Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Today's best bad idea

Parker Brothers, makers of the board game Monopoly, have decided they're going to get rid of the paper money from the game and replace it with fake debit/credit cards. They're phasing out the paper money version in favor of a version that comes with a fake card reader/calculator that keeps track of everyone's money. Parker Brothers is explaining the move by saying the game is moving on with the times, as less and less people are using paper money to pay for their (real) purchases.

Earth to Parker Brothers: games are not real life.

That's not really what happened though. This is what really happened.

Visa, whose brand is going to get plastered all over the fake cards and readers, contacted Parker Brothers and said: "Hey dudes, how swell would it be if we paid you a god awful lot of money to get rid of that unbranded paper money, and instead provided you with all this newmangled technology so that we could brainwash all Monopoly players that Visa is where the credit's at? We here at Visa have done some market research and we figure the younger we catch our marks, the more they're gonna be using our products. What better way to increase our marketshare than infiltrate kids' games with our brand."

Looks like Parker Brothers got bought out and forgot what Monopoly is really about. It's about waving your thick wad of cash in front of your younger brother's face, it's about teaming against your cousins and lending money to your brother so that he doesn't go bankrupt, it's about arguing about who cheated and how much and it's about learning money management by actually having to count how much money you have. All that stuff is going away when all you've got is the same fake credit card no matter how much or how little play money you've got.

Shame on you Parker Brothers for going for greed.

-TPP

1 comment:

DW said...

Unbelieveable, the greed and the sly marketing (targeting kids of all people!) from the big corporate machine. It's all about the deals. On a brighter note, our classic paper money-based monopoly games will go up in value.