Monopoly has been rated as one of the best games ever by some (only a few) and rated as the worst game by even more (so many more). The game was originally meant to teach real estate and capitalist economic concepts, adding in the competitive element of ruining your opponents. It isn’t supposed to be cool.
Good or bad (you decide!), Monopoly does indeed have tried and true mechanics. A game of Monopoly is long, but it works. Everything that the rules call for can function as a (sort of) balanced game.
So here’s your task: you are NOT going to change the actual mechanics. You can change what they’re referred to as, but the following things still need to happen:
1) Each player gets a set amount of some resource (the money from the game) to start
2) Each square has an action attributed to it (often things you can obtain)
3) Once you obtain a color matched set of things, you can add modifications
4) Landing on squared owned by a different player will result in you having to forfeit some of your resources
Part of the crushing nature of Monopoly is that economics is boring and once someone establishes an early lead the game can feel like a march toward impending doom. That’s sort of the narrative, as one person becomes the 1% we hear so much about economically. There is also a bit of a trade-off between strategy and luck, a cruel RNG.
But that’s not fun, really.
What we’re going to do now is try to create a narrative and lore that makes this more fun. WE ARE NOT JUST THEMING MONOPOLY. I know they sell tons of games that do that. We’re not just re-skinning. We are telling a new story.
You will start this in small groups in class on Friday and finish it for your weekly writing assignment. Each of you should have a unique upload, though most of it can be a collaborative piece (with your own tweaks).
This exercise will show us two things:
1) We will see how important the story is to how the game plays/feels
2) We will from that be able to better determine whether or not Monopoly is considered a bad game by so many because of its system or because of its story.