Say goodbye to one of the few remaining cornerstones of childhood. The Monopoly board as we know it is being supplemented with a new version Hasbro believes will appeal more to today's swaggy youth. Time to welcome in the new age of chaos—because Monopoly Empire is about to be coming to you totally jail-free.
Update #1 - 6:00PM: Despite the Wall Street Journal clearly stating that "there is no longer a 'jail'" in the Monopoly Empire game, The Atlantic Wire is now reporting that there are, in fact, still jail spaces. We've reached out to Hasbro for comment ourselves, and we'll update again once we've received a statement.
Update #2 - 6:13PM: Hasbro has gotten back to us with the following:
The Monopoly Empire game has a different game play where players buy and sell brands, rather than real estate but there are still the traditional ‘go to jail’ spaces on the board.
They have NOT been removed from the game or any Monopoly games.
While this doesn't change the fact that this new, 30-minute game is only further coddling an already spoiled generation, it seems like, at least for now, we can rest easy with our jails firmly in tact.
Just to be clear: You'll still be able to buy the old version of Monopoly, for now, the one with consequences. But this latest iteration will be a jail-less dystopia.
We should've seen it coming, as far back as when Hasbro forced Americans to sentence one cherished token to an untimely death. Our noble iron never stood a chance.
But oh no, they weren't done there. They then replaced that pillar of youth with something a little more appealing to the kids, a little more "hip." Hasbro asked the children of the internet what they wanted and, to absolutely no one's surprise, the internet responded with its answer for everything: Cat.
So fine, the game pieces have changed. At least the soul of the game is still intact, right? Not quite. The powers that be over at Monopoly headquarters had their fun little experiment with democracy, but now they've decided to take matters into their own hands. And that means, in the new Monopoly Empire game (where you buy brands instead of properties, which is a whole other set of problems) axing jail.
That's right. In this new Monopoly, jail is gone. Dead. No more. And why? Because Hasbro thinks kids these days are too busy. What with the soccer practice and the ACT tutoring and the Xbox and the twerking and the Bieber fever, hours of gameplay is just too much for their poor little brains to handle. The removal of jail—and all subsequent order and civility in Monopolyland—has allowed the average game to be shaved down to a measly 30-minute affair. And I'm calling bullshit.
Some of my most cherished (if not personally defining) moments have come from the hours turned to days turned to weeks that I spent playing a single game of Monopoly. Was it torturous? Yes. Was I miserable? Sometimes. But it's in that occasional torturous misery that you form some of your most cherished memories, and learn a thing or two about life.
I learned about the corruption buried deep within the United States' financial system when I realized that my older sister always demanded to be the banker so she could pocket cash while my and my brother's backs were turned. I developed critical thinking and a healthy skepticism of salesmen as my older brother attempted to convince me throughout my first ten years of life that buying properties really wasn't worth it in the long run. And I learned about perseverance; getting up and walking away from the game simply wasn't an option. Initially because my siblings would beat me if I tried to stop playing, sure, but eventually because of my own sheer force of will. It's no wonder kids these days don't have the attention span they used to—they're never even given the opportunity to develop it.
No society functions without prison, and what are boardgames but a miniature representation of our modern world? Our greatest memories and relationships in life come from bonds formed through hardship and perseverance, and depriving the next generation of that should be a jail-able offense. Which these days, apparently, doesn't mean anything at all. [The Wall Street Journal via The Atlantic]