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Home - by - January 21, 2011 - 18:25 America/New_York - 24 Comments

via Ricochet

‘Communist Monopoly’ Teaches Downside of Socialist Life

A new Monopoly-style board game aims to teach young Poles about life under Communism. It recreates the experience of going shopping for scarce goods.

A Polish research institute has developed a board game to teach young people about life under Communism. In the game, which is inspired by Monopoly, players must wait in endless lines at stores for scarce goods. For added realism, they have to put up with people cutting in line and products running out — unless they have a “colleague in the government” card.

There are no glamorous avenues for sale, nor can players erect hotels, charge rent or make pots of money. In fact, a new Polish board game inspired by the classic Monopoly is all about communism rather than capitalism.

The goal of the game, which will officially be launched on Feb. 5, is to show how hard and frustrating it was for an average person to simply do their shopping under the Communist regime in Poland. The game has been developed by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a Warsaw-based research institute that commemorates the suffering of the Polish people during the Nazi and Communist eras.

Just like in the original Monopoly, acquisition is the name of the game. In this case, however, that means struggling to get basic necessities such as food, clothing and furniture. “In the game, you send your family out to get items on a shopping list and they find that the five shops are sold out or that there hasn’t been a delivery that day,” the IPN’s Karol Madaj told SPIEGEL ONLINE Thursday, explaining that the game “highlights the tough realities of life under Communism.”

Indeed, there are many ways in which the game, which is called “Kolejka” after the Polish word for queue or line, builds frustration. Some rules allow other players to jump the line and get the last of a certain product, while others force players to give up their place in the queue.

Madaj emphasizes that the game was not inspired by any nostalgia for the Communist era, which lasted from the end of World War II until 1989. Instead, the IPN wants to educate young people who do not remember Communism by using the game as a tool to open up dialogue between the generations. “Those who were too young to remember how it was back then will be able to play this game with their parents or grandparents and maybe talk about how things were for the older generation,” says Madaj. [ FULL STORY ]

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Any guesses at to what the American version of Obamapoly might be called? Let’s gather ’round the table and play a game of Transform!

» 24 Comments

  1. Don't Tread On Me

    January 21st, 2011

    I am SO going to buy this and give it to my friends’ kid.

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  2. Papadoc

    January 21st, 2011

    Check out “Moscow On The Hudson” with Robin Williams. (I know, I know, check it out anyway.) Williams is a Russian musician who defects while in the USA. He is accustomed to waiting in line for everything from shoes to toilet paper. He goes to the grocery store to buy coffee for his adopted American family and asks “Where is line for coffee?” “Aisle 10. No line!” He proceeds to aisle 10, which is crowded with hundreds of coffee cans, bags and boxes of dozens of different brands of coffee. So many choices he collapses in an anxiety attack.

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  3. Papadoc

    January 21st, 2011

    Let’s play “Spread It Around A Little”!

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  4. Corona

    January 21st, 2011

    Good Lord! Do they have plans to sell this online? I’d be one of the billions to buy this game! Too bad it didn’t come out before Christmas, eh? I think every critter in Congress & the OHouse should get these from their “constituents”.

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  5. Edith McCrotch

    January 21st, 2011

    I see the different colors of people represented here…Blacks, Orientals, ET’s, Indians(Not the dot in the head kind but the woowoowoowooowooo kind), Smurfs, and Hispanics….where da white people at?

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  6. Genipero

    January 21st, 2011

    Illustr8tr ~

    There was a time when UN diplomats would smuggle out US-made toilet paper in their diplomatic briefcases

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  7. Czar of Defenestration

    January 21st, 2011

    FRILLIANT: Gotta get an English language version (if anyone finds a German language version sooner, let me know)!

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  8. Joe Redfield

    January 21st, 2011

    Imagine the uproar on the Left if an American teacher were to use this game in the classroom as an educational tool.

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  9. TN Tuxedo

    January 21st, 2011

    I’m sooooo gonna have to play this game.

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  10. ScratchNSniff

    January 21st, 2011

    Marxoply

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  11. ScratchNSniff

    January 21st, 2011

    Alinskoply

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  12. ScratchNSniff

    January 21st, 2011

    Dystopoly

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  13. ScratchNSniff

    January 21st, 2011

    Oligarcopoly

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  14. Angry Pancreas

    January 21st, 2011

    Haha. Cool!

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  15. ScratchNSniff

    January 21st, 2011

    American Ghetto

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  16. bitterclinger

    January 21st, 2011

    Which reminds me…A Polish man went to a car dealership, ordered a car and asked when he could pick it up.
    Salesman: Ten years.
    Customer: Morning or evening?
    Salesman: I just told you it would be 10 years! Why would it matter if it’s morning or afternoon?
    Customer: The plumber’s coming in the morning!

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  17. ScratchNSniff

    January 21st, 2011

    Oceania

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  18. Major Mal function

    January 21st, 2011

    There was a time when UN diplomats would smuggle out US-made toilet paper in their diplomatic briefcases

    I still do when going overseas. The USA is still #1 in #2.

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  19. Major Mal function

    January 21st, 2011

    Barackopoly: Only think about becoming a farmer and get $50,000 of taxpayer money. Color test required.

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  20. MR ED

    January 21st, 2011

    What a great idea….these will be gifts as soon as there is a US version. Will I have to wait in line?

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  21. DomesticDame

    January 21st, 2011

    Will they have this game in public schools? Doubt it!

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  22. [...] couldn’t believe it until I see it. There’s this game called Kolejka. It’s a game about life under Communist rule. Pretty depressing, isn’t [...]

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  23. Mepluribusunum

    January 23rd, 2011

    @edithmccrotch…the white people are at work selling the stuff people are waiting in line for…oops, a little non-pc there.

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  24. Alpha Knollenberg

    April 21st, 2011

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    Thumb up 0