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The name of the game

October 23, 2011

You have most probably played Monopoly, board game about selling and buying properties. More than hundred years, and a number of market crashes since its invention, the game still keeps attraction. But, have you ever heard of Elizabeth Magie Phillips?

It was Elizabeth Magie, born in Illinois, who patented predecessor to this popular game in 1904, under the name of The Landlord’s game. She strongly believed the distribution of wealth through buying and renting of land benefited some, to the detriment of others. As a Quaker and political activist, she wanted to enlighten people about complexity and traits of the property markets, thus created the game with buildings, banks, tenants and landlords. She hoped, when played by children, the game would provoke their natural suspicion of unfairness, and that they might carry this awareness into adulthood. The Landlord’s game gained popularity in early 20s and even college professors started to use it as a learning tool in their classes.

It was redesigned and renamed as Monopoly in the 30s and has since sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Neiman Marcus, American luxury retail department store, once sold all edible chocolate editions. The most expensive was worth staggering 2 million $, made of gold, with rubies and sapphires embedded in the top of each house and hotel. With the real estate crisis persistently lingering, maybe we should reconsider retreating to Elizabeth’s roots and start playing Landlord’s game, rather than Monopoly.

From → Get Inspired

  1. Thanks! When we played it as kids, it ALL about Greed. 🙂

    Here’s one updated version:


  2. So many good ideas often turn for the worse.


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