Update: Monopoly Empire does in fact have a jail, a Hasbro representative told Fast Company and tweeted from Hasbro’s Twitter account. The media frenzy about Hasbro removing the classic corner square was originally sparked by a comment from Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy, who told the Wall Street Journal the jail was removed from the new game.
I have fond memories of playing board games when I was a kid. We didn’t have that scheduled board game night, but my family, sitting around the table playing one of our favourite games, was a regular and frequent occurrence.
It never really mattered which game we were playing; it was more that we were playing a game together.
So it concerns me to learn that games are not as much a part of life as they once were.
We are all busy. We don’t really have time to sit down and spend two or three hours playing a game. I get it. But I can’t help but feel as though kids who don’t get to experience those hours-long board game nights will be missing out on something.
Monopoly – one of the typically longer board games – no longer has jail time, because its manufacturer, Hasbro, figures kids don’t have time to waste in the slammer. Certainly no one on Wall Street does – so at least the game is realistic, right?
The change speeds up the pace, so Hasbro’s new Monopoly Empire, can be played in just 30 minutes for those kids who are just too busy running around to dance lessons, band practice and soccer tryouts.
And, unlike in the original version of Monopoly, players are not fighting to own properties – they’re competing to buy brands, such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
As more board game companies roll out faster, easier versions of their games, should we be concerned? Scrabble Flash can be played in just two minutes and 30 seconds. Is that even enough time to register you’ve just played?
Perhaps we’re just moving on to different types of game time, and the future of family time is destined to be in front of a television or computer, but on the Wii, or in the World of Warcraft.
It’s a sad thought that our busy lives can’t open a tiny bit of time to sit, be immersed in a board game, laugh, scheme and experience something that will last a lifetime.
I still remember and value the memories I have of my family playing board games when I was younger, and I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.