Hotel on Mayfair,
I've got a hotel on Park Lane, the blue one,
And Little Frank, he's not even got a house on the Old Kent Road.
Oh I've got hotels on all the red ones, and the green ones,
And all of the yellow ones,
He's not even got a light blue one,
And he's not been past the Water Works.
(taken from The Monopoly Song by Frank Sidebottom)
You could do a lot worse than spend a couple of minutes watching/listening to this!
Now it has to be said.... I'm a player of games. I love 'em. Whether they be rooted in this reality or a virtual one, I love playing games.
I like video games, board games, card games.... traditional games, contemporary games.... you name it and if I haven't played it then you can guarantee I wouldn't mind playing it!
I've played Gulo Gulo, Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, Chartbusters, Pass the Pigs, Settlers of Catan, Risk, Chess, Chinese Checkers and Mah-jong.
I've played Tapper and Toobin'. I've leapt at the chance to play Burnin' Rubber and Ms. PacMan. I've played Smurfs, Star Wars, Ponpoko and Space Duel. I've thrown virtual darts, footballs and javelins. and I've even been known to play Pokemon (Silver; diamond; AND platinum)....
I've bragged about three cards. I've chased the ace. I've had my knuckles scraped until they bled at Scabby Queen, and I've fifteen for two'ed myself into oblivion with cribbage. Canasta, Spades, Hearts, Bezique, Pip Pip, Oh Hell and Beggar my Neighbour.
Yes, I love them all.
The problem with games.... is the same as that faced when trying to dance an Argentinian Tango.... invariably it takes more than one.... and unless someone else likes to cut a rug..... you're up a snookery creek without a black ball!
An example of this lack of willing participants is as follows:
Today I played Monopoly on the internet... not just your average, common or garden variety of Monopoly.... but Monopoly the World Edition. The main differences being that:
a) instead of streets, you buy whole cities like Beijing or Vancouver.
b) instead of starting with the usual fifteen hundred quid, you start this one with fifteen MILLION!! (that's inflation for you)
c) Rather than play an endless pit of turns waiting for everyone to go bankrupt, this game is turn based so we each get 34 turns (perhaps) maximum.
d) Game winner declared after two people bankrupt or maximum turns expired.
e) "total worth" decides winner!
Other than that it's exactly the same.....
So I play against three computers, who are, rather imaginatively named: Computer 2; Computer 3; and Computer 4 - I am playing what would presumably have been Computer 1's seat.... and I try not to think too much about the four of them playing non-stop for all eternity until someone visits their gaming table.
All goes well up until you realise that there's an element of racism at play.... they trade with each other reasonably whilst making insulting and paltry offers to me. The dice rolls don't seem to favour me. They're stitching me up.
It gets to a stage where they've all swapped properties and Computer 3 has a full set of the oranges (Vine, Marlborough and Bow Streets - equivalent). Computer 4 on the other hand only has a set of the dark brown ones (we'd call the Old Kent Road and Whitechapel). And can you guess what Computer 2 owns? Yes, the dark blue pair (Mayfair and Park Lane).
A light blue; a pink; a red; a yellow; a station; and two dark green ones (the ones that cost a fortune and nobody ever lands on them, and if you DO get all three you can never afford to build houses on them anyway).
In the dying embers of the game, Computer 2 buys the final dark green at action for a staggering twelve million.
There are hotels on the oranges and dark browns. Five turns from the end of the game and I'm comfortably in second place. Despite owning the most expensive proiperties on the board, Computer 2 is sitting in jail with no money to build any houses (and that serves him/her right for overbidding for my dark green).
I am two turns from the end of the game when the conspiracy trap is sprung, and I am unceremoniously dumped onto Vancouver (an orange one with a hotel on) and after stumping up the ten million rent..... I finish in a very poor third place.
Now, if I had some REAL friends....Scooby Doo Monopoly or Gulo Gulo anyone?