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August 13, 2007 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Struggling for a way to combine your love of simulated cut-throat capitalism with your love of the Adelaide Crows, classic Coca-Cola ads, Réunion Island, or the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror? Look no further than one of the 1,235 special-edition Monopoly boards. Browse the full street layout of 64 national variants at Monopolybase, or check the going price on 225 official Parker Brothers -opolies from Aachen to X-Men. If even that's not good enough for you, you can always (as discussed here), roll your own.
(Plus 35 Harry Potter games, 100+ rejuvenating house rules, and more from Israeli board-game blogger Yehuda Berlinger.)

posted by ormondsacker (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's one of the supreme ironies of the board games that a loser like Monopoly gets all the custom love. All it has going for it is fake money and lots of named spaces to co-opt. Grr. I can see the appeal, but I wish the game itself had some.

Kvetching aside, though, Yehuda looks like a fun read.
posted by cortex at 4:39 PM on August 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fines go into the middle, land on free parking you get it all. There's no other way to pay.

Also, you can bribe your way out of jail by offering properties to other players.

Also, steal.
posted by ColdChef at 4:45 PM on August 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

1,235 different boards? That suggests to me that we create Monopoly Board Monopoly, where each square is depcited by a picture of some special special edition of the game. A little icon of the whole board. The low rent items could be the Dairy-opoly and Milk-opoly, with the blues being Simpsons-opoly and Hong-Kong-opoly. The RRs would be lionel train-opoly and Collector's-train-opoly.
posted by boo_radley at 4:46 PM on August 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

ha - detroit-opoly -- purple squares all around the block and you get free houses with every purchase.
posted by boo_radley at 4:47 PM on August 13, 2007

Meh. I'll just wait for the movie.
posted by crossoverman at 4:54 PM on August 13, 2007

Gay Monopoly
Tongue in cheek version of the classic Monopoly. Player tokens are altered - now you can choose from a jeep, teddy bear, blow drier, leather cap, handcuffs or a stiletto heel. Properties have been changed to a 'gay' theme as well - e.g. Fire Island and Castro Street. Instead of buying houses and hotels, you can buy bars and bathhouses.

The one departure from the original Monopoly is the inclusion of Family Pride cards. When landing on the appropriate space, the description of a famous gay man is read aloud, and the player that can correctly identify the person can move ahead to any space on the board.
Also different is the addition of Camp Cards. When these are drawn, you must perform the indicated action (ie. 'say: 'faaabulous!' six different ways and receive $3).
Rumor has it that there were only a very limited number of copies of this game, as it was produced by The Parker Sisters, a division of Fire Island games, and were sued for copyright infringement by Parker Brothers.

posted by ColdChef at 4:57 PM on August 13, 2007

More on "Gay Monopoly"
Edition: GAY Monopoly
"A Celebration of Gay Life!"
About the banker for example is written: " …choose this person carefully. A good choise would be someone who watches Let's Make A Deal often or perhaps a player who frequents S&M slave auctions. If no one fits these descriptions, at least, get someone who occasionally buys his own drinks. If you are still without a candidate, just settle for anyone who enjoys deposits and withdrawals and who looks cute wearing nothing but a banker's visor. With this last one, make sure she keeps her hands out of the till. She is likely to have had so many sugardaddies that she will confuse her own cash with that of the Bank."

The double-sided (naturally) black gameboard also has 40 spaces but here they are situated in a circle.

*Go is "Stonewall Savings", the gay bank. On passing by you receive … $ 203!
*Jail is "Straight City", that is "Heteros-City". Slogan: "Home dull Home".
*Free Parking is Gay America and is a Space to Rest.
*On the 4th square (of the circle) you are returned to Straight City.
*There are 3 kinds of cards with corresponding spaces on the game board: Family Pride - Manipulation and Ollie's Sleaze Bag.
*The "leading character" is Ollie Gaytor, the alligator.
*The figures 6 and 9 and 69 occur remarkably often!
*Of course the game board is excessively provided with sketches of handsome and tough boys.

The streets are famous gay places in a number of American cities and instead of train stations there are 4 famous disco's. From Stonewall Savings the fields are:

Santa Monica Boulevard (L.A.) - Family Pride - Palm Springs (L.A.) - Ollie's Sleaze Bag - STUDIO ONE - South Broadway (Denver) - Main street (Dubuque) - Hard Assets Tax - Pike street (Seattle) - Straight City/Just Cruisin' By - Folsom street (San Fransisco)- Ollie's Sleaze Bag - Castro street (San Fransisco) - Russian River - TROCADERO TRANSFER - Clark street (Chicago) - Manipulation - Provincetown - Tremont street (Boston) - Gay America/Rest Place - Du Pont Circle (Washington D.C.) - Oscar's Wild Waterworks - Spruce street (Philadelphia) - Peachtree street (Atlanta) - BACKSTREET - Ft.Lauderdale - Biscayne Boulevard (Miami) - Ollie's Sleaze Bag - Key West - Immoral Morons/Go straight to Straight City - Cedar Springs Road (Dallas) - Hunky Power Company - Westheimer street (Houston) - Bourbon street (New Orleans) - THE SAINT - Ollie's Sleaze Bag - Christopher street (New York) - Luxury Tax en Fire Island.

The money consists of gay-$-notes with the text "In Gays we Trust", in the denominations: 1 (light pink)= Emperor Hadrian - 3 (dark pink)= President Ollie - 10 (light purple)= Julis Caesar - 20 (dark purple)=Czar Alexander - 50 (dark blue)= Frederick the Great - 100 (light blue)= Richard the Lionheart and 500 (grey)= Alexander the Great. These men are all known or rumoured to have been gay.

Family Pride cards:
"The Pink Triangle as a symbol for gay people originated in Nazi Germany. While many people know that Jews were herded into concentration camps during the Third Reich and required to wear armbands with a yellow Star of David, very few people, including some gays, realize that countless gay people were also sent to the same camps and forced to wear armbands bearing a Pink Triangle before they, too, were sent to their deaths. … In the hope that gay people will learn more about their illustrious gay family members, the Family Cards were created as part of this game."

WOW. That sounds like an awesome fun game!
posted by ColdChef at 5:05 PM on August 13, 2007

Meh. I'll just wait for the movie.

Will the movie be about the Hollywood edition? Cause, y'know, space-time.
Ollie Gaytor?
posted by ormondsacker at 5:13 PM on August 13, 2007

Wowsers, ColdChef. The only thing I can add to that is that "Straight City" is a tragically missed opportunity to use The Closet.

Per your Free Parking house rule mention, not if you want the game to end this year.

And ormondsacker, I thought you were really cool until I found out that your name probably isn't a Daniel Pinkwater reference.
posted by darksasami at 5:15 PM on August 13, 2007

Will the movie be about the Hollywood edition? Cause, y'know, space-time.

Go directly to rehab. Do not pass out. Do not collect royalties.
posted by crossoverman at 5:24 PM on August 13, 2007

Gay Monopoly

How come the board spaces are in a circular shape and not triangular??
posted by daninnj at 6:18 PM on August 13, 2007

Still no clue as to the origin of the shag version though.
posted by tellurian at 6:43 PM on August 13, 2007

Fines go into the middle, land on free parking you get it all. There's no other way to p[l[ay.

ColdChef, you are wrong. Yeah, I always played it that way too, but that is one of the "house rules" that really does wreck the not-so-delicate balance of the game.

Like the man said in the first link, "In my opinion, Monopoly is not a very good game, even when played without house rules". What he probably means by that is that it is hard to play out the damn thing even under the ordinary rules, and if you inject a sudden, random, infusion of cash into the mix it's all too possible for games to go on forever. That's all the "Free Parking" rule really accomplishes.
posted by yhbc at 6:45 PM on August 13, 2007

Hmm. Or, what the guy that darksasami linked to up above said, only longer, more eloquently, and with actual reference to gameplay statistics and stuff.
posted by yhbc at 7:03 PM on August 13, 2007

posted by MNDZ at 9:57 PM on August 13, 2007


Port Power right back at you.
posted by Wolof at 1:24 AM on August 14, 2007

My favorite Monopoly edition of all time is .com Monopoly. You too can pay $600 million for hot properties like iVillage.com (who I'm sure paid hefty fees to be included on the board).

It was released in 2000, and ceased publishing in 2001. Originally $39.99, and I bought it new in shrinkwrap in 2003 for $5. Utterly and unintentionally hilarious to play.
posted by xthlc at 6:56 AM on August 14, 2007

I have a friend with a middle eastern version. We're curious how it handles interest and mortgages, but our Arabic reading skills are somewhat non-existent.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 7:35 AM on August 14, 2007

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

I second cortex. Why try to spruce up a bad game with some variant mechanism, when there are many legitimately good games already using that mechanism? Why would you try to perk up Monopoly with Puerto Rico-style role selection, when you could just play Puerto Rico?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:05 AM on August 14, 2007

Fines go into the middle, land on free parking you get it all. There's no other way to pay.

House rules like this are for people who fear they can't win by strategy, and want either the chance of a random boost, or to be able to console themselves that "well, I WOULD have won.. but he got the Free Parking pot"
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:41 PM on August 14, 2007

I dig the mymonopoly. Is there an American version?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:46 PM on August 14, 2007

Not that I can find, unfortunately. There is a crappy knock-off, though.
posted by ormondsacker at 2:34 PM on August 14, 2007

House rules like this Games like Monopoly are for people who fear they can't win by strategy

Fixed that for you.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:47 PM on August 14, 2007

Well, that's not quite fair—Monopoly is kind of a shitter as board games go, but you can definitely play it well or poorly. Barring game-breaking house rules, I could house the average ten-year-old.
posted by cortex at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2007

Well, that's not quite fair—Monopoly is kind of a shitter as board games go, but you can definitely play it well or poorly.

I'm not saying there are no strategic decisions to be made in Monopoly. Yes, a person who plays well will win more often than a person who plays poorly. But luck is so much more of a factor than strategic decision-making in that game that it's laughable to suggest that it's made significantly worse by adding an additional element of luck, even one as large as the Free Parking bonus.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2007

Not to play, er, devil's advocate, but the Free Parking bonus (and a worse-yet variant where all moneys are paid to the center for lottery disbursement) do significantly worsen the already-meh game—to the extent that strategic soundness is rewarded under strict play, the house rule weakens that element enough to effectively reward bad play and extend the game arbitrarily.

The RNG problem with Monopoly extends to, for example, Settlers—which despite being yards better as a game over all still falls somewhat to the luck of the rolls. If you added a "if you roll seven two turns in a roll, you get ten wheat" rule, it'd significantly hurt the game despite the fact that luck had already been a driving factor.

FLUXX is one of my favorite indie card games; it's a good little dadaist time, and the closest thing I've yet seen to a straightforward Nomic-in-cards (excepting complicated money-sucker CCGs like Magic, which have a wonderful potential for rules-as-gameplay but tend to focus on combat instead). But FLUXX is frustrating the way that Free Parking is frustrating—the greater the factor of luck, the greater the dissatisfaction with arbitrary results.
posted by cortex at 3:10 PM on August 14, 2007

I suppose I see what you're saying, but to me that's like saying, "Well, Britney Spears may make bland, overproduced pop music, but it would be even worse if you added a kazoo to it." Where you see degrees of badness, I see a point beyond which things should simply be avoided.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:35 PM on August 14, 2007

Fair enough. My wife is bitter that she didn't get to play Monopoly growing up, whereas I'm bitter that I played so many shitty house-ruled games of it; I've taken a middling position on the notion that one day the two of us might be able to sit down and enjoy a game of it, but it's definitely not the game I'd pick.
posted by cortex at 4:05 PM on August 14, 2007

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