MONOPOLY: Board Games and Ideology

A R T L▼R K

On the 7th of February 1935, one of the world’s most popular board games, MONOPOLY, was patented by Parker Brothers. Commonly thought to be a creation of one man, Charles Darrow, the game had actually undergone a lengthy process of transformation from an educational, anti-capitalist board game to Mr Darrow’s final and most successful version epitomizing the triumph of capitalism.

1616170Arguably, the first version of the game was created at the beginning of the 20th century by Elizabeth Magie Phillips, who was a follower of the economist Henry George, and creator of a game called The Landlord’s Game, which aimed to educate people about the principles of his theory. “It is likely that soon after launching her game, Magie joined the liberal movement inspired by economist-lecturer Henry George, whose Progress and Poverty, published a quarter-century earlier, held that all taxes be abolished except for that on real…

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