Newy Monopoly Delights Region’s Poor

Filed under On the Town ~ by Throsby on  13 Oct 2019

While well-to-do queue for the latest iPhone or Tesla car, a localised board game gives hope to the region’s poor.

Monopoly – a century ago known as “The Landlord’s Game – gloatingly instructed the hoi-polloi as to how, and from whom, the rich got that money.

Last Thursday (14th October) a “Newcastle Version” of the infamous plutocratic taunt was launched at The Museum by lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

The reviewer immediately grasped the innovative and democratising thrust of applied game theory as another devious stratagem in the elite’s arsenal to placate by distraction the great unwashed.

He confidently expects our local aged, homeless, and working poor to embrace faux ownership of, and fancied dalliance with, the Hunter region’s property bargains and venue attractors for a mere lifetime fee of $60.

Just roll the dice and do the art of the deal.

For the price of a Newstart weekly food budget, you too can own a coloured square of cardboard and some plastic doodads.

But wait, there’s more!

Long-suffering members of lower socio-economic status discovered early in their careers that subsistence and tourism are mutually exclusive.

Perhaps with its surfeit of desirable destinations it should be called Hunter Monopoly, for included in that one-time payment – a mere fraction of an annual Opal Card fee – is the ability to visit many city and valley venues at the flick of a wrist.

Throw the dice and let one’s fingers do the walking.

The ever popular lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes, effusing game’s launch on Thursday, hinted even she is feeling the pinch with the cost of travel:

I can’t wait to take a proper ride around the Newcastle Monopoly board with my family and friends this week."

Promoters and sponsors were probably not enthused to read of a comparison of Newcastle with Melbourne. It transpired that a second printing of the game, due to demand, placed the two cities on a common bond.

This reviewer believes, like all Novocastrians, that any association with the dysfunctional conurbation of Melbourne and it’s unsightly muddy canal will only taint our city’s international status.

Class warfare in a board game?

For those sad folk whose combined incomes still can’t buy a tent on the footpath, with Newy Monopoly they can indulge property ownership using Monopoly money that – in some precincts – is more valuable than official fiat.

But Newy Monopoly isn’t just for socialist workers seeking an “elite” experience.

Wannabe neoliberals (perhaps on hard times because their prosperity praying lacks fervour, or for disastrously misapplied have-a-go-ism) will be rapturous at the quantity of public assets peddled at bargain prices – just like in the real world.

Power and water utilities up for privatisation? Frenzy! Hunter Water escaped the hammer for far too long, so this is the lay-neolib’s chance to set things right. How many more trams might we have gotten for a one-off sugar hit flogging that wasted public water works.

Smashed avo caffeinators will be delighted at Goldberg’s spot on the board. However, be forewarned that Goldberg Monopoly Wi-Fi works rather like one would expect with fibre to the board.

The reviewer a tip for game-players.

Newcastle Grammar’s inclusion presents a sure-fire path to engulf adjacent holdings. A real estate spokesperson suggested that whomever bought the school could – with the simple application of influence and wealth, and little need for dice throwing – expand their holdings to an unseemly percentage of board-based realty.

The Newcastle Show is taking a considerable risk, too, as their cardboard doppelganger could easily attract more visitors that the actual showground event. One might perversely scrutinise attendance figures for the next show event.

An aura of unfulfillable promise tends to shade two specific technical shortcomings in this otherwise attractive board game.

1. There is no warning for children to wear sun-safe clothing and sunscreen during game play. They will frequently find themselves on one of the many, many (too many?) beaches populating Newy Monopoly.

2. The absence of money lenders, pawn shops, employment service providers, fast food outlets, and massage parlours will deter many potential working-class buyers.

So there it is.

If, like me, you gaze enviously at the crowds luxuriating on Queens Wharf promenade, yachting upon harbour, lake, or bay, sunning at the beach, smashing avo in coffee houses, parading in sleek shiny hybrid vehicles, trimming lawns of suburban heritage-painted restorations – – and wonder what you did wrong in life to be born both poor and stupid – Newy Monopoly is the salve you seek.

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