Many joyous hours of my childhood were devoted to playing Monopoly. During summers friends and I spent a lot of time playing it in my house, with a fan going nearby sometimes on the hot days.
Hasbro, which owns Parker Brothers (the company that manufactures Monopoly), is planning to replace one of the eight current playing pieces in the game with another.
Numerous media sources are reporting about this, including the Christian Science Monitor and CNN. You can vote once a day until February 5, 2013 on a Facebook page that Hasbro has set up, choosing one classic piece you want to save. You can also choose which of the five new alternatives to add to the game.
When my friends and I played, I almost always chose the hat. One reason was that it was not a first choice of others I played with. One friend usually played with the dog, another typically chose the car. Another player frequently used the shoe.
But another reason is that it seemed practical. A hat is often worn outside by a person when walking, etc., so it seemed a logical choice. However, I must admit that I normally wore a coat with a hood to cover my head (and ears) rather than a hat when it was cold. In warmer weather I rarely wore a head covering.
An additional justification for saving the hat token is that the Monopoly game boxes often (if not always) feature a man wearing a hat similar to the one in the game. Yes, I strongly support keeping this top hat!
In contrast, the ship, iron, thimble, and wheelbarrow seem to not be typical items for a person to use on a normal daily journey. My mom always played with the iron, probably because others didn't choose it and also since she did a significant amount of ironing.
In our family Monopoly game, the ship, thimble, and wheelbarrow seemed to get the least use. The wheelbarrow was probably least frequently used of all, as I recall.
I voted to save the hat and to add the cat. A Marketplace.org article discusses how an individual's choice of a particular Monopoly token to play with depends upon their unique personality.
I have not played Monopoly in years. But I am confident I would enjoy doing so occasionally if time permitted from other activities that I consider more important and/or even more enjoyable. However, regardless of when or if I play the game again, I cherish lots of fabulous memories of playing it with family and friends.
There may be much more important things to debate in the real world during the current economic situation, as persons discuss the fiscal cliff, Social Security, health care costs, unemployment, etc.
But remember that Monopoly itself is generally credited as being created during the depression in the 1930s by Charles Darrow and quickly became the best-selling board game in America according to BoardGames.LoveToKnow.com and various other sources.
Monopoly may have helped many cope with those depression years more enjoyably, and maybe it can again. I think old-fashioned board games promote more family discussions than video games. For the cost of one board game, families and friends can enjoy lots of fun!
With apologies to Dr. Seuss, creator and author of The Cat in the Hat, I adopt the slogan, "save the hat and add the cat." And I hope a new generation enjoys Monopoly!
NOTE: This article is very similar to one the author published earlier on another website. This particular article was last revised on January 12, 2013.