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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Games People Play

Avey learned the other day that we are the proud owners of Parker Brothers’ Monopoly (we received it as a wedding gift, but have played it probably once since then). She became very excited at this new knowledge, and insisted that we bust it out and play. Kira has introduced her to Old Maid and Go Fish in weeks past, with intermittent expressed interest from the girl, but I think Avey was particularly excited for Monopoly because it’s the game “all of the other reindeer” would not let Rudolf play. It seems the song piqued her interest as to why a quadruped would desire to play such a game, why the rest of his species would disallow such a thing, and how the game is playable with hooves in the first place.

In any case, we introduced the game to her. As games go, Monopoly is a bit on the complicated side for college graduates like us, so we were not sure how to explain the rules of play to a preschool-aged child. At the first engagement she disregarded instruction and instead decided that the game was played by talking about all of the shiny “tokens” and then looking at all of the pictures on the “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards, and asking the opponent what the pictures depicted. However, at next play, Kira decided she would introduce elements of play. Avey seems to have liked that, for when we played today she taught me how it works:

  1. Avey gets all of the green property, because green is her favorite color.

  2. Avey gets all of the houses, because they are green.

  3. Avey may place houses on her property at any time.

  4. Any time Avey rolls the dice she gets to pick money from the stack (you’ll notice her spoils in the picture above).

  5. Avey can put her opponent in jail at any time during the game (but she usually pretends to open the door immediately to expunge all charges and free the opponent).

  6. Avey’s token is always the bag of money; her opponent is always the thimble.

  7. When Avey rolls the dice and there are too many dots, she may turn the dice to find a lower number of dots, at her discretion.

  8. The relative value of the money is determined not by the numbers printed thereon, but by the color of the paper upon which they are printed; prettier colors are worth more than less pretty colors.

These are just a few of the rules to which I had to adapt to survive in the game. In fairness, however, she did allow me full access to the hotels, if only for the reason that they are not green.

*Click here for the real Games People Play.*


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