Monopoly Redesign: Do not pass Go

Studio 360

This story was originally covered by PRI’s Studio 360. For more, listen to the audio above.

Board game giant Hasbro recently announced a surprising new version of its classic Monopoly board game.  No, it’s not another edition of Chocolatopoly. Monopoly Live, out next fall, will replace the paper money with ATM cards. And a tower at the center of the board will keep track of the money (bye bye, banker!) and enforce the rules (bye bye, cheating Aunt Phyllis!).

But does adding a computer chip to the game make it contemporary? Monopoly was first produced by Parker Brothers in 1935, during the Great Depression. Now, in the age of foreclosures and bank bailouts, some think Monopoly needs to get with the times.

Game designer Brenda Brathwaite says there’s another problem with the game: it’s designed to be boring. “The game is literally just about waiting for people to run out of money and perish,” she told Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen. “The only person who is having any fun is the one person who’s causing this destruction. And that’s not fun considering this can go on for hours!”

How would you redesign Monopoly? New player pieces? A new board with new rules? Should players be able to build something other than houses and hotels? What about highly leveraged loans or environmental impact statements? has a call out for ideas — submit them here by 11:59pm EDT May 1, and they may be featured on the website. Ideas will also go to Brenda Brathwaite, who will create a new-and-improved (if unofficial) version of the game.


PRI’s Peabody Award-winning “Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen” from WNYC is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy — so let “Studio 360” steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.

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