Here's something sneaky to check out before the family pulls out the board games this holiday season: How to Win at Monopoly.
I ran into it over at the blog Look at This. It's a strategy guide based on probability studies, for people who really, really need to win.
In my experience, whoever gets Boardwalk and Park Place has the game in the bag. Period.
When I was a kid, Monopoly was one of those things that always seemed like a good idea at the beginning. I think it was the cute little playing pieces. We had a really old set with metal markers. There was a car, a top hat, a shoe ... and all those tiny little houses were fun, too. We'd roll the dice and set off from GO with all the optimism of a Donald Trump. Once somebody grabbed the good properties, though, it devolved into hours and hours of increasing hostility, ending in hard feelings and vows to never play with this thing again.
Eventually we'd run across the box in the bottom of the closet, by which time we'd have forgotten how awful it was the last time, and there we'd be once more: Some of us gloating, and some of us glaring at gloaters.
Maybe it's the money that makes it mean. Nobody ever got so worked up over Mousetrap.