From Marketing magazine (the source of 75% of my posts) comes news that Hasbro are doing some aggressive promotion of Monopoly. We can expect, in increasing order of futility:

– A TV show on which contestants can win real money. Somewhere at the back of my mind a memory is being triggered of this being done before – I seem to remember minor 80s slebs looking uncomfortable in a mock-up of ‘the car’ with a Captain Zep-style painted backdrop moving shakily by behind them. Am I just making this up?

– The first licensed pre-school edition: this is kind of mind-boggling really. The concepts that underpin Monopoly – buying and selling – may be ones the pre-school mind can grasp but the valuing and counter-valuing that makes up a lot of the gameplay is surely beyond it, not to mention the fact that Monopoly is one of the most nakedly competitive experiences known to man. Or maybe I’m just scarred by my Dad always winning it.

– An advertising campaign centered around “The Forgotten Rule”, based on the idea that even though you enjoy playing Monopoly, you might not be playing it by the proper rules. NO HASBRO NO! First of all, family rules are a huge part of what makes Monopoly so successful. Second of all, there is usually a good reason for adding or dropping rules. Third of all, in this era of consumer power and open-source what is Hasbro playing at in demonising families who put fines in a “Free Parking” pot?