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Monopoly is getting ‘woke’ as upgrade to game cards will now reflect ‘feel-good moments’ instead

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The classic board game “Monopoly” is the latest to be targeted by progressive corporations seeking to upgrade their products to a new cultural era, as Hasbro officials look for consumer input on how to change “Community Chest” cards.

First developed and marketed amid the Great Depression in 1935, the objective of the game is to build wealth by acquiring as many properties as possible and ‘developing’ them by ‘building’ houses or hotels. When a player lands on an owned property, they are required to pay ‘rent’ to the owner; the amount of rent due depends on several factors including the original value of the property and whether or not it has been developed. Property without development brings in the least amount of rent; properties with hotels the most. The game is won by players who form a ‘monopoly’ on property and wealth. 

In addition, players can also land on “Chance” and “Community Chest” spaces in which they must then draw a card from the appropriate stack and follow the instructions therein. Sometimes players ‘win’ by being rewarded financially; other times they are required to pay things like taxes or fees. Other times they are either ordered to “go directly to jail” or can obtain and keep a “get out of jail free” card.

Now, Hasbro wants to change at least the Community Chest cards to make them more ‘woke,’ some observers have said.

“Community is more important than ever before. Vote below and help Mr. Monopoly update the Community Chest cards to include feel-good moments that reflect the best things about being part of a community!” Hasbro notes on a website that allows users to vote for new cards.

“Goodbye Second Place in A Beauty Contest, Hello Shopping Local! Monopoly Is (Finally) Updating the Community Chest Cards – and You Get to Decide How,” says the headline to a company announcement detailing the changes.

All 16 of the cards will be altered.

“The world has changed a lot since Monopoly became a household name more than 85 years ago, and clearly today community is more important than ever,” Eric Nyman, Chief Consumer Officer at Hasbro, said in a statement. “We felt like 2021 was the perfect time to give fans the opportunity to show the world what community means to them through voting on new Community Chest Cards. We’re really excited to see what new cards get voted in!”

The updated game is expected to be released in the fall of 2021.

Community Chest options will no longer feature cards instructing players to pay a “school tax” or receive a sum of money due to a “bank error.” There will be no more mentions of “beauty” contests and no “go to jail” cards.

Instead, cards will contain messages about community volunteering, rescuing puppies, giving blood, and being kind to neighbors. 

Here are a few examples of choices Hasbro is asking consumers to make (Note: The game also no longer uses the $ sign but instead Monopoly’s own symbol for money — the dollar sign is used here for ease of understanding):

“You volunteer your art skills and point a mural at the local school! COLLECT $50” or “You organize a group to clean up your town’s walking path. COLLECT $50.” 

“You volunteer to run the social media accounts for a non-profit art center, and you meet some pretty talented people! COLLECT $100” or “You set aside time every week to hang out with your elderly neighbor — you’ve heard some amazing stories! COLLECT $100.” 

“You didn’t shop local! PAY $50” or “You buy a few bags of cookies from that school bake sale. Yum! PAY $50.”

Jon Dougherty

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