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“Socialist” Monopoly Bizarrely Exists, But You’ll Never Play It With Your Kids

A bad, dumb edition of a board game that wasn't much fun to begin with.

Twitter/@nick_kapur

The success of Monopoly is ironic proof that the invisible hand of capitalism is not always right. Playing it is an interminable, mean-spirited experience that turns its players into real estate speculators whose goal is to amass as much property as possible for the sole purpose of bleeding their opponents dry through charging rent, which is pretty messed up!

Monopoly: Socialism Edition takes everything that’s bad about regular Monopoly and adds an incoherent “critique” of socialism that’s in line with the capitalist message of the original game but quite out of step with what socialism actually is (and what millions of Americans actually think of it).

Author Nick Kapur bought the game and tweeted a thread that’s since gone viral. Together, these tweets add up to a review of the game that confirms why you and your family shouldn’t waste your time or money on it.

Kapur goes in-depth with every facet of the game, each more ideologically confused than the last. The pieces, for instance, are deliberately outdated pieces of technology, despite the fact that young people are more likely to have positive feelings about socialism, and many simplistic criticisms of socialism often pain its proponents as victims of youthful naivete.

Instead of the streets of Atlantic City, N.J., the cards are named for fictional places that would exist in socialism. Unfortunately, “We’re All Winners” school sounds more like a charter school funded by unrepentant capitalists and “Healthcare for All Hospital” sounds like what every hospital should do. Neither really makes one think of socialism as bad.

Kapur rightfully points out that the purpose of this game isn’t to actually describe or debate what socialism actually is, but to mock and demonize it from a place of ignorance.

Kapur also points out the irony that Monopoly was meant to be a criticism of capitalism that was stolen from a feminist comedian, stripped of its original satirical content, and sold to Parker Brothers.

What’s unclear is exactly whom this game is meant for. It can’t be socialists, whom it mocks, but it also doesn’t seem fun to play it even as a ruthless, Gilded Age-style capitalist. Why would you volunteer to experience a system you already hate?

What’s also unclear is why Hasbro felt the need to make this game (or Monopoly for Millennials, a similarly misguided effort) at all. The company could coast on Monopoly’s age and status as probably the most recognizable board game in the world, continuing to sell original and branded editions for the foreseeable future.

Instead, it made this “parody of a classic” that’s inflammatory, inaccurate, and, in the worst sin of all for a board game, simply not fun.