Monopoly Is Getting Rid of Jail. That's Some Bullshit. (Updated)

By Ashley Feinberg on at

Say goodbye to one of the few remaining cornerstones of childhood. The Monopoly board as we know it is being tossed to the wayside in favour of a version Hasbro believes will appeal more today's swaggy youth. Time to welcome in the new age of chaos — because Monopoly is about to be coming to you totally jail-free.

We should've seen it coming, as far back as when the Hasbro sadists forced us to sentence one cherished token to an unseemly death. Our noble iron never stood a chance.

But oh no, they weren't done there. They then replaced that pillar of youth with something a little more appealing to the kids, a little more "hip." Hasbro asked the children of the internet what they wanted and, to absolutely no one's surprise, the internet responded with its answer for everything: Cat.

So fine, the game pieces have changed. At least the soul of the game is still intact, right? Not quite. The powers that be over at Monopoly headquarters had their fun little experiment with democracy, but now they've decided to take matters into their own hands. And that means axing jail.

That's right. Jail is gone. Dead. No more. And why? Because Hasbro thinks kids these days are too busy. What with football and the Xbox and the twerking and the Bieber fever, hours of gameplay is just too much for their poor little brains to handle. The removal of jail — and all subsequent order and civility in Monopolyland — has allowed the average game to be shaved down to a measly 30-minute affair. And I'm calling bullshit.

Some of my most cherished (if not personally defining) moments have come from the hours turned to days turned to weeks that I spent playing a single game of Monopoly. Was it torturous? Yes. Was I miserable? Sometimes. But it's in that occasional torturous misery that you form some of your most cherished memories, and learn a thing or two about life.

I learned about the corruption buried deep within the financial system when I realised that my older sister always demanded to be the banker so she could pocket cash while my and my brother's backs were turned. I developed critical thinking and a healthy skepticism of salesmen as my older brother attempted to convince me throughout my first ten years of life that buying properties really wasn't worth it in the long run. And I learned about perseverance; getting up and walking away from the game simply wasn't an option. Initially because my siblings would beat me if I tried to stop playing, sure, but eventually because of my own sheer force of will. It's no wonder kids these days don't have the attention span they used to — they're never even given the opportunity to develop it.

No society functions without prison, and what are boardgames but a miniature representation of our modern world? Our greatest memories and relationships in life come from bonds formed through hardship and perseverance, and depriving the next generation of that should be a jail-able offence. Which these days, apparently, doesn't mean anything at all. [The Atlantic]

Update: Looks like the jail is staying. We wonder whether it was the furore that made them change their minds?