Because of my analness, one thing I hate even more than playing the game is seeing bent-up Monopoly money scattered around the game board or crumpled up under a couch cushion. When I found the Electronic Banking edition for the boys, I figured it was the perfect gift. After all, reviews have said that this version makes "setup and cleanup so much easier." Those are words that make me happy.
Last night, after Christmas dinner was scarfed and before the gingerbread was sliced, they ripped off the shrink wrap, selected their game pieces (a Segway, a flatscreen TV, a tin of Altoids, and other "modern icons"), picked a bank card color, and started figuring out the new rules. Everyone starts with $15 million (just like in real life!) and instead of property being bought in amounts of $100, $250 or $500, it's now in terms of K's and millions. Now, when you pass "GO" you say, "Hand over 2 million please!"
For the next fifteen minutes, I heard Zoe saying: "Sure, I'll buy South Beach. Woo Hoo! I get to buy Disney World! Yeah, I want Wrigley Field." At the same time, Zach kept complaining: "It sucks to go last. You are definitely at a disadvantage. All of you have at least twice as much property as me. Oh good, I get to go to jail. I guess it's safe to say I've pretty much lost!" These are the phrases I am all too familiar with, but usually it's me saying them. His real scare came when Charlie, who was managing the bank card calculator, informed Zach that he was down to $6.5 million.
"What? How can it be so low? Where did all my money go?" Seriously, these are questions that 40-somethings were just asking about a year ago. Hearing a 13-year-old ask that was a little unnerving.
"Oh. Sorry. I mean $16.5 million. My bad." Unfortunately, this is not the answer that those 40-somethings had the pleasure of receiving. Zach let out a loud sigh of relief and managed to not lunge across the table to smack his brother in the head.
According to the game description, "The bank cards operate more like debit than credit, so players will learn responsible money management, not how to run up credit card debt." Well, that's all fine and good, but hearing someone that still has meltdowns and thinks that Ring Pops are expensive say, "Sure, I'll buy O'Hare for $2 million" definitely takes some getting used to.
When Doug wasn't getting me a beer or rescuing Zoe from "the grossest ladybug ever," he was landing on all of her properties, and paying her $170K, $200K, and then $220K. After landing on the fourth property, he said: "Geez Zoe. It seems like all I'm doing is giving you money." Unfortunately, I have a feeling this isn't the last time I'll ever hear this phrase.