World Domination: A Game of Monopoly

Have you ever played the based on real life game of Monopoly?  If so, do you have a favourite pewter token that you almost always play with?  I do!  Mine is the boot.  Most of us could do a decent job to describe the game of Monopoly in general terms.  This is because this game is everywhere with different versions, and themes like SpongeBob, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, but the main concept remains unchanged.

Monopoly was inducted into the US National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.  The Strong which is where the Toy Hall is housed, and its Curator, Nicolas Ricketts, published a story about its acquisition of a historic 1933 “tie-box” Monopoly set in 2010.  Known as the Heap Folk Art Monopoly, this version predates the accepted Monopoly “inventor” Charles Darrow’s published version by about 20 years.

It is now accepted that conceptual versions of Monopoly with local landmarks existed as early as 1910.  Better called “homemade Monopoly boards” represented the local users area landmarks, such as John Heap’s Altoona, PA (USA) version which he made for his son, Roy.  Roy’s memories of playing his father’s version from 1910 – 1917 helped Professor Ralph Anspach win his version called Anti-Monopoly in 1975.  The toy company General Mills which owned the games’ rights, sued Anspach for use of the Monopoly name, but the US Supreme Court supported claims that pre-Darrow versions of the came existed.

If we were to go back even further, we will find that a 1903 version of Monopoly was first born, effectively being designed as an educational tool to explain the theory of a single tax.  Her game was called “The Landlord’s Game” which she published in 1906.  Similar to today’s version, her game play involved owning, developing and selling land.

At the heart of the game of Monopoly is an economic concept in which the goal is to have sole control of the market.  Players use their turns to buy, trade and develop land through ownership of houses and hotels.  Players collect rent and dominate land to bankrupt opponents.  It is important to remember that even if the bank runs out of physical cash, the game goes on.

A well liked feature of the game is the “Jail” portion where if a player is sent to jail, direct play puts said player in jail.  To be released, player must pay $50, roll a double, or possess a “get out of jail” card.  This is different for “visiting jail”, where the player has NOT been sent to jail.

Many versions of this well liked game exist.  The US versions held mainly colour changes, flat $200 Tax, and altered wording references (like poor tax to speeding fine).  This version’s properties reference Atlantic City, New Jersey.  A note of interest in the standard US version is that in 1995, Parker Brothers acknowledged the misspelling of the now Marven Gardens, and acknowledgement of the four railroads that served Atlantic City in the 1930s.


As for the UK version, the interesting part of its beginning is that in the 1930s John Waddington Ltd sent a card game they developed and called Lexicon to Parker Brothers to entice the US counterparts to publish the Lexicon.  Parker Brothers also sent over their copy of Monopoly to the Waddingtons in early 1935 in the same spirit.  A transatlantic call ensued when Victor Watson of Waddingtons called Parker Brothers.  He believed that for the game to be accepted in the UK, locale names had to be replaced.  A trip to London with this secretary took place for this purpose.  In countries in the Commonwealth with Canada as exception, the standard British version was used.

More recently, modernized US and UK versions were made to include a “mega”, “here and now” and digital editions.  There have been token additions and retirements, currencies additions and cost changes, die variations, just to name a few, but a basic monopoly set includes cards, deeds, dice, houses, hotels, money, tokens, and rules.

Official rules specify the parts of the game that make this a truly spectacular entertainment worthy of its game length.  Chance and Community Chest, Jail, Properties, Mortgaging, Bankruptcy, House rules, and at this very central the Bank are all vital parts of Monopoly.

Support Youth Organizations that Change Lives

Be Prepared”, as a phrase, is synonymous with reliability, courteousness and wholesomeness.   So too is the three-finger “salute”, the raising of the three middle fingers of the right hand, that has come to represent the Scouts.  The Scout uniform, both for girls or women and boys or men was another well-known characteristic which was designed to remove indications of social class.  The neckerchief and campaign hat (or head wear) made every member equal.

Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low is the founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA), which started in 1912 in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.  She met Lord Baden-Powell while she was in the United Kingdom and then envisioned a similar movement for girls in the United States.  Eighteen girls attended the first meeting, and thus began an organization by women for girls and women for the empowerment of women in society.

While the Girl Scout Promise & Law has changed over the years, it aims to teach girls and women to embody self-respect, other-centeredness, and social responsibility.  “I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”  As of 2011, GSUSA membership held approximately 2.2 million youth and almost 900 thousand adults with Anna Maria Chavez as its present Chief Executive Officer.

Lord Baden-Powell, as mentioned above, was an officer in the British Army and founder of the Scout Movement in Europe.  The Scout Movement was started to support youth’s physical, mental and spiritual development.  Focusing on outdoor activities and survival skills, the Scout Movement set out to direct youth to become constructive members of British society.  In 1910, a female equivalent was created which was known as the Girl Guides.  Out of the Scout Movement, the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) came to be, and in 2007 Scouts worldwide celebrated its first centennial!

Meanwhile, in a country not so far away, Scouts Canada with French affiliate Association des Scouts du Canada,  was founded in 1914 and a member of WOSM.  With statistics from 2011, Scouts Canada is the largest youth organization in Canada.  It aims to “help develop well rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world.”  One unique feature of Scouts Canada is its co-ed program.  Another is its commitment to diversity.  Scouts Canada’s badge design contains the fleur-de-lis and the maple leaf within the tent formation of two sticks.  Clearly, allegiance to country and organization forms the unspoken helm of Scouts Canada.  Their fundamental beliefs are “Duty to God, Duty to Others and Duty to Self”, and have a non-discriminatory policy on the basis of gender, culture, sexual orientation or religious belief.  It is also important to note that Scouts Canada members are not required to be adherents of any religion.

There is almost no place in the world that does not know of the Scouts.  There are many youth centered organizations with different mottoes, goals and objectives.  The Boys and Girls Brigade, the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, and YWCA are just some honorable mentions but the list is endless.  Lord Baden-Powell said, “Teach Scouts not how to get a living, but how to live”, and Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  If the purpose we invest in the youths of our society is found anywhere between these two statements, then perhaps there is a chance we may see our world revolutionized for the better!



‘Early to bed’


Early to bed and early to rise:
If that would make me wealthy and wise
I’d rise at daybreak, cold or hot,
And go back to bed at once. Why not?

Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century (University of Iowa Press, 1997)

The Way Back

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I arrived here and the places I have been to.  I sense a slow yearning to return to where I came from.  I wonder if the the old adage, “You can never go home”, is true for everyone…if it’s true for me.

It has been 10 long years since I’ve left.  I reminisce friends and places from that time.  Slowly, I am reconnecting socially, their faces have changed but their smiles are ever more warming and welcoming.  I wonder  about the secret to their happiness.  Do I possess it also?

While I think about going to where they are, I loathe to leave the place I now call home.  My loved ones are dear to me, and I would not dream of leaving.  You see, in my absence, I’ve found love in two individuals who are a  part of me now.  We are joined in heart, soul, mind and spirit.  To go back is to leave a larger part of me.

What is the way back?

One Day At A Time

 My son is now 2.5 years old, and I still live by the old adage, “one day at a time”. I can’t remember who suggested this to me, but there are days when I cannot sort out where the start and end is. Postpartum depression is not something I chose as part and parcel of starting a family. I imagined bearing a child as one of life’s happiest events.

Am I unhappy today? No, this is not true. Just last night, I sat in our living room with my husband and felt utterly contented. I had no wants and lacked nothing. I would choose to re-live that moment again. How about you?