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How to play Monopoly in 2016

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Monopoly Ultimate Banking edition, set for release this fall, removes the worst part of the board game: all that paper. Instead of tangible bills, the game comes with "credit cards," which are scanned by the unit, above, to purchase property and pay rent. In theory, it will expedite a board game notorious for running just long enough to destroy a friendship. (As Gizmodo notes, a similar idea didn't work so well in the past.)

The change certainly reflects how digital money is rapidly supplanting cold hard cash. Nearly every purchase I make happens through digital transaction, either with credit cards, PayPal, or Venmo. Spending money is painless; saving money is harder than ever. I have to be mindful that the rapidly decreasing number in my bank account represents real cash that can deplete to zilch. So I'd say it's easy to argue a credit system is an overdue improvement to a game that is, for thousands of kids, an early introduction to mindfulness about saving money and making investments.

Though if Hasbro really wanted to reflect the modern urban real estate market, they'd change the entire game to my Monopoly rules.

How to play Monopoly in 2016

One player begins the game with all of the real estate, bequeathed to her from a parent who was really good at Monopoly. That player sets the rent cost on all properties at her discretion, increasing the fees with each lap around the board. The other players worry about going broke paying rent, and hope to land on a chance card that gives them some needed supplemental income. Chance cards include "Finally land that book deal" and "Get promoted to a managerial job you don't really want." Once rent fees become impractical, all players will surrender what remains of their money to the singular property owner, and move to a different board either Upstate or on the West Coast, probably near where they grew up, and there they will write a Medium post about how they never really liked living on the other Monopoly board anyway.