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Hasbro’s new Monopoly puts gender inequality on the board

Ms. Monopoly, Hasbro, board game, gender wage gap, gender pay gap
Photo: Hasbro

On average, U.S. women earn 20 percent less than men. So Hasbro has decided to incorporate the reality of the “gender pay gap” into their new game Ms. Monopoly.

The game is almost entirely the same as classic Monopoly: Players accumulate properties, utilities and wealth as they bankrupt their competitors. But Ms. Monopoly turns the gender wage gap on its ear by making sure that female-identified players consistently earn more than men.

Related: California city will ban gendered language like “manhole” & “pregnant women” from municipal code

USA Today writes:

“The banker doles out $1,900 in Monopoly Money to each female player and $1,500 to each male. The gap continues every time a player passes go with women collecting $240 and men $200.”

“Instead of investing in real estate properties like the classic game, players invest in inventions and innovations made by women, including chocolate chip cookies, bulletproof vests, solar heating and ladies’ modern shapewear.”

“We made sure that this felt authentic and was a fun game families could play and learn about these things that they love and are a part of their life that they didn’t know were invented by women,” says Jen Boswinkel, senior director of global brand strategy and marketing for Hasbro Gaming.

Here’s a video showing the new Ms. Monopoly board game:

Another thing people didn’t realize was invented by a woman: Monopoly itself.

Lizzie Magie invented the first version of the game in 1907, entitled The Landlord’s Game, to demonstrate the negative consequences of concentrating land ownership into private monopolies, though the modern-day game arguably diminishes that lesson.

At the time, Magie had two sets of rules people could play by: “an anti-monopolist set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolist set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents.”

A man named Charles Darrow created a modified version of Magie’s game with different property names and sold the idea to the Parker Brothers game company. The company later bought the patent for The Landlord’s Game from her for $500 and began mass producing the game as Monopoly by the late 1930s.

Magie was later enraged by the fact that Monopoly ripped off her original game and Hasbro has excluded her from its official history of the game’s creation ever since.

Monopoly is quite possibly the world’s most popular board game. It has been translated into over 103 languages and played by over one billion people in 114 countries.

Homophobic comedian Kevin Hart recently landed a role in an upcoming movie based on Monopoly.

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