99% Invisible: 189- The Landlord’s Game
November 18, 2015 10:15 AM - Subscribe

From rock-paper-scissors, to tennis, to Mario Kart, every game is a designed system and all games are grounded in the same design principles. One popular game in particular has a mixed reputation with game players and designers alike: Monopoly.
posted by radioamy (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My favorite part was when Roman briefly explained single tax theory, and then said something to the effect of "that's all you're going to get from me...if you want to learn more, go listen to Planet Money or something."
posted by radioamy at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2015

I found it interesting that they used their limited time to explain the failure to auction off property as the example of how nobody plays by the actual rules. In my experience the money from free parking is a far more common and game-breaking house rule. It also feeds into exactly what the MTG designer guy mentioned about his kids playing it to play, not to win, because its whole purpose is to prolong the game by giving losers a second chance.
posted by Wretch729 at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

I kinda wish they'd focused more on the early stage where the game was spreading around campuses and the rules were evolving and localizing. That sounds fascinating, almost like a pre-Internet meme.
posted by Itaxpica at 9:29 PM on November 18, 2015

I was thinking that the localizing versions make an interesting parallel to all the various "special editions" we see today (from Star Wars to Ohio State to whatever), the difference being that then it was all DIY and now it's prefab and marketed.
posted by psoas at 8:59 AM on November 20, 2015

In my experience the money from free parking is a far more common and game-breaking house rule.

My experience too, but I think the reason they didn't use free parking as their example is because it has a smaller effect on the game. At random intervals a random player gets a random amount of money. This is very different from having an auction of property on many turns early in the game.

Also, I think free parking is a commonly known (and commonly played) variation, whereas not a lot of people know about the auction rule. Honestly, I can't be surprised that Roman went for the more obscure choice. :)
posted by booksherpa at 9:15 PM on November 21, 2015

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