player with the least capital of the manufacturer also earns the initial capital. When the money is doubled, the game can be declared over, and all players can win and achieve a win-win situation.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

The first edition of "Landlord Game" color board

No matter from which point of view, this second set of rules is not as attractive as the first set of rules, but in fact the second set of rules is what Elizabeth really wants to express. The rules can be said to be the epitome of Henry's theory, rejecting the privatization of land, and returning the profits from land development to the society, rather than the private pockets of ignorant capitalists. It is no different from "dictatorship". Elizabeth applied for a patent for the game she designed, and specifically stated in the application that "the game aims to show the adverse effects of land monopoly on the economy and the feasibility of using land value tax as a remedy."

"Real Estate Tycoon"

Now that the game is finished, we have to find a way to promote the game. It’s hard to imagine that the game was first designed Spread among adultsOpen. Elizabeth hopes that through this game, more children will realize the drawbacks of private ownership of land. After all, education must start with a doll. Elizabeth founded a company with a few friends to be responsible for the production and distribution of the game. In 1909, Elizabeth approached Parker Brothers, the most famous toy manufacturer at the time, hoping that they could help promote her game, but was rejected by Parker Brothers. There is a saying that because the rules of the "Landlord Game" game are more complicated and obscure, there are also sayings that because the game is too political, it is not suitable for children to play. Although the Parker brothers rejected the release of the game, the game still achieved considerable success among the people. The Landlord Game designed by Elizabeth was also released in various versions.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

Map version of "Landlord" "Games"

In the 1930s, the famous "Great Depression" occurred in the United States, and many people became unemployed. One of them was a former Charles Dallow The water heater salesman came into contact with the popular "Landlord Game" during a visit, but he had an idea that was not published by Parker: He decided to simplify the rules of the game and redesign the game. "Game" is repackaged and sold to Parker Brothers.

The simplified "Landlord"Game" is more like a role-playing game that allows players to "be a politician", which was directly adopted by the Parker Brothers. This version was later "Monopoly", relying on the ability of the Parker Brothers to easily make this game famous Charles became the "founder" of this game mode and became a millionaire "as it should be". It seems that the concept of "plagiarism" was there at that time. The anger of Elizabeth, who learned of this, was not because her work had been copied, but because "The Real Estate Tycoon" only had the rule of "monopoly", which was tantamount to denying Henry George's thoughts. Elizabeth was helpless.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

The first edition of "Real Estate Tycoon" not only simplifies the board, but also the design of the objects Very cute


In this way, "Real Estate Tycoon" has been handed down as a pure game without any thoughts. Elizabeth’s "Landlord Game" was slowly being overwhelmed by the long river of history, but fortunately, Elizabeth later proved in court through her own patent that the Parker brothers cooperated with Charles to allow plagiarism. The truth was revealed, but the real estate tycoon was helpless. "It’s already well-known. Charles is the "founder". It’s hard to change the idea of ​​"Real Estate Tycoon".Admit that the founder is Elizabeth, but say it very vaguely, in order to preserve the company's reputation.

Expose the ugliness of capitalism, the untold story behind the classic game “Monopoly“

The Parker brothers were later acquired by Hasbro, and they have the current "Real Estate Tycoon"

When we were playing "Monopoly" in childhood, it seemed that people did not think about it as much as these people back then. We would only enjoy pure game fun and the blood of fighting against others."Weng" is so prosperous because it shows the true epitome of modern society through a small piece of chess paper. It is not only helpful for children's cognition, but it is indeed very interesting as a game.

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Classification: game