The venerable king of board games, Monopoly, needs a total makeover. Since 1935, the iconic parlor game has celebrated the excesses of capitalism, allowing players to parlay meager bank accounts and paltry $200 payouts for Passing Go, into massive fortunes in real estate (glitzy hotels on prestigious Boardwalk and Park Place) together with railroad and utility monopolies.
All of which is to say that it doesn’t reflect the current economic downturn and ongoing uncertainty that plagues the markets. Players should be able to mortgage their properties with toxic, sub-prime loans, which could put the banks in distress bordering on failure. The Chance cards should continue to feature the familiar “Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200,” but the charges should be upgraded to massive stock fraud, wire fraud, and insidious Ponzi schemes—updated crimes for our twenty-first century characterized by abject greed and rank corruption.