monopoly; Capitalist slavery with leftist roots

One night in 1932, a Philadelphia businessman named Charles Todd and his wife, Olive, gave their friends Charles and Darrow a board game based on real estate. introduced that they had just learned its rules. As the two couples sat around the table, enthusiastically rolling the dice, buying products, and moving their chips back and forth, the Todd family was delighted to see the drugs enjoying the game. In fact, it went so far that Charles Todd copied another board game based on it, teaching them the rules and other more complicated rules as well. This game did not have an official name; It was not sold in a box, but its news was exchanged among friends. Everyone said, "The same Monopoly game."

BingMag.com monopoly; Capitalist slavery with leftist roots

One night in 1932, a Philadelphia businessman named Charles Todd and his wife, Olive, gave their friends Charles and Darrow a board game based on real estate. introduced that they had just learned its rules. As the two couples sat around the table, enthusiastically rolling the dice, buying products, and moving their chips back and forth, the Todd family was delighted to see the drugs enjoying the game. In fact, it went so far that Charles Todd copied another board game based on it, teaching them the rules and other more complicated rules as well. This game did not have an official name; It was not sold in a box, but its news was exchanged among friends. Everyone said, "The same Monopoly game."

They played it over and over again with their other friends. One day, despite all his knowledge of the game, Darrowwho was unemployed and in need of money to support his familyasked Charles Todd to write a copy of the game's rules. Todd was a little confused by this decision, as he had never written it before. And it didn't seem that the rules of this game had been written anywhere else.

In fact, the rules of the game were written in 1903, in Washington DC by a prominent and progressive woman named Elizabeth Magie. was written But its place in the conventional history of the board game remained unknown for decades, and was replaced by the man who picked it up from a friend's house: Charles Darrow. Today, Maggie's story can be described in detail. But even though the story has been around for forty years, the legend behind Charles Darrow is still recognized as an inspiring example of American innovationmuch thanks to Monopoly's publisher and Charles Darrow himself. After he sold a copy of the game to Parker Brothers and it became a hit, eventually pocketing millions of dollars, various reporters kept asking him how he came up with Monopoly so suddenlya seemingly simple feat that Kelly He brought entertainment to homes. "It's a strange thing," Darrow told the Germantown Bulletin. It was completely irrational and unexpected.

For Elizabeth Magee, whom her friends called Lizzie, the problems of the new century were so great, the inequality of wages so great, and the monopolists so powerful, that it was unlikely that an unknown woman with Stenographer job has a chance to reduce the pains of the society; That too with a trivial board game. But he had to do his best.

Nights passed each other, and after finishing his work in the office, Lizzie sat at home, sketching over and over, and thinking. . It was the early 1900s, and he wanted his board game to reflect his progressive political viewsthat was the whole point of making the game. adhere to work ethics. She was still single then, which was unusual for a woman her age. More unusual than this, he was the head of his house. A self-reliant individual, he saved up and bought his own house and a few acres of land.

He lived in Prince George's County in a neighborhood in Washington, DC, whose residents included a salesman. There was a dairy and peddler who described himself as a "tourist"; a sailor; a carpenter; And a musician. Lizzie shared her house with a male actor who paid the rent and the wages of a black maid. Lizzie was very political, and held classes on her political views in the afternoons and after work. But his voice did not reach enough people. He needed a new medium to convey his message something more interactive and creative.

BingMag.com monopoly; Capitalist slavery with leftist roots

The original design of the game by Maggie, which was not known as Monopoly but as "Landlord's Game". Magee patented it in 1903.

There was an obvious way. By the beginning of the 20th century, board games had become more common among middle-class households. In addition, more creators concluded that games are not just a means of leisure time, but an effective means of communication. And the situation was ready for Lizzie in this respect.

He started speaking in public and told about his ideas (he called it "Owner's Game"). He wrote in a political magazine: "This game shows in practice how the current system of land acquisition works with all its usual results and consequences. It could even be called 'the game of life' because it includes all the characteristics of success and failure in the real world, and its goal is what the human species has always sought, namely the accumulation of wealth."

The game made by Lizzy has a game with money and land and products They were being bought and sold. First players borrowed money, either from each other or from the bank, and had to pay taxes. And players could also scroll around the game screen and on game options something that many board games of the time lacked, and the screen design was linear. In one corner was "Poor House" and "Public Park," and across the page was "Prison." In another corner, there was an image of the globe, and Lizzie's tribute to her political hero: economist Henry George, whose ideas about shifting the burden of taxation onto wealthy landlords and landowners inspired Lizzie to create the game. The tribute was by inscribing the words on the screen: "Working on the land provided by Mother Nature produces wages and wealth." Also, there were three words on the game screen that Lizzie wrote in crab-frog handwriting, and after a century, they are still on the game screen: "Go to jail."

Lizzie 9 square spaces on the edges of the screen drew In the center of each 9 square was connected by a railway, and there were spaces for rent or sale on the other side. The "absolute necessity" squares provided goods such as bread and shelter, and the "privileged" spaces provided services such as water and electricity. As players continued to move around the screen, they worked and got paid. Whenever players passed Mother Nature, they had to "work" hard enough to get paid $100. Players who ran out of money were sent to the poor house.

Players who violated the court were sent to jail, where those unfortunates had to wait until their jail time was up or pay a fifty dollar fine. Waiting for the end of imprisonment meant waiting for the presentation of the duplicate. Lizzie wrote: "The line-up and expressions of disgust when a player goes to jail, and the sympathy (albeit jokingly) for those who have to be moved to a nursing home, forms the main joy and fun of the game."

From the very initial ideas, "Owner's Game" aimed to capture the natural instinct for competition. And, somehow and surprisingly, Lizzy devised two sets of rules for the game: an anti-monopoly set of rules in which everyone would benefit when wealth was created, and a monopolistic set of rules in which the goal was to establish a monopoly and destroy competitors. . Lizzie wanted to accept the dualism as it is and leave the inherent contradiction of these rules intact, so that the tension between these two competing approaches to problem solving would not be lost. However, it was these absolutist rules that later made people fall in love with it (an issue unknown to Lizzie at the time).

After years of tinkering, writing, and pondering this new thing, Lizzie On March 23rd, 1903, he entered the patent registration office to become the legal owner of Bazi Malik. At least two years later, he published a version of the game through the Economic Game Company, a New York-based company in which Lizzie owned a portion. The game became popular among leftist intellectuals and on college campuses, and this popularity continued for the next three decades. It eventually fell into the hands of Quakers in Atlantic City, who replaced it with the names of their local neighbors, and from there it later passed to Charles Darrow.

In short, the game Darrow gave to the Parker brothers was It sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide, and Darro profited from royalties throughout his life.

The Parker brothers had already invested in Lizzie. When the game became more popular in the mid-1930s, the company bought the franchise and other similar games to maintain its territory. Lizzie received five hundred dollars to purchase the rights to "Owner's Game" and two other ideas, but received no royalties [and therefore no longer legally owned Lizzie].

Initially, Lizzie refused to He didn't doubt why they bought his game and didn't realize the real goals behind it. When an early copy of the Parker Brothers' version of "The Owner's Game" arrived at Lizzie's Arlington home, she was delighted. In a letter to Foster Parker, George's niece/nephew and the company's treasurer, Lizzie wrote that she had felt a "singing" in her "heart" ever since the game arrived: "Some day, I hope you will publish my other games, but I don't think any of them [ like Malik's game] become so problematic for you, and important for me. So I'm sure I'm not going to raise his alarm at the next games.

Eventually, the truth came out to him and he was angry enough to display it in public. In January 1936, he gave interviews in the Washington Post and the Washington Evening Star. In a picture published in the Evening Star newspaper article, Lizzie is holding the pages of Malik's game and another game with the name "Monopoly" written across it four times in big black letters. On the table in front of him was a board game made by Daro, which was now popular and had just come out of the Parker Brothers box. The picture the reporter painted of Lizzie had it all: she was angry, heartbroken. and seeks revenge from the company that he felt stole his idea, which is now a bestseller. The Parker brothers may have copyrighted the "Malke game" in 1924, but they did not mention that Lizzie's invention of the game dates back to 1904, or that the game had been in the public domain for decades. Lizzie was the creator of the game, and she could prove it.

A reporter for the Evening Star wrote that Lizzie's game "was not as popular in her time as it is today. Charles B. Darrow, an engineer from Philadelphia, took the game, dusted it off, took it to the patent office, and brought it out of obscurity. In this recent August, a big company that produced such games was satisfied with the changes made to the game. In November, Mrs. Phillips [the now-married Maggie] sold them her patent."

"The case ended with a bang, but not for Mrs. Phillips ... probably, including the fee she paid. The patent office, printers, and lawyers received, not only was this game not profitable for Mrs. Phillips, but she had just spent something out of her pocket." As he wrote in another interview published by the Washington Post on the same day: "There is no new news."

It did not have much result. The hump was raised when the two other games that Lizzy made for Parker Brothers, King's Men and Bargain Day, did not gain popularity and were lost among obscure board games. The newer version of Parker Brothers' "Owner's Game" did not fare any better. And so is Lizzie Magee herself. He died in 1948, leaving no children, and his memorial and tombstone do not mention that he was the creator of the game. One of his last jobs was at the US Bureau of Education. Her colleagues knew her as an old woman and a typist who talked about inventing new games. "wp-caption-text">Calvin Trillin (Calvin Trillin) wrote in the New Yorker in 1978 that the myth of medicine is "a vivid, clear and well-organized example of the same industrial myth of the American school of Eureka. If Daro is not the creator of this game, but merely the creator of a fictional story, then maybe he still deserves a plaque of appreciation on 'Boardwalk' for his genius in story-telling."

Also While Charles Darrow was reaping the success of the game for himself, Lizzie Magee's role as the creator of Monopoly was still unknown. But in 1973, Ralph Anspach, a left-leaning academic researcher who had been sued by the Parker brothers for creating the "Antitrust" game, came across Maggie's story while researching the lawsuit against him. So by referring to it, it could be proved that the Parker brothers do not have much copyright on this game. The case dragged on for a decade, but in the end, Anspach prevailed, making Magee's central role in the game's creation an indisputable fact. To present his evidence, he gathered a huge archive of documents and evidence.

But the Hasbro company (Hasbro), which the Parker brothers are now a subsidiary of, still marginalizes the role of Maggie, and when asked To make a statement on this issue, he limited himself to this brief sentence: "Hasbro attributes the official version of Monopoly that it produces and is played today to Charles Darrow and not otherwise." Even in 2015, on the website of this company, in the timeline (timeline) of the history of this game, it started from 1935. Over the years, the statement has carefully chosen its words to avoid any reference to Lizzie Magee, the Quakers and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other players, as well as Ralph Anspach and the antitrust litigation. Perhaps what defines us is our care and importance in hiding secrets, as well as truths. It makes sense. Calvin Trillin wrote in the New Yorker in 1978 that the myth of medicine is "a clear, vivid and well-conceived example of the industrial myth of the American school of Eureka. If Daro is not the creator of this game, but merely the creator of a fictional story, then perhaps he still deserves a plaque of appreciation on the boardwalk for his genius in story-telling. It is not difficult to imagine that there are several other facts that have remained buried until now; The idea of the Lizzie Mages that are slowly being forgotten and only a few of us think and remember the roots of what was gifted to this world. Conventional beliefs are not always safe against deeper and more scrutinizing investigations and can be rejected, but perhaps the main question is why we accepted them and took them for granted in the first place, and why we did not question their validity and ignore the contradictions that were revealed. Did we reject it?

Beyond all of this, the Monopoly case raises the question of who exactly is the creator of something and how. Most people know the Wright brotherswho filed their patent at the same time as Lizzie Mageebut don't remember how many other aviators repeatedly They tried to fly. As the proverb says, victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan. And we only remember that father and do not say anything about the success of mothers. Everyone who has ever played Monopoly, even today, has helped to preserve and enrich it and to some extent has been able to personalize it for themselves and add something to it. Games aren't just artifacts of their creatorstheir history is told by their players themselves. And like the original board game that Lizzie invented, as cyclical and endless as it is, the balance between winners and losers is constantly moving back and forth and is fluid.

(This text has been edited and removed It is part of the book The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon).

Author: Mary Pilon

BingMag.com monopoly; Capitalist slavery with leftist roots

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