Enterprisers hovered over big teal boards while passing around slips of pastel-colored cash, from $1 bills to $500 bills. They rolled the dice and hoped to stay out of jail. Such was the atmosphere at Northside Library’s Monopoly Madness, held on the evening of Friday, Nov. 6. About several dozen people, both adults and children, showed up.
“We were inspired by National Monopoly Day in November,” says Angela Ocana, librarian. “This event we’re hosting at Northside is just the preliminary first round and there’s also another preliminary round at the teen center. The top 16 from the adult group and the top 16 from the kids group in the preliminary rounds will face off the following week. The finals will be at the Central Park Library on Nov. 14.”
The regular Monopoly player’s goals are to acquire property and bankrupt their opponents. At Monopoly Madness, a quicker end time was desired so participants could play more games. Here, each game ended as soon as the first person became bankrupt. Then library staff counted the total number of assets people had.
“Most people think Boardwalk and Park Place are the best properties to get but in reality the monopolies created by the orange and red properties are the best,” Ocana says. “The reason is because when you go down the board, there’s a spot that says ‘go to jail.’ When you leave jail, you end up having to go over the red and orange properties a lot. Boardwalk and Park Place only have two properties and they don’t get landed on as much.”
Dan Davis from San Jose brought his son Hunter, 13, to Monopoly Madness.
“We play board games at home all the time,” Davis says. “Besides the fact that you get to socialize, when you play Monopoly, you get to see people’s reactions to the game play, to your trades.”
Preeti Ray from Sunnyvale says her son, Talin, 12, regularly checks the Santa Clara City Library web site for events and was thrilled to learn about Monopoly Madness.
“My son loves Monopoly; it’s a good feeling to see my child feeling so strongly enough about board games that he’d find events on his own,” Ray says. “It’s wonderful seeing him interacting with others and learning negotiation skills. It’s also nice to see that kids still love board games, not just video games.”