Buying up property, hitting doubles, going to jail, landing on Chance, and getting free parking are part of the cultural phenomenon that is Monopoly. Monopoly is one of the most popular and beloved board games among the young and old alike. Monopoly is not just a favorite it is a long time favorite.
Questions seem to surround the history of the famous board game that clouds the difference between fact and folklore. A careful examination of the history of the game uncovers a number of interesting and intriguing tidbits of information.
Parker Brothers claim that Charles B. Darrow created Monopoly during the height of the depression. In 1934, Darrow created the game and attempted to sell the game to Parker Brothers. The game was rejected, due to 52 important design errors. Parker Brothers cited several reasons to reject the game. Monopoly required too much time to play, it was too complex, and it far too technical.
The game seemed doomed for failure but Darrow was not going to stop. Charles Darrow contacted a friend who was in the printing business and sought ways to publish the game on his own. Darrow was able to create 5,000 copies and sold them to a department store in Philadelphia. Monopoly was an instant hit. The game was quickly selling out and in high demand. People loved the game and its promise of fame and fortune.
Before long, Monopoly became so popular that orders for the game were pouring in. Darrow was no longer able to keep up with the demand. In 1935, Charles Darrow returned to Parker Brothers to attempt to sell the game again. This time Parker Brothers bought the game and George Parker begin editing the game.
George Parker made a number of changes to the game to address some of the flaws Darrow did not remove. Parker edited the rules and insisted that instructions for shorter games be included. Parker also instituted a set time limit for the game. Parker also made changes to the design of the board by not including spaces for the Chance or Community Chest cards, a $300 Income Tax, and property values were not printed on the board. Parker added illustrations to the Chance and Community Chest cards. The cards lacked the now familiar character Uncle Pennybags. The rich uncle was not added to Monopoly until a later date.
For the 65th anniversary of the game, Parker Brothers released statistics on the game play of Monopoly. Over 200 million Monopoly games have been sold around the world and an estimated 500 million have played the game. Monopoly is available in 37 different languages. Monopoly has become one of the world’s most popular board games. The popularity of the game shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.