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.