The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Capitalism explained

I admit it. I am an unrepentant capitalist pig. I enjoy amassing money and property. I would love to be filthy rich. On the other hand, I am too lazy to actually make the effort to do so. Instead, I play Monopoly. On my computer. I spoke of this before. Obviously, I couldn't think of something new to write about so I dragged this subject back out. Live with it.

Monopoly is a game anyone over the age of 7 can play and appreciate. You should try to play with peers, not between adults and kids. Personally, I think kids should only play against kids close to their own age. Within a couple of years anyway.

It is not simply a game, it's a social event. With children, it's a fun game and it teaches how to manage money and purchases as a side benefit. With adults, or even teens, it becomes almost cutthroat. Trickery, guile, sneakiness are all rewarded... just as in real life.

There are strategies that can be used to enhance your chances of winning or prevent another player from gaining too much of an advantage. Strategies do not always work out because the game is a combination of skill and luck. Much depends upon the throw of the dice. But once all properties have been bought and if no one has an important (meaning a "high income" set) then strategy comes to the forefront. Like a poker game, you will have weak players and strong. The weaker players will fall prey to the stronger.

The smart player will figure out which players will make trades that are advantageous for the smart player. The weak player will undervalue a trade. Trades are the best way to control the game. The most basic strategy is to block monopolies by either owning a property in each monopoly set though initial play (roll of the dice) or by obtaining them through trades. Weak players will accept a trade which gives the offering player a monopoly while seemingly gaining more cash and/or property. The smartest players will figure out how manipulate the weaker ones.

I grew up playing the game against an older brother (2 years older) and sister (6 years older). Both of my siblings were devious and basically ruthless. Still are, I suspect. I learned quickly to be suspicious of all trade offers. I also learned to stay out of any game where my brother took on the role of The Bank. He would have a seemingly endless amount of cash available. He embezzled. My sister was more trustworthy as The Bank. Though I learned to closely watch her also.

The game is best played by 4 people. This way, alliances (unspoken, of course) are made and broken. The first goal is to gain the advantage that will carry you through when two players are wiped out and there is just you and one other.

And isn't that just like real life?

No, not exactly. In Monopoly, there is only two taxes: income and Luxury. In real life, taxes are everywhere. In real life, you would have more than just one fee to build a house or hotel. There would be impact fees, assessments, filing fees, permit fees, and local commissioners to bribe. In real life, each player must have at least one lawyer. In real life, the game is much more complex and difficult to navigate. And most of us lose.

2 comments: said...

What were your favorite cheats? especially against older sibs?

A couple of mine:
- short counting starting money
- marking the Community Chest cards
- double counting on one property to hit/avoid a space

Douglas said...

Sixty, you were a bit more creative than I. I did attempt to miscount spaces from time to time but I could never get away with it. My sibs were very observant.