Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why does everything have to be "improved"?

Last night while watching Boston Legal, DH and I saw a commercial for Monopoly. I love that game. When my sisters and I were in elementary school we used to play all the time. We had marathon games that would go for days. We would play before and after school and were always careful to collect our property cards and money and bring it with us so no cheating was permitted. Fairness is extremely important when you are a triplet. Just ask my mom.

But now Parker Brothers has come out with a new and improved version: electronic banking. I was horrified enough to play on the latest edition with rents reaching $4M and tokens like a Starbucks coffee cup. "But this version has been updated to reflect changes in how the real world uses money: All transactions are conducted with Monopoly's new banking card system."

Gah. Really? Is this what we've come to? Is paper and coin money soon to go the way of other types of currency? Will we only be using electronic money? In Japan they use debit cards to purchase chips out of vending machines. With electronic money will our kids every really learn the value of a dollar? It's hard enough to keep them from getting spoiled but now we have to worry about them not understanding the difference between a ten dollar bill and a hundred bill because it is a number on a screen and not a physical bill.

One other thing I would note about this new game is that it doesn't allow the customizations that many of us have with Monopoly. Free Parking would probably be a thing of the past. Good or bad? Depends on how recently you lost because someone landed on it.

Has anyone played with this version yet? Is it really any better? I wonder if BigFinance worked with them to set up the electronic banking...


A. said...

I always loved being the banker, so this would be so sad for me. Is it so awful to expect kids to do math during a fun game?

By the way, that was a great bonus to being a triplet - always had enough people for a board game!

Helen said...

Well, think of the number of things that have changed in the last 10 years, or even 5 years. Of course the banker is electronic, kids never go into a bank. They don't know the fun that we had going on a Saturday morning to get donuts or lollipops. People just go to ATMs. "My kids" only know a world with e-mail, and broadband internet, and instant messaging and cell phones. I realized the other day when they saw a film canister that had pennies in it, they don't know what film is, or what negatives are- they only know digital cameras. Isn't that crazy!

So in response to your question, I don't know if the game really needs to be updated, but the "old classics" that we love just aren't relevant to them in the 21st century.

Donna said...

My brother and I would play monopoly for days and days together. It was great fun - and he was always ending up in jail. I even cheated once and made sure he got the get out of jail free cards because I felt so sorry for him -- shh don't tell him! He still thinks I was ruthless! Don't plan on playing the newest version anytime soon. I wonder if I will recognize it when the boys are old enough to play? Hmm, makes me kinda sad.

jerseygirl77 said...

They also updated my favorite game, Uno. Now they have some weird thing that spins around and shoots cards at you. Phooey.

Einat said...

My husband and I had the same reaction to the new Monopoly. Seems like a bad idea. You can no longer gather your money, put it in the shape of a fan and waive it in front of someone's face. Waiving a credit card is just not the same.