In time for the game’s 75th anniversary, Hasbro has announced a major redesign of Monopoly: notably, the ubiquitous Monopoly Money will be replaced by banking cards run through a computer unit.
Given that Monopoly, a real estate trading game that encourages rent-gouging, was initially popularized during the Great Depression, it’s only appropriate that the collapsed-housing-bubble-era redesign functions as a commentary on our cashless society. (I can’t tell whether you’ll be able to buy on credit, but I’m sure various families’ house rules will allow trading of futures and derivatives with other platers.) And the original game will stay on the market, because Monopoly Money remains one of our nation’s great metaphors, sight gags and props. (Also grabbing at it and/or “making it rain” remains the best way to cheat at or otherwise disrupt a game of Monopoly, which is the only way to keep the game from staying in progress on the dining room table for weeks at a time, leading to many difficulties.)
This new game also features a circular board, which doesn’t make any sense given that the game’s original layout more closely mimics the grid pattern of an East Coast city.