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The new, high-tech Monopoly game: 'No more fun'?
A new version of the classic board game ditches the dice and paper money in favor of an ominous computerized tower. Did Monopoly really need a Big-Brotherish update?
 
The new Monopoly swaps money, dice and cards for an all-knowing computer tower that tells players what to do and when to do it.
The new Monopoly swaps money, dice and cards for an all-knowing computer tower that tells players what to do and when to do it.
Screen shot, nytimes.com

At this week's New York Toy Fair, Hasbro unveiled Monopoly Live, a radical, cashless new version of the classic game. While the properties remain the same, the money and dice are gone, as are the Chance and Community Chest cards — all replaced by a monolithic tower in the board's center, equipped with an infrared camera and speaker. The bossy, "all-knowing tower" counts money and collects rent, ensures players move the correct number of spaces, and issues instructions in a chipper digital voice. Does the new version take all the fun out of capitalistic one-upmanship? (Watch a demo of the new game)

How unnecessary: I'm "all for gadgets and tech," but this is a pointless makeover, says Christen da Costa at Gadget Review. The original Monopoly was "one of the most iconic board games" ever: "If it ain't broke, don't fix (change) it."
"Monopoly Live board game kills dice and money, institutes God like tower computer"

It's a total buzz kill: "So no more slipping notes between sofa cushions, no more 'miscounting' when moving pieces, and no more fights and disputes?" asks Jessica Furseth at TechDigest. That all sounds like "no more fun." It seems like the new version's computerized tower does nearly everything for you. Boring! At least the classic version is still available.
"Electronic Monopoly board takes cheating out of game (and all the fun)"

It sounds downright antisocial: "The game is strikingly devoid of any actual human interaction," says Kyle Studstill at PSFK. From "an interaction design perspective," the new version is tantamount to a "purely random-event environment," essentially a game where players just roll the dice to see who scores higher. Sigh.
"Monopoly Live: Is a game that controls everything for you really a game?"

C'mon, it's actually more social: There's still plenty of social interaction, says Jane Ritson-Parsons, a Monopoly global brand leader, as quoted in The New York Times. By ditching the instruction book, the new version allows more time for chatting and encourages "a lot more face-to-face interaction."
"No dice, no money, no cheating. Are you sure this is Monopoly?

 

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