I remember the hot summer afternoon in Lubbock when we had the great neighborhood Monopoly game. It started with five or six boys, as many pieces as the standard game contained at the time, the shoe, the car, the scotty dog, the top had, the cowboy, and the iron, of course.
As such games do, this one became an eternity. Late that evening, we moved the board from somebodies driveway into their garage so there would be light to continue. In my memory, my brother wins. He lands on Free Parking and steals all of the pot cash in one fell swoop. It’s not a fair rule, but it’s one we’ve always used. (Monopoly doesn’t allow that “house” rule in tournament play.)
But honestly, I don’t remember who won. I only remember the sense of tension in the entire neighborhood all that day. Monopoly is a brutal win-lose scenario and watching the game unfold fascinated me.
I’m still fascinated by games. Believe it or not, we take the game-ness of T. S. Poetry pretty seriously. Just last night we were scowering through digital stacks of books about game theory, everything from complex mathematics (Game Theory: A Critical Introduction), philosophy (The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia), business self-help (Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life), theology (Theology Remixed), and game design theory (In Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, & Playtesting Games).
With all of the elements of a game bumping around in my head, I couldn’t resist pulling prompts from Monopoly. For better or worse, I still think of it as the great American game–embodying the good and bad of our culture.
Even if you missed the live game last night, you can still participate in this part of the game over the next two weeks!
Here’s what to do: