Stuffed with Adderrall and raised on iPads, it's perhaps no surprise that young people don't have the patience for a good old-fashioned round of Monopoly. That is why Hasbro is introducing Monopoly Empire, which has erased the game's signature jail in the hopes of cutting the playing time down to 30 minutes.
It's part of a move by the company to introduce what the industry is calling "snack toys" for kids who are too busy texting to spend five hours playing a board game.
"Parents and children tell us they want a quick in-and-out, frictionless gaming experience," Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president of marketing at Hasbro, tells The Wall Street Journal "That's the snackable component."
Monopoly will still be available in its original form. If the new version catches on, however, a younger generation could be deprived of the joys of arbitrarily being sent to jail in a game centered around real estate development. Not only that, but Monopoly Empire will cut out properties all together.
Instead, players will purchase brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald's. While it could teach children valuable lessons about corporate takeovers, some adults, like Gizmodo's Ashley Feinberg, aren't so thrilled with the new Monopoly, :
Some of my most cherished (if not personally defining) moments have come from the hours turned to days turned to weeks that I spent playing a single game of Monopoly. Was it torturous? Yes. Was I miserable? Sometimes. But it's in that occasional torturous misery that you form some of your most cherished memories, and learn a thing or two about life. [Gizmodo]
Hasbro is also releasing new versions of Scrabble and Boggle, both of which have been reduced to more "snackable" proportions.
"Scrabble Flash can be played in just two minutes and 30 seconds. Is that even enough time to register you’ve just played?" complains The Globe and Mail's Amber Daugherty. "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."
Of course, adults could just be overreacting. Some old-timers complained earlier this year when Monopoly replaced its iron token with a cat. Children, however, probably didn't lose too much sleep over the switch.
In fact, the parents who complain about their kids spending too much time with their electronic devices, instead of sitting back and enjoying a board game of indeterminate duration, are probably guilty of the exact same sin.
"There is tension there," Michael Shore, vice president of global consumer insights at Mattel, tells The Wall Street Journal, "because young parents are spending more of their time on social media, modeling that behavior."