Bye Bye A.C.!
Something a bit more lighthearted. From The Record:
Monopoly outgrows A.C.
Monopoly outgrows A.C.
Goodbye, Boardwalk. Hello, Broadway!
On Tuesday, Hasbro, the maker of Monopoly, revealed its latest version of its most popular board game – a more contemporary edition that abandons the Atlantic City streets featured on the game's board since 1935 in favor of more-recognizable landmarks from 22 cities across the country.
After an Internet vote that drew more than 3 million ballots from consumers, New York's Times Square earned the coveted Boardwalk spot and will cost – reflecting the changes since the game's first edition – a cool $4 million. (In a twist sure to roil some New Yorkers, Park Place has been replaced by Boston's Fenway Park.)
The inflated prices are one of several changes that Hasbro believes will make the new version more relevant to today's consumers. Players can go to jail, or perhaps a white-collar, minimum-security prison, for infractions such as insider trading.
Game pieces now include a box of McDonald's fries, a Motorola cellphone and a cup of Starbucks coffee (monopoly, indeed). Some of the classic pieces have given way to more modern interpretations: The Scottish terrier is now a Labradoodle. The open-cockpit race car becomes an environmentally friendly Toyota Prius. And a speedy jet replaces the plodding battleship. None of the companies paid for inclusion in the new edition, Hasbro officials said.
Not everyone was quite as excited about the changes, however. In Atlantic City, the Convention and Visitors Authority's executive director, Jeffrey Vasser, sent a letter this spring asking Hasbro to reconsider, and thousands of residents signed a protest petition. The game's use of Atlantic City points to the city's popularity in the 1930s, when it was sometimes called "The World's Playground."
On Tuesday, Vasser said assurances that the original game would survive, along with the new Community Chest card that gives out $1 million for winning at Atlantic City casinos, have muted the complaints; many residents, he said, had mistakenly believed the new game would replace the old one.
The game's predecessor was invented by Elizabeth Magie, Orbanes said, who intended it to warn against the excesses of unrestrained capitalism. Ironically, once a man named Charles Darrow popularized the game now known as Monopoly using Atlantic City properties, it became a celebration of materialism.