Realistic Monopoly

When I taught Economics, some people would ask if I used Monopoly to teach about monopolies. I did not. Now, though, I think I could… but I’d need some rule changes. Here they are:

1. PLAYERS. We now need 100 players. The first player is now the top 1% player. He is the banker and handles all the properties. He also gets half of all the money in the game, rounded up. The top 1% player gets the top hat. The other tokens are for the well-paid employees of the top 1%. They never pay rent on properties owned by the first player, get as close to normal an amount of money as is possible with what’s left, at the first player’s discretion, and any properties they purchase will go to the first player.

The rest of the players need to go outside and find a distinctive-looking rock. Like snowflakes, no two rocks are entirely alike, but in aggregation kind of all blend together. They keep track of their (often negative) balance on their own sheet of paper, one of their few possessions in the game.

2. PROPERTIES. Before the game starts, the first player gets to inherit property equal to half the value of all properties on the board. He may then build houses and hotels as he sees fit on any monopolies prior to the start of the game.

3. FIRST PLAYER MOVEMENT. When the first player rolls the dice, he may use them as he sees fit. He may move forward, backward, a combination of the two, or just get in his private helicopter and put his token wherever he wants to put it.

4. OTHER TOKEN PLAYER MOVEMENT. The other players with legitimate tokens move them normally, unless the first player wants them to be somewhere else, in which case he places them somewhere else.

5. MOVEMENT OF THE ROCKS. These guys move as per game rules. The exception is if they land on a railroad and decide they want to become hobos. In that case, they roll dice. If they roll doubles, they move to another railroad. If not, they are arrested for trespassing and wind up in jail.

6. JAIL. The jail is now privatized and is owned by the first player, who also exercises substantial influence over the judicial system. Neither the first player or any of his agents ever goes to jail, unless the first player decides to send one of them to jail. Players must now pay $50 to get out of jail, with the money going to the first player. Players may not languish in jail for more than one turn before paying to get out, as there is a federal court order against overcrowding.

If the players revolt and demand that the first player goes to jail, he may designate a hotel on either Boardwalk or Park Place as a jail for white-collar criminals and place his token there for a while.

7. DEBT. When the players with rocks run out of money, they go into debt by borrowing money from the first player. They can then use that money to pay the first player what they owe him.

8. WINNING. The first player automatically wins the game before it even starts.

There you go, kids! Have fun!

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