Apparently being a patent asshole isn't a new thing at all, nor twisting an innovative product to mercantile uses.
The gameâ(TM)s true origins, however, go unmentioned in the official literature. Three decades before Darrowâ(TM)s patent, in 1903, a Maryland actress named Lizzie Magie created a proto-Monopoly as a tool for teaching the philosophy of Henry George, a nineteenth-century writer who had popularized the notion that no single person could claim to âoeownâ land. In his book Progress and Poverty (1879), George called private land ownership an âoeerroneous and destructive principleâ and argued that land should be held in common, with members of society acting collectively as âoethe general landlord.â
"The players could, however, vote to do something not officially allowed in Monopoly: cooperate. Under this alternative rule set, they would pay land rent not to a propertyâ(TM)s title holder but into a common potâ"the rent effectively socialized so that, as Magie later wrote, âoeProsperity is achieved.â
For close to thirty years after Magie fashioned her first board on an old piece of pressed wood, The Landlordâ(TM)s Game was played in various forms and under different namesâ"âoeMonopoly,â âoeFinance,â âoeAuction.â It was especially popular among Quaker communities in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, as well as among economics professors and university students whoâ(TM)d taken an interest in socialism. Shared freely as an invention in the public domain, as much a part of the cultural commons as chess or checkers, The Landlordâ(TM)s Game was, in effect, the property of anyone who learned how to play it."
PS: I no longer have any idea on how to make a link work in a je entry
PPS: I am about 2 weeks behind in reading je's that aren't spam