The game Monopoly is over 100 years old. It can be traced back as far as 1903. It was not invented by the Parker brothers, they merely later acquired it. It was originally invented when Lizzie Phillips was trying to explain the single tax theory of Henry George. She found it was easiest to explain through a game the theory of the negative aspects of private monopolies owning land. By 1934, Monopoly was a hit game. In fact it was so popular that during World War II a special edition was made for prisoners of war being held by the Nazis. This version had escape tools hidden inside such as real money, compasses and maps. It is estimated up to 10,000 prisoners used these Monopoly maps.
There are many versions of the game including Star Wars, James Bond edition, Marvel Super Heroes, Mayberry and hundreds of others. Tens of millions of copies of the game have been sold. You can even download Monopoly on your smart phone and play against the computer or online against friends!
Many different variants of the rules exist. Many families have their own customized rules which can stretch the game out for days. The biggest rule variation is free parking. The official Monopoly rules state a player receives nothing at all. No money, no property, not even a penalty. It is simply a free space with no negative or positive effect at all. Many play a variation where if you land on free parking you get all the money paid in fines, etc. This makes it much harder for a player to go bankrupt and be eliminated and stretches the game out.
The classic version was developed with Atlantic City street names. There are sets of properties which are color coded. Once you own all the properties of a set you can build houses or eventually a hotel. When players land on your property they pay you rent which increases based on how the property is developed. You can mortgage properties to raise money but once you are completely out of money you are eliminated from the game. Players go until only one is left. The average game is supposed to last between one to four hours. Monopoly is a fun game that can be played by the whole family.