You probably played Monopoly either as a child or with your own children. It’s been a popular board game for more than 110 years. They sold over 200,000,000 copies since the Parker Brothers first popularised the game in 1935. Throughout the years countless special and national editions of the game have been published and now it’s time to green things up with the new, sustainable edition.
The traditional Monopoly is a kind of board game where greed is good, even rewarded. The sole goal of the game is to bankrupt all your friends and family. Every player has the same objective: to make the most money. The general rule is that as soon as you can afford it and even when you have to mortgage everything else of value to do it, you build up.
It’s a bit ironic, as the original version of the game – invented by artist, writer, feminist Lizzie Magie – was intended to be a critique of American greed, demonstrating the evils of accruing vast sums of wealth at the expense of others. She sold her patent to the Parker Brothers hoping that her game, teaching about economic inequality, would finally reach the masses. Monopoly quickly became a hit but lost its connection to the original concept.
Since the invention of Monopoly, the world changed a lot and now we have arrived at a critical time when we have to face the global challenge of climate change that simply cannot be solved if we continue to pursue the logic of greed. Now we are in a unique situation as in the next couple of years we have this incredible opportunity to invest in our sustainable future. We have the money, the technology, what we need is the understanding and willingness that this is a global challenge that we have to address now.
Hasbro’s Monopoly: Go Green Edition tries to reflect on this inevitable transformation of our economies and our mindset by making everyone’s favourite game a bit less selfish.
First of all, they put more emphasis on using sustainable materials. The package, the gameboard, the money and the cards are all made from 100 per cent recycled paper. The greenhouses and the dice are made from wood coming from well-managed forests. The tokens are made with plant-based plastic derived from sugarcane, a renewable raw material.
It’s not only the appearance that the creators changed. In the new green edition, players can invest in renewable energy like solar plants and wind farms. And instead of taking railroads, you take bike paths. It’s a good start, however apart from these changes the properties and the rules remain the same, which doesn’t transform the original logic of the game so much.
On the other hand, it’s a nice choice if you want to try something new, perhaps you can get inspiration to make your life a little bit greener outside of the world of the game as well.