the monopoly experiment

to understand the new economy i propose the following twist to monopoly:

play monopoly according to all standard rules, you only change your behaviour, viz all players share their money.

So there are two piles of money in the game: one for the bank and one for the players. When a player passes go his income is moved form the bank to the players pile and when a player receives money from another player this is also deposited in the players pile. When a player wants to buy real estate or has to pay rent he takes money from the pile to pay the bank resp his fellow player

One variant of this setup is to start playing the conventional way and after some time, eg when the first bankruptcy occurs, switch to the new behaviour.

2 thoughts on “the monopoly experiment

  1. Jeroen van Beele Post author

    we did a first experiment, here are some of our results:

    explaining beforehand how the original game will be changed lateron during the experiment might influence the behaviour of the players. both with or without beforehand knowledge can be interesting in my opinion.

    several variants can be played:

    • share all the player’s money
    • share all the player’s streets
    • share all the player’s money and streets

    how to start?
    you can start the regular way but then it takes some time before the richer become richer and the poorer become poorer, you may want to speed up this process. we tried one way, viz we distibuted the streets evenly and randomly and started with a negotiation round exchanging and selling streets. that worked quite well, you have to lower the amount of starting money (or distribute that randomly also).

    when to swith from normal to experimental?

    • set a timebox for normal play
    • when the first bankrupcy appears
    • when all streets are bought
    • when the players know beforehand how the game will be changed they could have a say in this, eg when the majority of the players wants to switch, an interesting question in this setup is: when and why does the majority wants to swtich?
    • yet another way of playing is that a player can decide to be part of the commons anytime he wants
    • still another way is to make place for several groups/commons

    in the latter cases it becomes important to understand: what exactly does this change entail?
    eg: can anybody take as much money as he likes at any time he likes? or is there some kind of decision process?

    anyway in our experiment we ran practically immediately into the tragedy of the commons

    this first time we played several things happened:

    a lot of questions came up
    and a lot of creativity was unleashed

    • why still use money?
    • why still make rounds? (because of the income)
    • what extra rules do we need?
    • this pile of money is a commons, how to govern it?

    and some interpretations came up:
    are we playing against the bank or against the state or against nobody?

    although we thought that the game tension would drop once we changed to commons (which was true)
    what actually happened was that our game became a simulation and we were freed from our tunnel vision
    we also had the feeling that capitalism is funny, somewhere between fun and ridiculous

    we noticed that the winners were not eager to switch, even middle class was hesitating
    and finaly collectivisation look liked just another form of monopolisation


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.