Below: news about ‘Ghettopoly’– a version of monopoly using all the icons mass media associates with lower income communities. Not surprisingly, this has spurred attention and criticism.

Black Clergy Leaders Outraged at ‘Ghettopoly’ Game at Urban Outfitters

Ticked off in Philly

Ghettopoly: Is It A Racist, Offensive Game?

Ghettopoly Criticized by NAACP

If you’re living in a lower income community, you are indeed trapped in a game. I picked up on some of the rules while grant writing for Cambodian Associations in the States.

No bank account? Pay extra money to cash your welfare or pay check. Not paying utilities on time? Dinged with a late fee. Maybe you’ve got a long commute to where the jobs are. That eliminates your chances of getting a part time job.

Banks ‘red-line’ areas as too risky to give loans. I once read a micro-lending expert calling this ‘structural violence’.

Sure, the images of uzis and 40 ouncers are mediagenic, but denying somebody the chance to buy their own home can destroy dreams and communities. But somehow a bank interview is less exciting than the drama of gangs and guns.

Ghettopoly is a childish idea. But someone needs to create a game that shows the real rules we’re playing by.

Food for thought: Atlantic City, where Monopoly takes its names from – how well are those areas doing in the present day? A lot of them have lost their value.

Maybe having a monopoly ain’t the best way for everyone to win.

Click below for something a little more constructive. (Thanks to Ricko for the tip!)

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As for those of you who are lookin’ for the comics, more on the front page soon.


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