Rejected Monopoly Spaces!
Monopoly is one of the most popular and recognized games in the world. But such success can only come from constant revision, as the following rejected spaces illustrate…
1. Red Light District
This seedy section was cut from all editions (except those in Amsterdam, Las Vegas and unlicensed massage parlors) when the game’s name was changed to “Monopoly” from the less family-friendly “Leave the Money on the Table.” The only property to feature a beaded curtain, it was routinely visited by the now discarded “Syphilitic Sailor” and “Corrupt City Official” tokens.
2. Industrial Park Place #1-28
Removed when it was revealed to cause black lung, Industrial Park Places once accounted for 90% of the board’s property before environmental laws were enacted. Minimal safeguards, high-volume gas lines and an air quality that could best be described as “brick solid soot” often resulted in Monopoly games lasting no longer than 15 minutes before everyone hemorrhaged.
3. Black Hole
Landing on this property would automatically send your token—and you—to an entirely different game in an entirely different part of the world, leaving you stranded with $300 in toy money—and your pajamas if you were playing during a sleepover—in the middle of a high-stakes game of “knife chess” between warring Chinese gangs.
4. Bad Dream Classroom
Stopping here required that you walk stark naked in a crowded school hallway only to realize that it’s finals day, you haven’t studied all year and all the questions are written in microscopic print on a blackboard about a mile away. And that’s when you noticed the teacher you were always hot for was played by your mom.
5. Solitary Confinement
Before there was “Jail” there was this, in which you were denied contact with all people for the length of the game, a seemingly endless period of sensory deprivation that resulted in pronounced psychological distress and the belief that if you scream at ants or water stains long enough they will indeed do your bidding.
In addition to “Chance” and “Community Chest” there were these cards, which hexed whoever got one. Sometimes you wound up talking backwards or getting a pig nose (not necessarily where your real nose was). But most cards banished players’ souls into glassware, resulting in 11 million disappearances and countless reports of anguished screams coming from kitchen cabinets.
7. Eminent Domain
During the 1980’s, most of the Monopoly properties were seized by the government for public and civic use. The board was then covered with high-tech sports complexes to keep teams from moving (which they did) and large-scale malls named after the parks they replaced (allowing squirrels full-access to the food court). Meanwhile, all players were relocated to the slums of Candyland.
8. Jet Pack
In the early 60’s, people were fascinated with life in the 21st century. In response, Monopoly replaced all railroad properties with personal jet packs, predicted to be the prominent mode of transportation in the future. Alas, much as they would have done in real life, the jet packs caused 427,000 mid-air collisions daily (this despite no one ever leaving the dining room table).
In an attempt to settle the dispute if “Free Parking” was just a rest place or where you collected all fees put in the middle of the board, Monopoly opted for a blank square instead. Unfortunately, the space’s cold emptiness confused and unsettled players, causing long crying jags, existential crises and a place for everyone to draw quick sketches of penises.
While landing on “Heaven” meant you truly lost everything, you did get to hang out with other deceased Monopoly players as you all shared stories about moms who discarded any sense of parental love the moment they could build hotels, little brothers who bit you whenever you bought a property they wanted and that friend who envies your death because she’s still stuck playing the game.
So what space did you love—or fear—the most in Monopoly?