Teach Our Children Well

31 10 2007

I was shocked when I learned about the newly evolved version of my favorite board game – the Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition.

Money problems are the leading cause of divorce in the United States. A lot of these problems are caused by people living beyond their means, via the use of lines of credit.

I do not think it behooves our society to market a game that uses plastic cards instead of cold hard cash to children as young as 8 years old. There is something to be said about using cash for purchases, about having a budget and having to hand over those two $100 bills that will buy Reading Railroad, about getting a $10 bill for winning the beauty contest.

This game advertises that their cards are more like debit than credit, since the players can go bankrupt. It states that the banker will learn basic bookkeeping skills and responsible money management. Horsefeathers.

My educational background is in finance. I loved playing monopoly when I was a child (especially the special East Peoria version that I got at the East Peoria Centennial celebration). I learned a lot about budgeting from this game – and think maybe some of my initial interest in economics, finance and accounting may have been derived from my love of the game. This change seems as if it will change that learning experience and not for the better.

Luckily this is just a special edition. The next time I update my Monopoly game the box will be full of cash sporting Mr. Monopoly’s face.

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