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<   No. 2623   2010-04-02   >

Comic #2623

1 Haken: So, to where do we go?
2 Ginny: Tripoli. We'll pick up the trail of the Gorgons there.
3 Haken: Ah. A nice city. Tripoli has three prisons und twelve railroads.
4 Erwin: Ja, that is mathematically sound. There is only one prison und four railroads in Monopoli.

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Monopoly is the most stupid, stupid, stupid game ever invented.

It should go curl up and die in a corner and rid the world of its presence. Parker Brothers/Hasbro have caused more harm to the world of family entertainment and fun than pretty much any other thing in the entire history of the world.

It's a stupid, idiotic, brainless, un-fun, stupid, ridiculous, tedious, boring, stupid game. All copies of it should be burnt. The guy who invented it should be brought back to life just so he can be shot.

The idiot marketing brainless idiots who keep promoting the stupid game and making endless "editions" that are just the same stupid tired old formula wrapped in shiny wastes of packaging are responsible for causing untold damage to countless minds across the entire planet. And wasting millions of hours of people's time with this completely pointless and ridiculous excuse for something that's apparently meant to be fun, but is actually a form of psychological torture. They should all be dragged out and ... treated really badly until they realise the error of their evil, evil, evil ways.

These people are torturing thousands, if not millions, of people across the planet, turning their brains into jelly, wasting their time, promising them an entertaining experience and delivering, time and again, nothing but pain and misery and suffering and boredom.

Why can't we do something about this crime against humanity? These evil, evil, nasty, evil people cannot be allowed to get away with this stupid bloody torture of innocent people. I want to burn down their houses, kill their dogs, smash their cars, and force them to play Monopoly for the rest of the lives they are unworthy to continue.

Stupid fricking excuse for a game. It gives the word "game" a bad name. There are kids out there whose parents or other family members have given them a Monopoly set, and whose path to the true horror has just begun. Those poor children. Can't something be done about the poor children??

Monopoly should be declared an inhuman form of punishment and banned by an international treaty, and those who promote and purvey it tried as the criminals against humanity they are.

There are very, very few things in this world that I hate. I'm a very mild-mannered person for the most part. But I hate, hate, hate, detest, loathe, despise, hate, hate, hate this fricking stupid bloody game.

Do want to ruin your family? Do you? Do you want to try to have a fun afternoon of togetherness and entertainment, that devolves into mindless stupidity and tedium, tempered with nastiness, back-biting, bitching, invective, people getting upset, people getting angry at one another, and people getting bored out of their skulls just trying to finish this bloody stupid ridiculous fricking game??? Do you want something that will turn a nice day of family togetherness into the most painful thing since having wisdom teeth extracted without anaesthetic?

No? Well then for god's sake, do not even think about Monopoly.

The game is evil. I'm sure Satan himself invented it and is sitting back laughing at how much misery it causes. If there's a Monopoly set in your house now, go call a priest and have an exorcism performed. Burn the wretched thing.

Do not expose your kids to Monopoly. You will ruin their lives. And the lives of their families when they grow up and have kids. Break the vicious cycle now. Do not inflict this evil on future generations.

What's that? Tell you how I really feel? You want me stop holding back and to tell you how I really feel??

I can't, because the English language does not have the words to describe how much deeper and more intense is my loathing and hatred for this evil stupid thing than I have been able to express so far.

And don't make excuses like, "Oh, if you play by the proper rules, it's a good game." It isn't. I agree that putting money on "Free Parking" and not using the auction rules makes the game worse, but it was already terrible to begin with. Simply removing the common house rules does nothing to alleviate the fundamental problems of the game that make it so broken and pointless to begin with.

Monopoly does not survive in the present day because it's a good game. There are tons of much better games out there. Games that have been designed with principles of play and good game design, that have been developed over the decades since Monopoly was released. Monopoly may have been state-of-the-art when it was invented, but games have evolved a lot since then. Pretty much any modern game with a modicum of thought behind it has better gameplay, player interaction, decision-making, game balance, theme integration, playing time, pace of action, and basic down-to-earth fun than Monopoly.

The reason Monopoly maintains dominant market status is purely due to marketing and inertia. Hasbro continues to market it like the cash cow it is, not because it's a good game, but because it's a cash cow. And parents buy it for their kids because when they go looking for a game they see a few unrecognisable titles on the shelves and they see dozens of boxes of Monopoly, and they go, "Hey! I know that! I'll get that!" They forget how miserable an experience it is to actually sit down and play the game. Retailers stock it because it sells, and it sells because retailers keep stocking it.

Department stores and generic toy stores don't bother stocking many game titles, so they pick the biggest sellers and most recognised names - which usually means games that were designed 50 or more years ago. To find modern games - better designed games, since yes, we have learnt a lot about how to design a fun game in 50 years - you need to go to specialty game stores that stock your roleplaying games and stuff. These are stores that most people never go into, and if they do, they look around bewildered at the 300 game titles they've never heard of, give up on trying to pick something new, and ask where the Monopoly sets are.

I've literally seen this happen in a game store. And I've seen the owner, eager to serve a new customer, go from bright and keen to help, to dejected and slumped a second later.

Look, sure, if you get a group of people who genuinely like Monopoly and set them going, they might actually have a good time. But you get a typical family together and set them playing Monopoly, the typical outcome consists of: complaining about bad dice rolls, someone getting upset because they're obviously losing, someone getting bored, someone accusing someone of cheating, arguments about rules, someone losing interest but having to keep playing because "you can't quit now!", somebody getting bankrupted and going into a sulk, everyone who's been knocked out sitting around complaining or going off and doing something else, and eventually one player obviously going to lose and the other obviously going to win, but the actual victory takes another hour or more to play out to the bitter end. By the time it's over, the family has been fractured, half of them are off doing something else, and someone's had their feelings hurt. Believe it or not, this is not indicative of a well designed game!

A well-designed game has rules simple enough for everyone to follow without arguments, keeps everyone engaged to the end, and encourages positive rather than negative social interaction. Such games exist. Why are they not mainstream? Why do parents everywhere not play them with their kids?

Because Monopoly is marketed so aggressively, and because so many people are poisoned against the idea that games can actually be fun by their experiences with Monopoly.

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