Saturday, November 29, 2008

Austrian Monopoly

One of the cornerstones of the official narrative of the current economic meltdown is the excuse that 'no-one saw the collapse of the housing market coming'

This is, of course, nonsense

Anyone vaguely numerate, or blessed with even a passing knowledge of history, was equipped with all that was needed to anticipate the inevitable crash

Greed, stupidity, ignorance and the endless human capacity for self-deception all contributed to ensuring that the majority of people played along with the madness for as long as the people who orchestrated it considered to be expedient

I had reason to consider the ignorance part of the equation whilst, of all things, playing a game of Monopoly with some kids a few days ago




From an amateur economician's point of view, one of the interesting things about Monopoly is that the longer a game lasts the more money goes on the table. Regular cash injections are made into the game every time a player circuits the board and receives a crisp £200 from the bank for their trouble.

The Monopoly economy goes from strength to strength and players are able to buy land and build houses thanks to the generous handouts from the bank


The problem with the Monopoly economy and the reason why it dawned on me the other day that it is a particularly sneaky example of subliminal programming is that, unlike the world the children grow up into, the Monopoly bank never gets round to clawing all the money back

One simple rule change would transform a game of Monopoly into a powerful educational tool that could possibly help junior avoid turning into a financial fuckwit when he grows up...


After the first 30 minutes of play, the bank stops giving out £200 every time the player goes round the board and demands payment of £250 each time instead


As each player succumbs to inevitable bankruptcy they are forced to stand outside on the street, in the rain, holding a half empty can of budget lager

Play continues until the bank has removed all liquidity from the game and repossessed all the property

Anyone who was daft enough to have played the game then has to ask the banker's permission to take a piss for the rest of their lives...





Next Week - '
Thomas the Tank Engine - A Marxist Analysis'


.

13 comments:

Parabellum said...

Funny thing, even without this "realistic" rule change, people could learn one valuable thing (if they dared to think about this game): One person takes (almost) everything and it is clear much earlier who that person will be. And from that point, there is not much sense (and fun) in continuing to play that "game" (as in real life). But the others just keep on playing - maybe that "designated winner" will make an error, maybe ones luck will change, maybe, maybe. Who knows.

Stef said...

lol

even as a kid, whenever I found myself in that position I would resign and turn over my holdings to one of the other 'losers'

The usual response from the person in the lead would be 'that's not fair, that's not in the rules'

At which point I would offer to buy one of the other player's shittiest property in exchange for everything I had left

I always hated that fucking game but it took me years to figure out exactly why...

Stef said...

I thought that with the so many different Monopoly's out recently, this one would slip by unnoticed.
But I was really wrong!

This is a great version, in my eyes by far the best. It uses credit cards which keep track of the money you own, and includes a credit machine which you use to add or subtract money from your accounts. Children will love to tap in the controls on the credit card machine, it looks quite like a PIN machine.

Also, inflation has finally caught up with Monopoly, with the whole value of money changing. Ownership of the exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens (previously Mayfair) will set you back a cool 2million pounds.

A great improvement on the old version, there are no negatives about it!

The Antagonist said...

Oh look, the OFFICIAL rules of Monopoly are available on WikiBooks, although they currently appear to be missing the new rule....

Parabellum said...

The credit card thingy, it makes me sick.

And I now remember, me and some friends once visited a friend in Brazil for his wedding. So one evening we were sitting in his kitchen and he produced a knock-off Brazilian version of Monopoly. He bravely translated every rule, every card, while we were playing. So we played along, as the game progressed. As it ended, we had to realize that the rules were strongly screwed and some property was allocated by chance at the beginning of the game (thus producing the winner and the losers at the beginning). Afterwards, we decided not to play such a shitty game anymore. Wish people would for one day look at the rules of the game they play every day...

Parabellum said...

And I don't know if the knock-off Brazilian Monopoly is made in such a way to educate the people for a revolution, to condition the people to accept life in capitalism or simply reflects real life in Brazil.

Stef said...

lol

little johnny aged seven and a half said...

buying things with plastic cards is fun!

Roger Thornhill said...

If the bank hands over £200 and gets back £250, it in truth should only be able to spend £50 of that to buy up properties, as the original £200 would in truth be cancelled as the loan was repaid...

However, what would happen if each person was able to begin "free banking" and write their own IOUs?

Stef said...

What the bank would probably do is punt any surplus on highly leveraged, derivative based commodity speculation - which would add an interesting and authentic element to the game, as the average 8 year old player wouldn't have the faintest idea what he was doing, not really

I like the idea of players paying banks with their own made up money a lot...

Parabellum said...

as the average 8 year old player wouldn't have the faintest idea what he was doing, not really

And how exactly is that different from the majority (not all, mind you) of players on the financial market today?

ziz said...

"One person takes (almost) everything and it is clear much earlier who that person will be."

At which point 'er indoors discovering it will not be her, gets up to fetch another drink and accidentally upsets the table ... followed usually by WW III and big sulks all round.

"I like the idea of players paying banks with their own made up money a lot..."

Regrettably this has been happening for a considerable number of years in the UK ... it was about August 9th 2007 when 'er indoors upset the table and that nice Mr Applegarth went to ask that nice Mr King for some more money ....

Anonymous said...

Peter Mandelson facing questions about claim that UK will join euro
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom - 4 hours ago
A spokesman for Mr Brown insisted that there has been no change in Britain's position. He said: "We have no plans to join the euro."


only a matter of time folks.Rest assured.