Reading Christopher Ketcham’s (come on, if he was named Ash he would’ve been the coolest person ever) article “Monopoly is Theft” was really interesting. I never knew the history behind the game, nor have I actually played the ‘real’ version. My parents bought Ottawa On Board when we moved here in order to learn about the area and some of its history. This is really what Monopoly and games in general are for, especially simulation games. They teach you things that have already happened and what other people have learned. They do this by getting you involved in a safe, controlled version of what life might bring.
It’s apparent just how much games reflect on the culture and the times in which they were made and played in. The lessons that a game tries to get across show what was important at the time of conception. Monopoly or The Landlord’s Game evolved much in the same way the American economic system evolved. It went from cooperation and the strife of trying to get by to greed and capitalism. Similarly English Turf Mazes, talked about in the Russell’s “English Turf Mazes, Troy, and the Labyrinth”, are a build up of other games and cultural aspects of British culture. The Mazes came from ancient Crete’s Labyrinth and the storyteller Virgil, who wrote the epic poem the Aeneid. The Romans then eventually took their culture to England. Of course it’s not exact, some parts fibbed and exaggerated on but, you can tell there’s a lot of history and culture involved.
One of my professors, Dr. Jesse Stewart, actually summed it up quite nicely, “Nothing comes from nowhere.” He was talking about music but it easily applies to games as well, they come from, and evolve in, our cultural, political and societal backgrounds.
Ketcha, Christopher, “Monopoly Is Theft” Harper’s Magazine. October 19, 2012. http://harpers.org/blog/2012/10/monopoly-is-theft/
Russell, Claire and W. M. S., “English Turf Mazes, Troy, and the Labyrinth”Folklore , Vol. 102, No. 1 (1991), pp. 77-88.
- Comments off
- Posted under Week Three - Deep History of Games & Simulaton