How Board Games Screwed Up Your Fiscal Sense

Games teach excessive lending, scarce saving
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 3:50 PM CDT
How Board Games Screwed Up Your Fiscal Sense
Monopoly fostered the misperception that financial institutions are infallible.   (Hasbro Games)

(Newser) – It’s really no wonder Americans fouled up the financial system—fiscal irresponsibility was instilled in us at an early age by board games, observes Caitlin McDevitt for the Big Money. Among the poor lessons imparted by money games:

  • In Monopoly, the game’s bank can never go bust—if the banker runs out of Monopoly money, they are instructed to “issue as much as needed by writing on any ordinary paper."

  • The Game of Life offers every player the chance to own a mansion, regardless of their actual income. Sound familiar?
  • The instructions to PayDay tell players to “make deals” as “It’s the American way!” If you don’t have the money to deal, just “do what any red-blooded American would do: Take out a LOAN!”
  • Mall Madness’ rules encourage players to spend, not save: players advance around the board and are awarded a sum of money when they pass the “bank space”—but only if they’ve bought something since their last visit.

(Read more Monopoly stories.)

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