Aspects of Play: Monopoly

As part of the module, the task was to look into the various types of games within the 3 specific bands of play. The band this game I shall be discussing ‘Monopoly’ belongs to is Board Games.

When playing X, I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Agon, Alea and Mimicry

In terms of Mimicry, you play as a selected piece on the board in an attempt to be the last person standing or after a certain period of time, the one with the most properties and/or money. Agon is primarily centered in the game because of how the game is design, players go around the board collecting money and buying properties when applicable, the objective of the game is to either bankrupt everyone else or to have the most money, so the competitive side comes out when people are negotiating property sales or collecting money from those who just landed on their property. Illinx doesn’t take apart of this game as it has no reason to, being a board game that has no requirement to disorientate the player in any regard. Alea makes an appearance in this game through the chance and community cards of which offer the player various benefits or hindrances that can shift the balance of gameplay on those that are winning to make them fall behind.

In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the tactical element behind it, were you’d attempt to negotiate with players to obtain their properties to play a longer game of trying to take more money from people in one turn when they land on your properties.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

No. Even though the game was fun in a tactical and social sense, I didn’t quite tap into a state of flow because of how fragmented and slow the games can be.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I would improve the lengths of games to a more shorter form by increasing the tempo on a players turn by adding a timer. I feel like the games and peoples turns take too long in this game and I feel that, if they were quickened in pace slightly, it would make for faster more enjoyable games.


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