Monopoly Made of History?

1950s Florida Motors and Equipment postcard, from the Matheson MuseumMonopoly is a great game for gaming history and for game studies because of its history as the Landlord’s Game which protested ultra-capitalism and because of its structure–a simple theme that changes in appearance with fairly standard rules, but also house rules (often related to landing on Free Parking). An interesting project would be to try and reconstruct a typical Monopoly game using historical objects. The image with this post could be a great starting point for a new Florida Monopoly based on historical Florida images. The game could be a simple re-skinning. Computer skins refer to the interface or object appearance, so Firefox can be skinned to look like Apple’s Safari web browser; it’s like redecorating a room without changing the structure, new colors, but no new function/objects. Or, a more interesting option would be to create a new game based on the appearance and function of the historical elements. The postcard image could be used in an agriculture game as a bonus card “free service for equipment” or “good maintenance means savings” or it could be used in an office space game as a demerit card “perceived sexism in advertising leads to product boycott” or as a general play card in a game on women’s fashion in the 1950s where it means everyone has to buy or have hats. As I find more items that would work, I’ll add them to my in-progress collection of a Florida History Monopoly Game. Has anyone else seen anything similar using library or museum archives? More ideas would be great!

Eugene Manis Scrapbooks: Africa This is just a quick update with a couple more images. The telegram might be better for an adventure game or a more Clue-like board game, but it’s a great image/artifact.

Fox hunting 1907 (Matheson Museum) I’m not sure what type of game could include fox hunting, but it seems oddly appropriate.

The New York Millinery, A. Buns, Gainesville, Fla. (Matheson Museum)This could be a small business or part of a street in a Florida or Gainesville Monopoly. It could also be part of a shopping game with the clothes on display.