When you and few family members gather 'round for a game of Monopoly, what are your house rules? $500 on Free Parking? Travel between railroads? No auctions? Whatever they are, there's a chance one of them might become an official rule in a couple weeks — but that may not be a good thing.
Monopoly is having an event on its Facebook page in which various popular house rules are to be debated until, on April 3, one will be adopted as an official rule.
The first up on the block is "Frozen Assets," where while in jail, you can't collect rent from other players landing on your properties. Sound familiar? Just a few hours after posting, there are already hundreds of comments as people discuss the merits of this and other rules (with Mr. Monopoly trying desperately to keep people on task).
But do the rules really need revising? Monopoly is known to many as a game that drags on for hours — yet the reason it does so is often the house rules that offer free money, lower taxes, and otherwise soften the cutthroat nature of the game. After all, it is all about making deals unfair to others and driving them out of business.
Perhaps a rule should be added that if you don't play by the rules, no being surprised when the game doesn't go the way it should!
That said, some of those rules do serve a purpose: keeping kids in the game long enough to learn the ropes, for instance, or giving everyone a chance to build up a little empire (which takes hours to wear down through rent attrition).
If you feel strongly about it, chime in on the debate at Monopoly's Facebook page, where new rules will be posted every day for consideration. And don't worry: even if a rule you don't like becomes official, you can still ignore it — just like people always have!
First published March 25 2014, 12:27 PM