In this “socially conscious monopoly” game, race and privilege are currency


The first edition of Blacks & Whites was released in 1970 more than 50 years ago, but has since disappeared.Only in a few cases A copy has surfaced for auctionThe game was led by the late Robert Sommer, an internationally renowned professor at the University of California, Davis, and a pioneer in environmental psychology, studying how human behavior is affected by the design of the world around us, and Psychology TodayThe original version is very popular as an educational tool that can teach people privileges from an early age. Marcos and Feynman said they hope to continue this tradition.

“In the 1970s…I had three children, we used to play board games, and the most popular was Monopoly,” wrote Summer, who died in February 2021, in the revised preface , It was still under development at the time. “While we played, I was shocked by its impracticality… In Monopoly, everyone starts with the same amount of money. This certainly doesn’t fit the real world.

“I decided to change the rules and bring in disadvantaged players… Just as many places in the county are bound by contracts and agreements that ban black residents, the black players of our game cannot initially buy real estate anywhere on the board. They will pay less Money started, and many penalties that did not affect white players.”

Robert Sommer lived in California in the 1960s, where he started working in games A wave of racial riots Swept the United States, beginning in 1965 Watts Rebellion Watts in Los Angeles. The cause of the protests was that a 21-year-old African-American man was abused by the police for driving under the influence. When the man was arrested, there were bystanders at the scene, which triggered the protest.

“Sadly, the situation is no different from 50 years ago,” said Robert Sommer’s wife, Barbara Sommer, who “proposed” while making the original game she. She said that society is fundamentally different in many ways, but in many ways, the same challenges faced by minorities in the 1960s still exist half a century later. “They are able to maintain the same basic structure and only need to update the roles and attributes. There is no doubt that the situation must be better,” Summer said. “But what shocks me is that this game is still so suitable.”

Fifty years later, Marcos and Feynman contacted Robert Summer immediately after the incident. Murder of George Floyd, Which also triggered Mass protests against police brutalityHe gave them the green light and let them continue to improve the game. He wrote in the preface that reviving blacks and whites is a “good idea.” He wrote that a lot has changed since the 1970s, but “race relations have not gotten better.”

“The game was great and we had time on our hands. Then George Floyd was murdered, so we all knew what we had to do with it,” Feynman said. “The timing couldn’t be better.”

The premise of the game-including race and privileges in Monopoly to make it more realistic-remains the same in the 50th Anniversary Edition. The design of the game has been updated to adapt to the 21st century society. Players can purchase some attributes, opportunity cards, landing space, and political topics (such as compensation, free funds for lucky black characters, and gentrification, confiscated a less lucky Property of the black gamer). Players can also land in the peaceful protest space, where whites must throw $20 into the compensation pool, while black players will be “beaten and taken directly to the police station.” In the original game, black players can pull out chance cards like “The Mayor”. [Richard] Chicago Daley has been re-elected. Go straight to prison. For the white character, the card read: “Please consult a psychoanalyst to understand that you are a black panther fantasizing-pay a fee of $30,000. “



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