Lessons of Monopoly

When I was a child, I played the board-game Monopoly a few times. I played with older kids and it wasn’t fun — I’m not very competitive plus their experience allowed them to easily dominate.

By the end, I had little property and little money. But sometimes I would miraculously hold out for much longer than typically possible. In other words, sometimes I was the banker.

And as the banker, handling the money, I had a tendency to make it an extension of my own funds. I had no ill intent per se, it just seemed as if that money was mine to do with as I pleased — it was under my control, so why not?

In summation, what I learned from Monopoly was this: those with a head start will tend to dominate — a head start typically comes from experience, outside assistance, or innate ability. Properties and cash will tend to concentrate into the hands of a single player, actual competition will cease, and continued play requires limits on ownership and periodic redistribution of wealth. And of course, without strict regulation, those handling the money can readily profit from their situation.


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