What’s Up with Ms Monopoly?
Board game creator Hasbro recently released a completely new take on an old classic and rebranded the game with Ms Monopoly on the box – and a few changes to the rules, including female players earning more. It’s an attempt at equalizing the playing field, but it’s been released to so much criticism that it instead flips the board. Players aren’t happy with the attempt, and many critics of the game are saying that it does more harm than good.
About the Character
According to the official Hasbro Twitter account, the character on the front of the game is the niece of the classic Monopoly character. Several searches gave us nothing else in terms of background – and we’re not sure how truly “empowering” they could have expected an unnamed character with very little history to be.
For more background on the game itself, you can view the official video from Hasbro.
Changes to the Game
Several changes have been made between the last release of Monopoly and the newer Ms Monopoly. For one, women earn more than men throughout the game: They start with $1, 900 (instead of $1, 500 for everyone else) and will get $240 (instead of $200) when passing Go.
Sadly, that’s not the only changes they made.
Changes also involve the tokens, which have for some reason been changed out for things like a notebook and pen or a watch. Ugh. (Again, why? Because women can’t or won’t use any of the others? I’m sure very few women have ever looked at a Monopoly token and thought, “Oh, God, that’s sexist!” and then flipped the board over.)
Instead of investing in property, players will instead invest their game earnings in female-origin investments. This somehow makes it seem like more of an insult – whether or not the creators of the game saw this coming.
Why This Was a Bad Idea
While it’s a great idea to include inventions in Monopoly, the first impression is that it stops being Monopoly. (And that it implies the assumption that women are somehow “less worthy” of investing in property and would stick to certain investments instead. What the heck, Hasbro?)
This was a bad idea because the radical changes to the game doesn’t tip the odds towards female players, and doesn’t do much to show inequality. It only shows that Hasbro has lost touch completely.
VICE has also pointed out that Monopoly itself is based on the Landlord’s Game, which was originally patented by a woman called Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie, but stolen by a man and turned into Monopoly.
Other Bad Ideas by Hasbro
Okay, so Hasbro has released great games before – and a lot that were a terrible idea from the start.
There’s Monopoly Cheaters’ Edition… (Can you imagine what would happen if you released something called Cheat At Bridge for the general population instead? No, no and no!)
There was also Monopoly for Millennials – the catchphrase on the box says, “Forget real estat. You can’t afford it anayway”. At least that’s entertaining!