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Subject: Why so much hate for Monopoly? rss

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Vicki Hobbs
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I play a lot of board games. Until recently, they were all fairly mainstream (in the UK). Now that I'm going 'off the beaten track', it's been interesting to discover that aspects like the quality of artwork plays a significant part in how a game is received in the gaming community. It's something I've never even considered before...Probably because there aren't any beautiful mainstream games that I can think of (though immediately Blokus comes to mind as a game that's nice to look at - but that's obviously not 'artwork' as such). I've picked out the look of a game, but I think there are many different aspects that make a non-mainstream game feel different to a mainstream game...and I know to an extent why hobbyists shy away from the mainstream stuff.

But I wondered why there is quite so much hate for the likes of Monopoly and Cluedo (what we brits call Clue)? There must be a reason why they've been such successful games over the years. Many families (including mine) have spent hours playing and enjoying them. So why so much scorn? Is it largely down to the strong element of luck in them? Is it because they do not play differently enough each time to interest someone who plays board games regularly? Are they too simplistic? It must surely be a combination of factors, as there are games praised on here that are very simplistic, or relying heavily on luck etc. Is some of it down to a bit of game snobbery, in the same way that anyone who says they are 'really into music' can't stand any of the popular stuff?

If you went to a non gamer's house, and they brought out Monopoly/Cluedo etc would you really prefer to play no game at all rather than stoop to those games? Surely a game is a game, and you're still gaining the benefit of interacting with other people in a friendly/competitive way that promotes a feeling of togetherness. The great thing about simple games is that you can continue conversations and enjoy chatting whilst still enjoying the gameplay alongside.

Am I talking rubbish?! Tell me why Monopoly receives so much hate here? Is it simply because there are so many better games out there? (By the way, I'm not a fan of Monopoly but don't dislike it enough to pass up a chance of playing if it was the only game on offer)
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Nicholas Johnson
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They're not the worst boardgames ever like some people say, you can easily find worse, but they're ridiculously popular and mostly surviving by selling pop culture editions of the exact same game over and over again because the gameplay itself has aged like milk. It's also some of the only things people think about when you mention boardgames and it kinda sours the industry to new people. Even if they have fond memories of playing those games, the general consensus is they won't want to play boardgames if that's all they know.

But for a more direct answer: Very strong reliance on dice and luck, lack of decision making, and a generally poorly paced playtime where you'll hit a point that you don't feel like you're doing anything and just waiting for the game to end. There's generally just better games out there for whatever purpose you're pulling them out for.
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Matt L.
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As with anything, are you getting what you want out of that use of your time?

If I were socializing with my grandparents and they wanted to play monopoly, sure, I'll roll some dice just to be part of the group. I won't be invested in the game or its outcome because I'm there for a totally different reason.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I can't speak for anyone but myself, but here are some reasons I don't like Monopoly:
1. Most people don't play it by the rules included in the box -- and the variants they have always used (no auctions, money on free parking) make the game longer. Convincing other players to play by the actual rules of the game is not something I'm interested in. Removing the auctions also removes a lot of decisions.
2. It's a roll-and-move game. As with a lot of games featuring this mechanism, there is a lot of luck. Long games with a lot of luck are not my favorite. (Short games with a lot of luck are OK; long games with limited luck are good too.)

My take on Cluedo is more idiosyncratic. I played once with a group that allowed cheating, and that completely ruined the game for me.
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Lina B
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I don't have any good memories of playing Monopoly. It's always been filled with conflict and it went on forever. I like clue fine, except the roll and move part. It really doesn't add anything but length of play time. It isn't much fun when several turns can be just rolling, moving and taking no other actions. I think the game would greatly benefit from some other kind of move mechanic. I also think it's a time waster that you have to leave a room, and can't return to it on the same turn. If you know the solution, you're just dragging out the game an entire extra turn for literally no reason. We played on Christmas Eve with five players. The fun parts of the game took 15 minutes. The rest of the 45 minutes we played involved endless rolling and moving. I'm not crazy about a game that's 1/3 fun.
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Larry L
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Lina688 wrote:
I don't have any good memories of playing Monopoly. It's always been filled with conflict and it went on forever. I like clue fine, except the roll and move part. It really doesn't add anything but length of play time. It isn't much fun when several turns can be just rolling, moving and taking no other actions. I think the game would greatly benefit from some other kind of move mechanic. I also think it's a time waster that you have to leave a room, and can't return to it on the same turn. If you know the solution, you're just dragging out the game an entire extra turn for literally no reason. We played on Christmas Eve with five players. The fun parts of the game took 15 minutes. The rest of the 45 minutes we played involved endless rolling and moving. I'm not crazy about a game that's 1/3 fun.


This pretty much matches my experiences too. I've only miserable memories of playing Monopoly. Clue is fine, except for the roll and move part of the game. (I do not feel this way about all roll and move games. Clue just does it poorly.)
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John B
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LunaWolvesMan wrote:
As with anything, are you getting what you want out of that use of your time?

If I were socializing with my grandparents and they wanted to play monopoly, sure, I'll roll some dice just to be part of the group. I won't be invested in the game or its outcome because I'm there for a totally different reason.


Very nicely stated.
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Vicki Hobbs
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Interesting, thank you for your responses! I totally get Matt's point about socialising with grandparents, and the reason why you're playing the game. I also didn't think about the variant aspect of Monopoly- I wouldn't have a clue what the real rules are because I've only ever played with my family, and we have honed them to exactly fit how we want to play and what has worked best for us as we were growing up. I would hate having to play it by someone else's rules - even if they were the real ones!
As for the point about cheating...I can't STAND cheating in board games. Even in the card game 'Cheat' (which I think is also called Bullshit) I only like people to 'cheat' by the rules!! Haha! If someone ever cheats in a game against me, I automatically never play with them again!
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lampeter
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Vickivixen wrote:


But I wondered why there is quite so much hate for the likes of Monopoly and Cluedo (what we brits call Clue)? There must be a reason why they've been such successful games over the years. Many families (including mine) have spent hours playing and enjoying them. So why so much scorn? Is it largely down to the strong element of luck in them? Is it because they do not play differently enough each time to interest someone who plays board games regularly? Are they too simplistic? It must surely be a combination of factors, as there are games praised on here that are very simplistic, or relying heavily on luck etc. Is some of it down to a bit of game snobbery, in the same way that anyone who says they are 'really into music' can't stand any of the popular stuff?


Probably all of these are factors. Plus, I think lots of board game hobbyists, especially older ones, have experienced others deriding them for what is/was considered a "childish" hobby. I imagine this particularly bothers people who spend little to no time gaming with children.

Quote:
If you went to a non gamer's house, and they brought out Monopoly/Cluedo etc would you really prefer to play no game at all rather than stoop to those games? Surely a game is a game, and you're still gaining the benefit of interacting with other people in a friendly/competitive way that promotes a feeling of togetherness. The great thing about simple games is that you can continue conversations and enjoy chatting whilst still enjoying the gameplay alongside.


For this, you will find different camps. For some BGGers, social aspects of games are the focus, and while they may prefer to play something else, they will enjoy the mass market game with the right people. Others are more selective about the games they are willing to play, even limiting their scope to certain types of modern games.
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Kate Tristan
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Vickivixen wrote:
But I wondered why there is quite so much hate for the likes of Monopoly and Cluedo (what we brits call Clue)?

It's funny how imprecise the English language is, when you wrote "(what we brits call Clue)" I said no, Brits call it Cluedo, but you obviously meant it the other way- no wonder there are so many rules questions on BoardGameGeek

Clue:
It's funny Clue is the game that helped me find BGG in the first place. I love love the setting of an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery in a mansion, but the actual gameplay of higher rolled dice to get to move to rooms quicker give too much of an upper hand. I originally came here to look for Variants to Clue that would negate the dice advantage.

I'm actually still surprised at the lack of variants for Clue from people who love the setting of the game, but want an added element to the game. Most 'variants' in the files are re-skins of the game. I just saw 1 variant that is more of what I'm talking about & it was only added a month ago- it's about a loose killer in the mansion, but why not more variants for such a popular game?

Monopoly:
How is it SO MANY PEOPLE play Monopoly without the Auction rule? I actually never heard of it before (and never played it that way) because I think most of us were 'taught' the game from playing someone else's copy growing up, then asking our parents to buy us a copy.

I suspect the people that 'taught' us the game, also observed the game from sonemone else, and they ALSO DIDN'T READ THE WHOLE RULES when they bought the game. All people I ever played Monopoly with, if they are the ones to land on a property & don't want to buy it, then it's the next player's turn, nobody ever mentioned putting the property up for auction- that sounds interesting!

I would be interested in playing the game with the auction rules to see if I would love the game.

Also I would never hate Monopoly or Clue- they are the reasons I love board games today more than ever. As a child I loved the feeling of sitting around the table and 'being whisked away into another world' like reading a novel, but with more interaction. Those 2 games are the foundation for the love of board games. But there are elements to each game that I don't love: Monopoly would be its length (going on longer than it should/dragging on) and Clue, wishing there was 'something a little more' to it with the great setting.
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Raymond Morehouse
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Just a personal reason:

I remember liking Monopoly a lot when I was kid for one reason: it was very, very satisfying to win. That offset the fact that it was miserable to lose. The game was fun, ultimately, for one person.

Of course that's very childish. The problem with the game, however, remains. If its only fun for the winner then its not a "good game" for the rest of the players.

For me, a good game is one that I and everyone else enjoys even if they lose. That doesn't mean that you don't play to win, but rather that winning and having fun don't have to go hand in hand.

This makes me realize that I enjoy all of my favourite games even if I end up losing. They are still fun to play even if you don't come out on top.

Incidentally, this is my major beef with Settlers of Catan, another hugely popular "gateway game" with diminishing returns for "gamers." Its not as vicious as Monopoly, but there always seems to be one player who has a really bad time. This is mostly true when you have 4 players.

Clue is different. If you don't have frustration with the dice (three turns in a row rolling 1!) then its still pretty fun even if you don't win. I would still play Clue, but try to find a different variant.
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David Janik-Jones
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Monopoly is fine. Clue is fine. I play games for the social aspect of gaming, not the competitive aspect. If the group is having fun, I'm probably having fun. When you're not focused on winning*, almost any game can be fun.

*I mean, I do play to try to win, but absolutely don't care if I come in utterly and distantly last, as long as the group and the play were fun. I don't find losing a miserable experience.
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Pete
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Hating on Monopoly is cool around here.

Pete (has never understood it)
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Pete
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bwingrave wrote:
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but here are some reasons I don't like Monopoly:
1. Most people don't play it by the rules included in the box -- and the variants they have always used (no auctions, money on free parking) make the game longer. Convincing other players to play by the actual rules of the game is not something I'm interested in. Removing the auctions also removes a lot of decisions.
2. It's a roll-and-move game. As with a lot of games featuring this mechanism, there is a lot of luck. Long games with a lot of luck are not my favorite. (Short games with a lot of luck are OK; long games with limited luck are good too.)

My take on Cluedo is more idiosyncratic. I played once with a group that allowed cheating, and that completely ruined the game for me.
1. Sounds like you hate people, not Monopoly.

2. A casual game of Monopoly will go 60-90 minutes if played properly (no-game lengthening house rules). In a tournament, the time limit usually 90 minutes, though I have seen 75-minute limits. It usually doesn't even take that long. If Monopoly hits my game table, it will usually go about 45 minutes, as most games will end with players knowing they have lost and conceding.

Pete (really objects to the notion that Monopoly is a "long game")
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John McD
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I think is good video on the topic



For me though it's just that there are much more enjoyable games. I won't play the twentieth best game I know for any situation or taste without good reason, and those two are just too far down the pecking order for me.
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John Burt
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I hated Monopoly as a kid. It was random, boring and mean. I wasn't fond of any of the mass market games, but Monopoly was an especially unfun game and served as my example of why I would never want to play boardgames. It wasn't until recently that I discovered hobby boardgames and learned that gaming can actually be a lot of fun, if you play good games. If someone wanted me to play Monopoly today, I'd still refuse - there are so many less annoying things to do.
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Brad Miller
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Because there are "better" games with, in this case, an economic or mystery theme. The fact that these are unknown to the general public, while Monopoly and Clue are, tends to irk those that have recently discovered these "better" games.

Also: Free Parking
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No One
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plezercruz wrote:
Hating on Monopoly is cool around here.

Pete (has never understood it)


Counterculture.

~V
 
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Jim Hill
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I don't hate either of them. Monopoly is better than Cluedo for me.

Monopoly has one mechanism that no other game I know of has been able to implement:

Trade anything, anytime with anyone

(the only caveat is that you can't sell a Get out of Jail Free card for more than $50, but that's just to stop people taking advantage of players who don't know that you can pay $50 to get out of jail anyway)

This rule actually makes Monopoly a highly fluid and freeform game. It's a trading game, not a roll and move game. The roll and move aspect provides high risk (high luck}, it's the trading part of the game that you try to use to mitigate that risk.

It's not a bad game. But it's played badly by a LOT of people.

Cluedo can be played without the dice. Standard move = hall to room or room to hall. The trouble with Cluedo is that if you take the race aspect out of the game, everyone collects the clues at the same speed, and the solution is arrived at together.
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Brad Miller
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Burbage wrote:
I don't hate either of them. Monopoly is better than Cluedo for me.

Monopoly has one mechanism that no other game I know of has been able to implement:

Trade anything, anytime with anyone.


Chinatown?
Genoa?

Maybe not the "anytime" but pretty much, trading things is the whole game.

And, IIRC, there are intangible things you aren't allowed to trade in Monopoly, (purchase options, insurance, immunity, etc.)
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Craig Somerton
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Because there are so many better games out there now.

Monopoly itself is responsible for turning millions of people away from boardgames, people who would probably take great pleasure in playing as an enjoyable exercise, but their experience of Monopoly is that it has very few meaningful decisions, drags on for way too long, has player elimination and is downright nasty.

What really irks me the most is that Monopoly is so dominant in the mainstream marketplace, with so many pointless iterations of the same meaningless game - its gargantuan presence overshadows and prevents people seeing, playing and enjoying a whole raft of truly wonderful games that are a lot more fun to play.
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Bill Cook
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You'll learn that there is excess dislike for just about any game that is popular outside of BGG. This doesn't just apply to mainstream games like Monopoly, Clue and Risk. ChessChess is ranked #414... heck, it's ranked #43 amount abstract games. Come on. Spadesis ranked #1,260; #311 within family games. Scrabble is #1,460. Seriously?

Even within the world of "modern" board games... if it's popular in the non-BGG world, it'll see it's share of hate here. Catan. Catan is #269? MtG is #152.

Monopoly is a special case in that many (most?) of the people hating on it don't play by the rules. Get rid of free parking money and auction off properties that aren't immediately bought and you have a very different game. Maybe not a great game... but certainly something better than #14,796.
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Jim Hill
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Windopaene wrote:


Maybe not the "anytime" ...


QED
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Mike Krajewski
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I would agree with many here. I'd play if someone else wanted to, and by their rules, but there are so many other better games that can fulfill the same idea.

The biggest thing is long play time and Player Elimination don't really go together. The last time I played, my friend didn't ever land on a property so he couldn't buy any. He lasted a long time, doing nothing, because he had no cash and nobody would trade him anything. Then he was eliminated and had to watch the rest of us play it out. It's really boring to be that person. (Incidentally, I feel the same way about Settlers of Catan in that there's usually one person who can't do anything and just has to endure the others playing because they don't have any resources.)

I'd rather play a game where everybody can be engaged and having fun the entire time. Especially if it is long.
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Bill Cook
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anomander64 wrote:
Monopoly itself is responsible for turning millions of people away from boardgames,


I'm having a hard time believing that Monopoly is so terrible that it turns people off from boardgaming and yet it manages to be one of if not the top selling board game for 75+ years.

It's like arguing that Budweiser is the reason people don't drink beer.
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