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Monopoly Game Gets Revamped

Photo: Lisa Maree Williams

The days of sitting around an old-fashioned Monopoly game board rolling the dice, using paper money and little figurine markers are over. The game has had a complete technological make-over, and is now using a computer which will monitors each player’s activity.

 The live game made its big debut this week at the annual Toy Fair in New York. It will no longer use dice or paper money, as the computer tower will do all the work.

The ten-inch tower sits in the middle of the game board, using infrared technology to keep track of the action while barking out instructions to players. Move one too many spaces? The all-seeing eye computer tower will know. It even rolls the (virtual) dice for you.

Not every aspect of the Hasbro game will change, however. The core element-the location of properties- will remain the same. Those little hotels, the free parking, and passing “GO” are still part of the game. It’s just that all of the paper components- the money, Chance and Community Chest cards will be taken care of by the computer.

 Instead, players will buy and sell properties by holding their hands over special decals and will check their accounts by inserting ATM cards into the tower.

One pro to the new game is it will cut-down on cheating capabilities. It won’t be possible to hide or trade money, or

Photo: Lisa Maree Williams

 put a bad card on the bottom and get a new one. Players also can’t make illegal deals or swap properties. They have to play by the rules, whether they want to or not.

Another pro is that you don’t have to waste time leafing through the instructions; the computer will tell players what to do at all times. The game will also feature random mini-games, for example a horse race or property auction. This will keep things going and will break up the routine of the game.

You can stick with your original version of Monopoly, but the live version provides a way to combine the board game with a video game, making the game more appealing, and hopefully revive people’s interest in the dying board game industry.

If you want one of the new-and-improved games, you will have to wait until the fall, and will need about $50.

What are your thoughts? This game that’s been around since before my grandparents is now being re-done to match the rest of the electronically-dominated world. I like the idea, but am getting tired of originality being taken over by technology. Why can’t some things just stay the same? Why does everything have to be controlled by a computer? What’s the point of even thinking anymore if everyone’s thinking is done for them, in every situation?

It will be interesting to see if this game wins or doesn’t even pass “GO.”

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