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This Australian version of Monopoly shows some updates - check out the laptop. But a new edition puts a computerized banker in control of every move.
This Australian version of Monopoly shows some updates - check out the laptop. But a new edition puts a computerized banker in control of every move. Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
For decades the basic rules of Monopoly were: Roll the dice. Collect $200 when you pass Go! Buy, sell or pay when you land on property. And stash away $100 or $500 bills as often as possible. Those rules went out the window last week, with the introduction of a new computer-controlled version of the game. According to the New York Times:
Hasbro showed a preview of the new version, called Monopoly Live, at Toy Fair in New York. It is the classic Monopoly board on the outside, with the familiar railroads like the B. & O. and the development of property. But in the center, instead of dice and Chance and Community Chest cards, an infrared tower with a speaker issues instructions, keeps track of money and makes sure that players adhere to the rules. The all-knowing tower even watches over advancing the proper number of spaces.
In other words, no more negotiating. Or under the table deals. Or cheating. And that's a real loss.
Joey Lee, who studies games as an assistant professor of technology and education at Teachers College at Columbia University, said cheating could actually be instructional.
"I wouldn't necessarily even call it cheating," he said. "In many cases a gamer's mind-set is coming up with new and novel approaches to winning, and to a certain problem at hand. That's exactly the kind of mind-set we need as far as 21st-century skills."
Hasbro hopes the game will attract a younger audience that's not often interested in classic board games. But, for those who need the feel or real, fake Monopoly money between the fingers, the company promises it will still sell the original after the 21st century version launches.