Recession hits board games as Monopoly enters NAMA-era

“TAX dodger”, drones Joan before reaching for the “chance” card.

Brian stares back and labels her a “NAMA hater” as he prepares to roll the dice, while George sits glumly in the corner sulking that everyone has become a “negative equity creator”.

The comments might seem more fitting in the midst of a Dáil debate, but they could soon be just as likely to be heard in your sitting room.

In a major revamp of the 70-year-old Monopoly board game, the popular game of profit and loss, has embraced the worldwide recession by giving a dose of reality to proceedings.

As part of the new Monopoly City edition, players will be faced with property crashes, rising rent, tax dodging and negative equity slumps.

And in a further twist to the game previously known for showing people how to make mountains of cash while avoiding jail – a task US investor Bernie Madoff will testify is more difficult than it seems – players will also have to cope with sabotage and rent payment reminders.

“The property markets are collapsing around the globe, so we are joining the fast pace of the 21st century,” said a spokesperson for the game’s Waterford-based manufacturer, Hasbro.

“Players can build structures that increase their property values, such as schools or eco-friendly wind farms, or they can sabotage opponents by building sewage plants or prisons on the competition’s property,” she added.

In a further injection of real life the makers of Monopoly City have also launched an online version, available at www.mono-polycitystreets.com, which will allow players to buy real streets and premises available on Google maps.

As a result of the changes, one of the country’s leading toy stores have predicted that Monopoly City will be among the most sought-after toys this Christmas. Yes Christmas.

Among the other leading items, the major store chain said, will be Transformers character Devastator and the “most realistic cat ever”, Fur Real Lulu the Cat.

Other popular gifts are expected to include the Labyrinth-based Lego Minotaurus, the asleep-on-the-job Sleepy Time Igglepiggle, and the “staycation” Sylvanian Caravan and Family Car products.


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