Let he who has never cheated at Monopoly cast the first die. This fall, chronic cheaters will finally get their nasty habit validated. A new “cheaters edition” of the popular real estate game will include cheat cards, and what that says about our society should make us all pause.
Cheaters rejoice — now your sneaky ways have validation
The cheaters edition follows the Monopoly rules we all know and love, but with the addition of 15 cheat cards to help players shake things up. At any point during game play, five of those cards can come into play. The lack of a designated banker makes getting away with it even easier.
Senior vice president of Hasbro Jonathan Berkowitz told Insider eliminating the banker gives all players more control over the game. “Players are in control of the bank on their turn, and pass it to the next player when their turn is over, making it easier to pull [off] ‘cheats’,” he explained.
Next: Some of those cheats will sound familiar.
Go ahead, rob the (Monopoly) bank
According to Hasbro, the cheats will range widely from stealing to moving other players’ tokens. Some of the cheat cards allow players to steal money from the bank, remove hotels from others’ property, taking an extra $100 bill when passing go, and shortchanging players on money you owe. If a player succeeds at a cheat, they get rewarded. On the other hand, if they get caught, the cheat cards list specific punishments.
“We’ve finally decided to embrace our less-than-honest fans by encouraging them to partake in those iconic (yet sometimes unspoken) Monopoly moments that occur during family game nights,” Berkowitz explained. “We’re excited to see what fans can get away with and how they’ll react to the new sneaky twists in the game.”
Next: Game designers make the decision after doing this research.
Monopoly contends that cheat cards level the playing field
Berkowitz said that a company-sponsored survey found that almost half of all players try to cheat at Monopoly. “So in 2018, we decided it was time to give fans what they’ve been craving all along — a Monopoly game that actually encourages cheating.” The vice president explained that the cheaters version actually makes the game more democratic. Rather than letting “creative” players get away with their sly tricks, the cheat cards put it all out in the open, Bloomberg reports. “This new version is actually leveling the playing field so everyone operates under the same universal rules, with no special advantage for those sly cheaters,” he said.
Next: Monopoly also encourages tattling with a new bot.
The company has sent some mixed messages about its cheaters
In January, Hasbro actually came out with a bot to crack down on rule-breaking, according to Business Wire. The new CheatBot intends to root out cheating using Facebook messenger, allowing players to report cheaters directly to Mr. Monopoly. The bot will dole out consequences in real-time, which include going to jail or paying a fine.
“The cheating has gone on too long! With nearly one out of every two Monopoly players bending – or breaking – the rules, we knew it was time to put an end to the cheating, and what better way to reach our fans than by leveraging the innovative Facebook Messenger technology,” said Berkowitz. “With Monopoly CheatBot, we’re empowering fans to ‘report’ their family and friends for corrupt and questionable game play – with customized consequences to hopefully end Monopoly feuds for good.”
Next: That study reveals something scary about us all.
Cheaters gonna cheat, and not just at games
A game that encourages cheating might not be such a great idea. Researchers found that people who cheat at games do so in real life, too. A survey conducted by PopCap Games found that, of more than 1,200 adult gamers, about 48% admitted to cheating in both games and real life, too. Of those who say they don’t cheat at games, only 14% said they cheated in real life. In other words, game cheaters stand 3.5 times more likely to engage in dishonest behavior, in general.
Next: The study found these particular behaviors predict others.
Game cheaters engage in some shady behavior in real life
According to PopCap Games researchers, about 51% of people who cheat at games park in handicap spaces or steal items from hotels. That’s compared to 14% who do not cheat at games. In addition, about 49% of the game cheaters also cheated on a romantic partner. An additional 47% stole things from restaurants and 43% lift magazines from waiting rooms.
“How we behave in virtual space and interact with others in social games often mirrors how we act in the real world,” said Clay Routledge, a professor of psychology. “With more than 100 million people playing social games regularly, we can expect to see the full range of psychological characteristics represented in the social gaming population – even cheating.”
Next: The new game says something about our morals.
Where else do we accept this kind of behavior?
Wonder how Americans feel about cheating? Just look at our political system. President Donald Trump, for example, lies so frequently, we hardly even notice. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Trump said more than 2,000 false or misleading things before the year mark.
Even when proven wrong, he does not adjust his statements. CNN points out the fact-checker found 70 separate false claims that Trump repeated at least three times. The president has also said his tax cut ranks as the largest in American history. He has told that lie a full 55 times. When we’re willing to accept that from our chief executive, it’s no wonder a game celebrating cheating exists.
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