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Monopoly Mod

Created by Francesco Crocco

Objective
To simulate how class inequality increases over time due to inherited wealth, land, and privilege

Procedure
1. Define the word “monopoly” and talk about the ideas that the game embodies (competition, monopolization, survival of the fittest, level playing field, social mobility, the American Dream)

2. Make teams and assign each team a different class profile. I use the American profiles in Gregory Mantsios’ “Class in America: Myths and Realities,” Rereading America, 6th ed., ed. Colombo, Cullen, & Lisle (NY: Bedford St. Martin, 2004) 331-45.

3. Answer and discuss question one

4. Review the rules and write each profile’s starting assets on the board

Modified Rules
1) Players start with unequal amounts of money and land (this corresponds roughly to
“Samuelson’s Pyramid” in Mantsios’ essay)
a. Harold, Capitalist: $4000 + Boardwalk, Park Place, & 3 Railroads
b. Bob, Middle Class Worker: $1500 + New York Ave
c. Cheryl, Lower Class Worker: $1000
d. Maria, Immigrant Worker: $500

2) Fortune Die: Each time a player passes go, roll a six-sided die for a random event to
simulate privilege. Implement the outcome in terms of monetary rewards or fines.
a. Capitalist: 1 bad, 2 nothing, 4-6 good
b. Middle Class Worker: 1-2 bad, 3-4 nothing, 5-6 good
c. Lower Class Worker: 1-3 bad, 4 nothing, 5-6 good
d. Immigrant Worker: 1-4 bad, 5 nothing, 6 good

3) No private transactions are allowed

4) End the game after 3 turns around the board (3 Rounds). Should take 60 minutes.

5) If someone besides Harold is winning after three rounds, they get extra XP

5. Answer and discuss questions two and three

Sample Random Events
Good: stock gain, tax cut, subsidy, award, raise, promotion, welfare

Bad: rent hike, stock loss, unemployment, tuition hike, bail money, tax hike, medical expense

Pre-game Question
1) How do you think the game will end for your character?

Post-game Questions
2) How did inherited wealth, land and privilege affect the outcome of the game? How did it specifically affect your character?

3) How can opportunity be made equal?

Image credit: mtsofan