What does the new Monopoly game reveal about cheating and capitalism?

Monopoly is being played by a nice family in the good ole days.
Hey, wait, is dad sneaking out some money in that hand?

An excerpt of an essay by writer Sam Lipsyte on the relationship between cheating and a new version of the Monopoly board game, Monopoly Live, which uses a computer as a referee.
"I never cheated much as a child, not on tests or papers, not at Go Fish or poker or even board games like Sorry or Risk. It’s been the same since. I pay my taxes, under-claim expenses, give mistaken change back to the cashier. I don’t lie on applications. I’d probably fill out my own death warrant with civic-minded meticulousness.

I’m not bragging. I find this part of me repellent. I’m not noble or good. I’m adult enough to know that the victories of cheats don’t feel hollow to them. They live happy lives. They don’t think they are cheats. They consider themselves warriors of life.

The fact is, I don’t cheat because I’m scared of getting caught, and I will be caught, because my fear will give me away.

You have to hand it to cheats. They have drive and nerve, though their ends tend toward the nefarious. Many great fortunes, from those of the robber barons to those of the robber geeks, bear some taint, an original murk, land wheedled here, software appropriated there. The upright schmoes just stood around, bewildered, fleeced.

We often claim otherwise, but cheating helped build the wealth of this country. That and murder, slavery and outright theft, of course, but the subject here is cheating. Our capitalist system has always harbored cheats, catapulted them through loopholes into riches and glory. The country has paid dearly for it. Predatory loan, anyone?

Still, I was raised to believe that America was the one place you didn’t have to cheat. Hard work alone would deliver you. I think I learned this from a filmstrip at school. Boy, was that filmstrip wrong, and now it seems that Hasbro, the board game manufacturer, agrees."

 The new version of Monopoly, "Monopoly Live"

Read the entire essay: A Monopoly on Cheating, The New York Times>>

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