Monopoly Empire = Brand Empire
With its new edition the classic capitalist game MONOPLOY finally became contemporary.
But it’s better than a parody. Monopoly Empire is the logical culmination of decades of Monopoly games that bear the name of eras, cities, and pop cultural icons. It’s not a bastardization of the series, it’s the series in its purest form, holding up a dark mirror to the muddled excesses of late capitalism. When everything is a brand, the most subversive thing of all is to lay out what you’re doing in its baldest form.
Monopoly Empire is a commentary on all the games that have come before it. It looks your Lord of the Rings special edition in the face and says “We’re not so different, you and I.” It forces you to confront the difference between a beloved cultural icon and a piece of marketing schlock.
The Batman edition? Just a brand. Marvel? Just a brand. The NFL? Just a brand. Star Wars? Just a brand.
Adi Robertson on the verge
A parody of capitalism cannot be more krass than capatilism itself, but parodies of communism can. Just listen to the communist Känguru and Marc-Uwe Kling playing MONOPOLY in a way that meets the logic of Communism. Really funny! (in “Die Känguru-Chroniken” by Marc-Uwe Kling). Benedikt Sarreiter writes on SZ-online that the original idea of MONOPOLY was to criticize capitalism. This comes as a surprise, i guess not only for me. It seems to be another proof that it is impossible to make a parody or satire of capitalism. Critic of capitalism has to be serious it seems, as if for a satirist it might be impossible to take capitalism of over the top. Capitalism is doing this on a daily basis, without any parodistic intentions.
But citic of capitalism at least can be entertaining, moving and (unintentionally) funny, like one of my favorites: Slavoj Žižek talking within an Occupy Wallstreet Session (thanks to Daniela for the link).