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Why does Monopoly destroy families?
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There's always a cheater

There's always that one family member who can't stand losing-or who just loves creating chaos on board game night. Some games ruin families because they bring out people's latent cheating tendencies. Protect your Monopoly money with your life.
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There's an old adage that states "cheaters never win" but sometimes, they do. When a player cheats to get ahead in a game, it makes the game unenjoyable for the others, disincentivizing skill, destroying trust, and giving the cheater an unfair advantage. In the context of Monopoly, which already has other stress-inducing elements, cheating can ruin the game for everyone.

The Argument

If you've ever lost a game of Monopoly, you'll understand how tempting (and easy!) it is to cheat. Whether it's by stealing money, overcharging for properties, or rearranging pieces when another player leaves the table, cheating can seem like the only way to win. After all, nobody likes to lose and we all have that one family member who will do whatever it takes to avoid doing so. Besides, Monopoly is a particularly frustrating game to play, with one player slowly draining money from all the others over countless, increasingly painful trips around the board. For these reasons, Monopoly can drive even the most upstanding people to cheat, arguably more so than other games. Of course, the deceitful tendencies brought out by the game spark arguments, bring latent familial conflicts, and ruin the spiteful fun of the person who was winning. Naturally, this begs the question: why do families across the world continue to play such a relationally destructive game? It’s hard to say, but until we figure it out, keep an eye on your Monopoly money.

Counter arguments

Not every family has a member who cheats. Even without a cheater, Monopoly can strain relationships due to its tedious nature and the fact that it rewards luck over skill. Moreover, while it's especially easy to cheat at Monopoly, a person could cheat at chess, checkers, poker, or any other game. It is illogical to imply that cheaters are unique to Monopoly. Rather, any game is unpleasant to play when another player cheats.



[1] Cheaters make games unenjoyable for other players. [2] Someone always cheats in Monopoly. [3] Monopoly is unenjoyable.

Rejecting the premises

[2] There isn't always a cheater in every Monopoly game.


This page was last edited on Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 06:11 UTC