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Monopoly Sells Its Soul to Visa

By Erik Folgate

I knew that Parker Brothers was hurting when they kept coming out with every gosh darn version of Monopoly that they could think of.  But this information is very troubling to me.  No matter what version of monopoly you are playing, whether it is knitting-opoly or gator-opoly or whatever, you are using cash to buy things in the game.  Now, monopoly will be coming out with a “high tech” version of the most popular board game ever with a swiping credit card and a credit card machine that deducts money from your account.  And you may think, “Oh, well they are just keeping up with the times”, but this is not the case.   Visa credit card is sponsoring the charge machine and giving Parker Brothers a huge chunk of cash to be its sponsor.  This troubles me on two levels.

The first level is that I think this is a genius move for Visa.  They put down a small amount of cash (small in comparison to the kind of money the company has in reserves), and they get to influence generations to come when playing Monopoly.  It’s brand recognition at its finest.  Parker Brothers, on the other hand, receives a big chunk of cash, but they have sold out.  Their original formula of paying cash and making change is thrown out the window.  The game is very fun, but it is also very educational for young people in handling money.  Coca-Cola changed their original formula a couple decades ago, and it was the worst change they ever made. They altered the original formula and realized that you can’t mess with a good thing!

The other thing that troubles me is that the Under 30 generation’s children will grow up playing monopoly with a credit card.  They will get it ingrained into their head that swiping the card is so fun and so easy.  For Visa, this is a great investment.  Kiddy marketing is what companies long for, because if they instill the right branding and habits in someone at a young age, then they will have a customer for life.  I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that credit cards are the way to go.  Even if it is a debit card, it is so much easier to spend money with a debit card than it is to watch the money leave your hands.  When I see the pile of cash in Monopoly dwindle at my very finger tips, I know that I am in trouble.  When I am swiping a card, I don’t realize that I am in trouble until it is too late. I’m BANKRUPT and the game is over.  Are you catching my drift to why I think Monopoly sold their souls to the devil?  Credit card companies are not the devil, but they sure do screw up people’s financial lives more than they do fix them. 

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://irregularpayments.com sean

    I see I wasn’t the only one who noticed this news. Definitely agree that this is a really sad move on Parker Brothers part; Visa, on the other hand: Wow, heck of a marketing move!

    They will get it ingrained into their head that swiping the card is so fun and so easy.

    This is where I think Parker Brothers is making a huge mistake. The fun part of playing Monopoly was playing with all that fake cash. I just can’t see kids being all that excited to swipe a card through a card reader.

    Twenty years from now, if anyone’s playing Monopoly anymore, I’ll just about guarantee it won’t be the VISA Debit Card version!

  • redvelvet123

    I don’t think it’s as dramatic as selling their souls to the devil but I can see your point about how kids view money. I do however prefer using a debit card because if you don’t carry much cash on you, you don’t have to worry about someone robbing much from you. All you have to say is, “I carry a card.” I’ve never really enjoyed playing the game much myself because the concept is pretty messed up. Let me buy out as many things as I can so that I can “Monopolize” and make TONS of money off of people. Monopolizing jacked up this country for a while until certain laws were put in place so that businessmen could not take advantage of people by buying everything out and raising the prices through the roof because they could. Interesting point of view though. Thank you

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