Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Game of Monopoly

Okay, the economy is tough, this summer’s weather has been brutal in many parts of the country, taking its toll on turf across the country; consider this story about an out of work heating salesman from Philadelphia.

The year 1933 was bleak. The weather was bad. The economy was bad. Charles Darrow of Germantown longed to visit Atlantic City as he had often done so in the past, but the depression had left him little money. As the next best thing to being there, Darrow concocted a little diversion. He invented a game based on the streets of Atlantic City: Boardwalk, Park Place, Baltic Avenue, and the rest. He called this new game Monopoly. It was all about making and spending money, some thing everyone wanted to do during the depression. Darrow showed the game to a few friends, and they liked it enough to want copies. Darrow made a few copies by hand, and thinking that he had a good idea, showed the game to Parker Brothers. But Parker Brothers considered the game too complicated to be successful.

Not willing to stop, Darrow managed to raise enough money to have some sets printed and offered them to Wanamaker's Department Store in Philadelphia. Very quickly Monopoly became the rage of the city. People who normally went to bed by nine o'clock would find themselves still trying to buy Boardwalk at two in the morning. The game was addictive. After this success, Parker Brothers took a second look and the rest is history. Charles Darrow was the first million dollar game inventor. Today, Monopoly is licensed in over eighty countries and in twenty-three languages.

The moral of the story, even in a down economy, situations present themselves, wise people pursue excellence and opportunity relentlessly.

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