Monopoly, a game in which railroads feature prominently, has never been on the cutting edge of tech. Well, at least not since its invention in 1933. In its original form, players were supposed to just find household items to use as their game pieces, which is perhaps why the first series of official tokens included a thimble and an iron. But Hasbro, Monopoly’s custodian, has given fans a chance to bring the game into the modern era by voting for new player tokens, including a hashtag symbol, kissy-face emoji, and a not-quite-so-modern CRT television.
Well, the polls have closed. And what did we do? We elected a bunch of animals. As Hasbro will announce Sunday on World Monopoly Day, the eight tokens that will pass “Go” in the next edition of the game coming this fall include a penguin, cat, rubber ducky, T. Rex, and the beloved Scottie dog. The remaining three tokens are classics of the game: the top hat, battleship, and car (not the new Formula One-style race car that fans could have voted for, because apparently we can’t have nice things).
The “Token Madness” campaign, as Hasbro calls it, has been heavily promoted through Twitter and Instagram using the #VoteMonopoly hashtag. The 64 candidates listed on the ballot drew 4.3 million votes from fans in 146 countries. With those numbers, it is a bit surprising that only three of the eight current tokens were replaced: the iconic thimble, the well-worn boot, and the dependable wheelbarrow.
While we waste no time bemoaning the re-election of the fan-favorite Scottie dog, as a tech site we must express some remorse that we will not be able to navigate Monopoly’s circuit while yelling “Buy! Buy! Buy!” into our miniature Motorola DynaTAC 8000X cell phone — another contending token that fans could have voted for, but inexplicably did not. We can, we suppose, take solace in the fact that the T. Rex, as a long-extinct dinosaur, plays strongly today in internet culture, and perhaps the penguin is a relative of Linux’s Tux.
Okay, we’re reaching. And really, who are we kidding? We’re totally going to play as the rubber duck.
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