Board games history: incredible but real stories about Monopoly
Posted November 16, 2009on:
Who is Mr Monopoly and What are the real stories around the Monopoly board game?
Monopoly is considered, the father of all modern board games. Its popularity doesn’t know borders or language barriers and from its firsts years of life, it became the favourite board game of kids and parents.
There are so many stories and incredible facts around Monopoly that would be impossible talk about history of board games without making any reference to these events. Friends playing Monopoly in the most unusual ways and people attempting incredible records.
Here you can find some real stories and incredible facts that surround the Monopoly board game:
A Monopoly game was played underground in Greenlay, Colorado, in 1974. Eight boys played and lasted 100 hours. The participants were rewarded with a cake representing a big (and sweet) Monopoly board.
On April 10, 1974 two students at the University of Michigan, David Kemper and David Lichterman painted a big Monopoly board on the ceiling of their dormitory. To defy the gravity laws, the two students had planned to play the game using balloons filled with helium. However, at that time helium was very difficult to find, so the two students made a formal request to Parker Brothers who immediately sent them few barrels of the precious gas.
A curios Monopoly underwater record was attempted by a team of scuba divers in Massachusetts. Parker Brothers technicians worked hard to create a special version of the game that could be used underwater. The result was a waterproof and heavy Monopoly board. In 1983 in Buffalo, 350 underwater divers played a Monopoly tournament for 1080 hours.
Even Monopoly can have its ups and downs according to a dozen people in Torrance, California who played Monopoly in a moving elevator for 148 hours.
1967 in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, a group of students of Juniata College played a game of Monopoly using the streets and sidewalks of the campus as the board. The players moved around the huge board receiving information from bike messengers and radio transmitters.
During the Second World War the Allies used boxes of Monopoly to hide and introduced strategic material for their prisoners in Germany. To help the prisoners escape, Allies secret service transformed Monopoly in a top-secret escape kit, hiding in the game box a compass, small metal tools and a map.
The face drawn on the Monopoly board behind the bars of the prison has a name: “Jake the Jailbird” . According to the legend in 1967 in England, some robbers played a game of Monopoly with the money of their last job.
In 1973, the Atlantic City‘s Public Works superintended proposed to change the name of the real Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, But the bill was vetoed due to the public outcry. Even the then president of Parker Brothers, Edward Parker, wrote a letter to manifest his protest saying that “The Baltic and Mediterranean Avenue belong to America and Americans”.
In the movies “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and “The King of Marvin Gardens” (1972), Jack Nicholson talks about the Monopoly as the game where everything is bought and where you can win or lose everything; as in the real life.
In 1959, during the American National Exhibition in Moscow, six Monopoly boxes were part of the display. At the end of the exhibition, the boxes had mysteriously disappeared. At that time In the Soviet Union, the game was banned to being “too capitalist” . Today there is a Russian version of Monopoly, written in Cyrillic.
Monopoly was a great success in Cuba until Castro came to the power. Fidel ordered the destruction of all the boxes of Monopoly in Cuba.
Following the requests of NASA, Parker Brothers has already created a special Monopoly, using anti fire material (houses and hotels are made of aluminium). The Monopoly board is ready to go to the the space. In fact, the psychologist William J. Beausay believes, that during long periods in the space, the astronauts must have a pass time to help them stand the isolation and the small spaces. Beausay hypothesize a Monopoly tournament in the space with big cash prizes to motivate astronauts and distract them from homesickness.
• more than 160 million boxes sold around the world
• more than 500 million people around the world have played Monopoly once.
• more than 5 billion in Monopoly little green houses have been built since the first board game launch in 1935.
• Monopoly is manufactured under license from Parker Brothers in 43 countries, sold in 80 and translated into 26 languages
• a version of Monopoly was created Alfred Dunhill, with gold and silver houses, was sold for 25 thousand U.S. dollars.
• The longest Monopoly game ever played lasted 1680 hours, equivalent to 70 days
• The longest Monopoly game played in a moving elevator lasted 240 hours. Other unusual games were played n a tree house (286 hours), underground (100 hours), in a bathtub (99 hours) and upside down (36) hours.
• January 24, 1974, the first Lottery Monopoly, was win by Susan Bell in Paris, Tennessee. As a reward she received a box of Monopoly with real money ($15.140 )
• in 1978 the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offered a chocolate version of Monopoly for $ 600.
• In 1934, when the monopoly was presented for the first time at Parker Brothers, the publishing house rejected it because, according to them the game contained 52 fundamental errors
• A Computer research identified the 3 most landed on boxes: Illinois Avenue, “GO” and B&O Railroad.
• Each year are printed only for the English editions notes for the equivalent of 40 billion dollars. More than double those printed by the mint of the United States.
• “Mr Monopoly” is the name of the man drawn on the monopoly box.
Reference: Incredible facts about Monopoly