As if there weren't enough ruined relationships and flipped tables scattered across the desolate living rooms of those who ever dared utter the words "Let's play Monopoly!" there is now a Cheater Edition.
After a company-sponsored survey found that “nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games” they decided to “give fans what they’ve been craving all along — a Monopoly game that actually encourages cheating.”
All jokes aside, this is a striking commentary on rising wealth inequality and how it tracks to the mega-monopolies of our time. The game's creator, Maggie Lizzie, always intended the game to be as maddening as it is -- specifically to warn people about the dangers of unchecked capitalism.
The current edition merely ups the ante to reflect the current state of things:
You're probably using one of four banks to buy flights from one of four airlines, despite how they treat their passengers. You arrive at your destination, rent a car, put on your sunglasses, and have a snack. When you get home, you crack open a beer, feed your pet and turn on the TV, only to realize that Disney has taken over the world, and your cable provider still sucks. All of this while largely unaware of how little choice you really had in any of it.
The FDR era warnings against "business as monopoly" laid the case for strong antitrust laws meant to protect small businesses and the average consumer. The ensuing backlash, aimed at protecting freedom, gave rise to fears of "government as monopoly" and brought us to our current conundrum. Who do we trust? Who's incentives align with producing outcomes that are more favorable to us, as consumers?
We talk about blockchain and crypto a lot because we know it holds the answers to these problems. Democratization of goods and services puts the power back into the hands of the consumer, and prevents a handful of players from controlling the game. Creating a platform that allows our users to protect their privacy while cutting out the middlemen is what drives us, and building a blockchain into our product allows us to do that.
Maybe this Cheater Edition of Monopoly will accomplish what the original never could - point out the problems in our current systems, so we can change them for the better.