The Politics of Monopoly


Monopoly can be the most controversial board game if played with certain individuals. Tensions arise straight from the opening phases, as the ‘Dog’ token is fought over. Some time afterwards, the game begins and we all notice how untrustworthy the banker is given the chaotic stash of their own Monopoly Dollars. Is this a tactic to hide the criminal activities from several bank robberies we ask? Unfortunately, we never find out as we get lost in the emotional roller-coaster the game brings to life.

We’ve all competed against one player who takes the game far too seriously, and another who remains calm for the entirety of the game. In order to categorize these individuals, we must split players into ‘Serious Players’ and ‘Calm Players’.

Firstly, I would like to talk about those ‘Serious Players’ who we all detest. We can further divide this category into 2 sections:

  • Those loud, smug and unfair players when leading the competition, but ill-tempered and sensitive in the face of loss.
  • And those quiet players who love calling bluff whilst simultaneously cracking the awkward side smile with unsettling eye contact.

Monopoly brings out the worst in these kinds of people. They cannot help but think they are wealthy real estate tycoons. They study the board meticulously, demanding obscene prices, in turn making it impossible for you to break the barrier of entry. As we have all experienced first-hand, these are the people who instigate, and fuel the uprising leading to the game’s termination.

Secondly, on the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the ‘Calm Players’ consisting of only one category.

  • Those who enjoy Monopoly, and don’t feed off the stresses that it unravels.

These people are a rare breed. This is because nearly everyone, especially students, fit the description of a ‘Serious Player’. Our grandparents are the players who seamlessly pull off the ‘calm player’ characteristic. This is because, as children we all threw a strop when we failed to win; therefore, our grandparents always knew they would lose anyway. Why you might ask do our parents not fit this category? It’s simple… Parents are fishing for things to tell your friends. If they win, and you lose, the inner stroppy toddler is exposed and a hideous tantrum is thrown to try and bag 1st place. However, 9 times out of 10, parents do not grant you the winning position, so you’re left with an unpleasant story which is used at your dismay in years to come.

To this day, we would all rather lose £1 of real money than consider the transaction of 1 Monopoly Dollar to bail out a beloved friend. Watching them suffer bankruptcy in the confined Monopoly jail is better than them prancing around their real estate at Mayfair and Park lane.

We must ask ourselves, is a game of Monopoly really worth it? Well for a start, the bank has 20,580 of Monopoly Dollars up for grabs (unless the designated banker is into white-collar crime). But let’s not forget the amazing feeling given from taunting competitors with the ridiculous rent you can charge them.

More articles in The Politics of...
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  2. The Politics of the Group Chat
  3. The Politics of Monopoly
  4. The Politics of Football – £200 Million Is Nothing

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