Decoding Monopoly – the Stations

The game of Monopoly holds a lot of clues to what is happening in our world today. One player just gets richer and richer by charging rent on Hotels and houses. Sounds familiar? You can charge more if you own more. The losing players have to mortgage to pay. After a while, there is no hope of the losing players ever turning the tables. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Eventually the poor are eliminated.

But what about the stations?…
It is not so obvious how they fit in to our real life monopoly. But you get more rent the more stations you own. £200 if you own them all, just for one player stopping there once! Some train fares are actually that high at the moment. The standard prices are rocket high. Most people can only afford to travel on them by getting a special deal, Monday at 1130am booked 5 weeks ahead or something very specific. So we rely on the special deals, and complicated pre booking procedures.

No competition for the trains….
At the moment the trains are not the only means of medium distance travel. We still have cars, buses and planes. They all need petrol. Suppose there is no more petrol, or so little that it gets reserved for the elite few, or major bus routes to transport in city workers. Some trains require diesel but only to power the generator. The actual mechanism to power the trains is electric. Wouldn’t take much to convert would it? Then the trains would monopolise.

Investment in trains…
Despite the “recession”, there has been a lot of investment in the trains. New very expensive high speed rail links. Around here, there has been massive rebuilding and access improvements at Bath and Swindon stations (see earlier post on Tracking the Stations), maybe others too. It’s as if they are preparing for something.

London Monopoly…
The stations on the London monopoly Board are Marylebone, Kings Cross, Fenchurch St and Liverpool St. The last two are in the City of London. They are all near the Olympic stadium, except Marylebone. The Big Plan involves the Olympic Stadium and the stations. It will come to a head this year. The stations will be ready in time for the Olympics. I think there will be a mass transportation of people up to the Olympic Stadium, but not back.

Monopoly was originally designed in the US by a Quaker who wanted to teach people about the evils of money. It then got hijacked by a Mason, and distributed throughout the western world to teach families and young kids that this kind of behaviour is all normal, acceptable and glorious. It is ingrained into us from an early age.

Your local Monopoly set…
Over the last 10 or 15 years, Monopoly has been revived by creating place specific sets, and even sets for the Simpsons and Football clubs. In Bath, we have 2 stations, the canal and the river identified as the monopolising means of transport. The main Bath Spa station is under major development. The other station Green Park is now a superstore and market place, but owned by Sainsburys who dominate the area and are extending their store. They also seem to control a lot of Bath, as well as the UK, and are set to takeover schools soon. The river is depicted by Pulteney Bridge, where there is a huge amount of refurbishment and closed shops at the moment. The canal is currently dredged and being repaired. The boat The Penny Lane is depicted, interesting because Penny Lane is named after a slave trader. What is it all getting ready for? Specific game sets extend all over the world, and show details of the real life Big Plan, targeted for completion this year, 2012. Get to know your own one and watch what’s happening around you.

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