Today’s “Sign That Helicopter Parents Are Ruining Everything” comes from toy-maker Hasbro, which has decided that every kid in America is too busy with their dozens of after-school activities to devote the necessary hours required to complete a single game of Monopoly. Their solution? A lightning-quick version that can be completed in 30 minutes — a task made possible by cutting out an integral part of the game: Jail.
Now, before you fire off an angry letter to Hasbro, bemoaning the death of your childhood, we should tell you that the jail-less version, Monopoly Empire, isn’t the traditional board game (you’ll still be able to purchase that). Empire is merely a Red Bull-infused ADD version where players amass corporate brands — XBox, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola — rather than street names they’ve never heard of.
Nevertheless, I’m gonna get preachy and philosophical for a second. Eliminating Jail’s existence is more than a disservice to the spirit of the game. Consider the act of going to Jail, as it pertains to the game: Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go!, Do Not Collect $200. However, on a big picture level, it is the harshest life lesson of Monopoly: sometimes, life just ain’t fair. Removing the “tough breaks” in the name of convenience isn’t a good message to send to the target audience: youths, who are sheltered enough these days from such realities.
Also, if you think the concept of speedy board games limited to Monopoly, you’d be wrong. According to The Wall Street Journal‘s Ann Zimmerman, there are faster versions of Scrabble, Boggle and Rubik’s Cubes. Although, we’d argue there’s no such thing as a “fast” Rubik’s Cube, unless you’re that weird nerdy kid on the school bus who would show off by solving everyone else’s cubes (yes, that was a thing at the height of the Cube’s popularity — at least, that’s what I’ve been told by people who were there).