Monopoly: Mzansi Edition
By Alex J. Coyne © 2018 Gifts for Card Players
If you want to see what type of person someone is deep down, just subject them to a game of Monopoly – and remember that it’s not always about winning, it’s about how they go about winning. Are they a strategist who forms alliances to get from one point to another, or is their only goal to wipe everyone else off of the board by the time the game ends?
It turns out that Monopoly is a game that’s as much about human psychology as it is about finance. The first official version of Monpoly was released in 1906 – here’s an article about the very first ever board on Reader’s Digest. According to the Library of Congress (here), more than 250 million copies have been sold since the beginning.
There have been plenty of Monopoly clones, too. The Simpsons Monopoly, Family Guy Monopoly, Star Wars Monopoly, Austin Powers Monopoly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Strip Monopoly out there somewhere, too. There are hundreds of these all over eBay, and very few of these are licensed.
Monopoly: Mzansi Edition
But then there are the official versions of Monopoly.
Among others, we’ve seen the introduction of Monopoly: Mzansi Edition which was first launched in 2016 as one of their limited edition releases for South African Monopoly fans.
Mzansi Edition was introduced at Maboneng and Sandton Square in Johannesburg, South Africa with full-sized Monopoly boards – and stands set up where people could buy actual items with Monopoly money.
If you were wondering, Mzansi is a Xhosa word meaning “South” – though used in general terms it refers to the country as a whole.
Almost everyone grew up with some or other form of Monopoly, so it’s always great to find a local version with places you have been yourself. This South African version of Monopoly contains 22 different landmarks like Vilakazi Street (a notable and historical street in Soweto where the Mandela House is also located) and the Gautrain, one of South Africa’s public transport systems that’s located in Gauteng and transports thousands of people every day.
My wife and I once got stranded on the Gautrain’s last stop after dark in the really early days. We were faced with the potential of a huge fine for being on the train after everyone else had gotten off, but the operators were nice enough to backtrack the entire train so we could get home safe. (Is that what happens when you roll doubles?)
Everyone’s got a story tied to at least one of these landmarks if you’re local, and it’s a great conversation piece while you’re in the game. This edition also contains other landmarks, places and conversation starters like The Oyster Box, apparently the only real-life hotel to be featured on this board.
Here’s a talk-show spot from Expresso on SABC 3 about the research that went into creating a Monopoly board that carries a local flavour.
More Local: Durban Monopoly
If that’s not enough for you, there are a few more South African versions of Monopoly to take a look at. The Durban edition of Monopoly was launched in November 2017 and gives you a chance to, well, monopolize some of the property on the beautiful South African coast.
General Monopoly Rules
When you’re done arguing about the rules, you can check out the original and official Monopoly rules over at the Wikia page for Monopoly.