Monopoly – Good Or Bad ?

Connor (9) arrived back from staying at an aunts with a new version of the board game Monopoly.
This one is the “E-Banking” edition.
Rather than having stacks of cash to covet or spend, each player gets a “credit card” and the banker has a terminal into which the card can be inserted and the balance shown and then adjusted. During the first game, I started to feel uneasy…

Inflation

They have increased all of the monetary values in this version of the game. To buy a house costs anywhere between £500k and £2m so that sounds “about right” in todays climate, if you can get a mortgage, but that’s a different blog for a different day!
Passing “Go” credits the user with £2m, I just wish I had that sort of regular income ! Mind you if I has the initial capital of £15m would I care?

“Bank” Card

The plastic card that each use is given is branded as “Visa”. I have not checked the booklet to see if they use the term “credit” or “debit”, but Connor immediately used the term “credit card”. This is strange as the credit card is something that we very rarely use so he is obviously just picking this up from TV.
I must admit that I did get a shiver down my spine when he kept saying “I’ll just buy that with my Credit Card!”

Visibility

Just yesterday I was listening to a radio article which highlighted that the majority of people in debt do not know how much debt they have. This game just propogates that concept. Connor would periodically ask me to check how much money was on his card, but when we play the traditional game he has a huge wedge of cash in front of him and is is easy for him to see how much he is beating my by !

I know that this is just a game. The reason that this was one of my favourites was two fold.
1) It taught you the value of items, you have to save for them if you can’t afford then right now.
2) It got kids used to handling cash and reinforced the fact that it is a transaction, they are giving something to get something in return.

I feel that this is a step to far and simply waving a credit card to buy things until you run out of money is not something that I particularly want to encourage.

Where did I put the “old” version?

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