Recently some friends and I sat down to play a game of Monopoly. As you can imagine, we are not friends anymore. I haven’t spoken to my wife since.
Monopoly holds special powers. It’s like Jumangi that way. Emotions burst out with each roll of the dice—we scream and yell. People to your right and left, they are not your spouses, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends anymore. They are landlords, tourists, and prisoners.
This last game, a friend of mine gave her boyfriend an ultimatum: continued friendship for Baltic Avenue. What kind of game is this?
Monopoly makes me curse. It’s like Halo that way. There’s something about going to jail early in the game, or landing on the same owned property every time, or having two people land on your Boardwalk right after you mortgage it because your dumb friend just added another stupid house on the spot you landed on right before that.
It gets ugly fast.
Monopoly makes people manipulate. It’s like poker that way. Am I the only one who wears sunglasses while playing Monopoly? We make deals and give advice. We bluff. Ultimately, our interest is always best. After all, there is only one winner in Monopoly.
This brings me to a good point. Growing up, it seems that poker, or general playing cards for money, had a stigma attached to it—especially in the church. “We don’t gamble,” is maybe a similar statement you’ve heard in your lifetime.
I’ve always loved poker. It’s genuine. It teaches. Sure, there is manipulation involved (I prefer to call it “acting lessons.”). But I’ve built up more friendships with poker than I’ve ever done with Monopoly. If we’re talking morality, is Monopoly really much better than poker?
I ask you this:
Which game do you want YOUR kids playing? A gambling card-game that teaches the value of money, fosters friendships, creates conversations, and rewards practicing patience, or a board-game with fake money that fosters greed, manipulation, and ill-will towards friends?
Somewhere down the line the church got it wrong. That’s all I’m saying.
Photo Credit: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/34316967@N04/4762812763/]
What is your favorite board game? Any good Monopoly stories? Ready to give poker another shot?