A look at Monopoly – Part One ‘Crocopoly’

It was announced this week that there is now a Monopoly Board Game movie going into preproduction. The current synopsis states, “The movie centres on a boy, from the game’s modest Baltic Avenue, on a quest to make a fortune.” It is not really clear if it is about the game itself or just has some of the themes of the game as a basis for a rags to riches story.

Original Monopoly board game - Crocopoly article Gameapalooza AustraliaMonopoly – Irritating to many gamers, but still a classic board game.

At first I wondered if I would hate the movie because it is about a game that I despise. Not because Monopoly is a bad game, but because it generates a tedium so intense that playing the game often leads to arguments and tears. This was proved to me over numerous attempts to play the game with my cousins. Monopoly games would go on for hours until someone either trashed the board and stormed off, or could not stop crying. Sometimes both. Then I realised that it is still one of the highest selling games of all times and thought that maybe they might deserve some credit for that. Then I wondered if I would hate the movie because historically board games and video games make terrible films. But that’s when I remembered the movie Clue and the wonderful Tim Curry performance as the Butler. Cool fact by the way, if you watch Clue now you will see all different endings, but when it was in the theatre you never knew what ending you would get leaving audiences with entirely different experiences. I told you it was a cool fact. In the end I decided that perhaps I should ease up and give the film a chance and actually see it before making my mind up. After all, Monopoly helped provide me with one of my best gaming experiences. I’m sorry, do I need to write that again so you can see it is not a typo? I said Monopoly helped provide me with one of my best gaming experiences. Allow me to explain before you decide to write me off as a nutter.

Welcome to Crocopoly - Monopoly prank at workWelcome indeed! Crocopoly FTW!

I work at a school where I am well known at for my passion of table top games. I run two board game groups, I speak regularly to the whole school on assemblies about my passion, and I have run table top gaming days which hosted around 100 people over the course of the day.

This year I decided to have a board game birthday party and invited some friends from school. Unfortunately not everyone could make it, including one of my closer friends, Ange, who I have developed a great relationship with since working at the school. Ange is an exceedingly generous person, incredibly smart, well organised, and very creative. She also has the ability to plot devilish schemes and enact revenge in a way that would make any super villain sit up and pay attention.

Not long before my birthday Ange bought a new backlit sign board for her room. I teach her class once a week and had taken to writing silly messages on it while she was out of the room; mature messages like “Mr Adams Rocks” and “Fart.” The kids thought this was funny and quite frankly so did I, apparently Ange thought otherwise. Taking advantage of everything she had learned about me over the year Ange devised a plan to pay me back by drawing on my pet hates, namely Monopoly and Crocs.

Crocopoly Monopoly but with CrocsCrocopoly… plastic fantastic!

Ange spent over a week coordinating with students, parents, and senior staff to get back at me for the messages I had been leaving. As I walked into the classroom to teach her class I discovered the room was decorated with monopoly pictures and paraphernalia. The students had bought in every different version of Monopoly they owned, Pink Monopoly, Credit Card Monopoly, every conceivable theme and gimmicky Monopoly game was present and stacked around the room which now resembled a giant Monopoly board. The tables had been utilised as a square on the board with properties, Chance square, Community Chest, and Free Parking. But this was no ordinary monopoly board, this was a Crocs themed version called Crocopoly. My face dropped. Ange had hijacked my lesson. The students had created everything. The properties were all original creations based on things they loved or thought might annoy me, including the most expensive property named after me, The Addams family that had a student waiting with an MP3 to play the Addams Family theme music whenever I passed the property. They had created their own money, houses, hotels and cards. The Chance Cards were “Marvel” cards in honour of my Marvel comics collection which contained silly stunts I had to perform to progress, such as crazy dancers.

To top it all off I had my own Croc as a player piece. I was handed two giant novelty dice and forced to compete against the whole class, all of whom were dressed in their best Crocs. There were even birthday prizes, but nothing bad there. She had gotten oversized versions of my favourite Peanut Butter Chocolates. It was the worst game I have ever played, and the best table top experience ever.

Crocopoly - Part one of the Monopoly breakdownLooks at that awesome Crocopoly cash.

As I took each of my turns I made sure to stop and teach the kids a little about the game they parodied. They thought I was stalling but in reality the history of the game is quite interesting. That is where I will pick up on next week as the game does have an interesting origin story. Following that I will end with a discussion on the strengths of this most horrid of games. Oh, before you think this game was any different I should note that by the end of the lesson, I had people destroying the board and several girls in tears over the how nasty people playing the game had gotten. The curse of Monopoly lives!

Article by staff writer David, part two coming soon.