Here’s a conversation starter. Today, Hasbro, Inc. has announced the latest edition to the Monopoly franchise in a big way. The new game, Ms. Monopoly, has a whole new spin on the iconic game. Not only is it the first time that a female character appears on the box cover, she pretty much dominates the entire game. For years, Monopoly featured “Mr. Monopoly” as a real-estate mogul. The new game features his niece who is said to be “an advocate whose mission is to invest in female entrepreneurs.”
To help promote the new game, Hasbro, Inc. sent three boxes of the game to three young inventors along with $20,580 in real money in their support of these women’s lives. ($20,580 is also the same amount of money featured in the game.)
The three lucky girls are 16-year-old Sophia Wang who invented a device that can detect sinkholes before they occur, 13-year-old Gitanjali Rao who invented a way to detect lead in drinking water and 16-year-old Ava Canney who created a spectrometer that measures the amount of dye used in the making of candy and soda. All three girls (and their reactions to the news) are featured in the video below.
“Through the introduction of Ms. Monopoly and the money these young women have received to invest in their future projects, we want to recognize and celebrate the many contributions women have made to our society and continue to make on a daily basis,” said Jen Boswinkel, Senior Director, Global Brand Strategy and Marketing, Hasbro.
The new game has a new focus. Properties are now replaced by invention and innovations that were created by women including chocolate chip cookies, WiFi, solar heating and modern shapewear. Instead of buying houses, players build business headquarters. But there is also another big difference in this new version. Ms. Monopoly prides itself on addressing the pay gap issue between genders and is the only game where women make more money than men. According to USA Today, all females get $1,900 at the start of the game while men receive only $1,500. And instead of receiving $200 like the men do for passing “Go”, women earn $240. Hasbro calls this “a fun spin in the game that creates a world where women have an advantage often enjoyed by men.” By simply giving female players more money than the male players, one has to wonder how this is going to help solve the problem of inequity.
Ms. Monopoly is available for pre-order at Walmart and will be available at most major retailers nationwide and in select countries globally starting September 2019 for a suggested retail price of $19.99.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.