This article is more than 5 years old

Leaving nothing to chance: there’s only one monopoly

Paul Greatrix on the games universities play to get themselves featured in the world's most popular board game
This article is more than 5 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

We looked a while back at different versions of the popular evergreen board game of Monopoly including some university-specific ones.

First we have the rather unofficial ones such as this University of Michigan edition which will no doubt appeal to students, staff and alumni:


And very competitively priced too.

In the UK, university monopoly sector things are a bit more official like this example from the University of Kent:

Monopoly is the fast-dealing property trading game that everybody loves. The University of Kent, in celebration of its 50th Anniversary, has commissioned a special edition. Now you can play this classic game with a University of Kent customised version. Be rewarded for achieving high grades, pay Masters’ fines for ignoring the noise ban and lose a turn because you are lost in Eliot. Or were you in Rutherford? Relive those students days with hours of fun and reminiscences.

You can also relive your student days with similar levels of excitement if you are a graduate of one of the following universities which also have their own tailored editions of the game that everybody loves:

  • Newcastle University
  • Leicester University
  • Manchester University
  • University of Leeds
  • Lancaster University
  • Edge Hill University

Lucky you.

Monopoly at scale

In a different league altogether though is this giant effort by students and staff of the student association at Wageningen who created the world’s biggest ever game of Monopoly as this video shows:

Not sure how fast-paced this version will be.

A monopoly on wisdom

In an interesting monopolistic manoeuvre The Times recently reported that Dublin City University took no chances in preventing rivals from securing prime locations in the Dublin version of Monopoly. DCU apparently…

paid for the most expensive package for involvement in the Monopoly edition, which included a square on the board, a bespoke community chest card and its image included on a montage. DCU is the only university to feature, valued at 320 Monopoly dollars. It is located on the green squares, which are some of the higher value ones, and is priced higher than Temple Bar and the Guinness Storehouse, some of the most popular Dublin attractions. The image depicting a sign for DCU is included in the centre of the board, underneath the Monopoly logo. DCU also features in an image on the box lid.

Plenty of detail emerged from correspondence between DCU and the game’s manufacturer, Winning Moves, seen by the newspaper, including an interesting exchange about whether or not the university should include a Community Chest or a Chance card as part of its package:

In June, Winning Moves and Ms Wynter [of DCU] exchanged a number of emails regarding the choice of community chest or chance cards. Players that land on a square directing them to take a card are often given money from the game’s bank or told to move along the board. Winning Moves said the only community chest cards available were for 25 Monopoly dollars because they were allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. It offered Ms Wynter a chance card for 150 Monopoly dollars. Ms Wynter questioned why this was the case because a community chest card was “negotiated and agreed”.
“At no time in our communications was it indicated to me that the value of our community chest card was contingent on timings,” she wrote. “Because I don’t play Monopoly, I don’t quite know the difference between a community chest and a chance card,” she added. The following day Ms Wynter wrote to Winning Moves: “Given the circumstances, I will run with the chance card at a higher value.” In DCU’s case, the chance card informs a player that they have graduated from the university with a first class honours and directed them to take money.

Well, it certainly looks like DCU was taking no chances with its monopoly.

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