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London Turned into Giant Board Game 272

webponce writes "Hasbro have fitted out 18 London cabs with GPS tracking devices, and hooked them up to a real time, real life game of monopoly. You get to choose which cab driver you want to 'play' with, and then pick which properties around London you want to put your houses and hotels, hit go, sit back and wait for the other cab drivers to land on your square and make you rent. You get 24 hours of your cab running around London, and you have to see how much money you can make in a day (my bet, put your property on Wimbledon this week ;)"
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London Turned into Giant Board Game

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  • but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by torrents ( 827493 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:46AM (#12887092) Homepage
    real life counterstrike would be better... guess you'd have to go to iraq for that though...
    • Re:but... (Score:3, Funny)

      by jamesh ( 87723 )
      A few problems I can think of...

      1. You wouldn't be in direct control of the soldiers, they'd just go where they wanted to.
      2. Assuming you could work around the above, then lag might be a problem.
      3. I doubt that neither allied or enemy soldiers would consent to having remotely readable GPS units attached to their person.
      • Re:but... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Raul654 ( 453029 )
        . I doubt that neither allied or enemy soldiers would consent to having remotely readable GPS units attached to their person

        Actually, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if US soldiers had GPS trackers on their person trasmitting their individual locations (all encrypted, of course) - it's the kind of thing that the people in HQ 30 miles away could use to direct a battle.
        • Re:but... (Score:3, Insightful)

          The fact that they would be transmitting this data is enough to track them, you dont need to decrypt the signals. Just by capturing hte data, you can work out if there are troops near your position and that gains you a significant advantage.
        • Re:but... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rho ( 6063 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:01PM (#12890292) Homepage Journal
          They might have such devices, but it's not so that generals in remote locations can direct a battle. The Army spends a lot of time and money training their soldiers and officers to be independent thinkers and to react intelligently to new situations, but grounded on solid foundations of tactics and mission objectives. Directing blips on a screen is more likely to be harmful than useful. There's a lot that simple locations cannot tell you about what's going on on the ground.
      • Ummm... (Score:4, Funny)

        by Trejkaz ( 615352 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:59AM (#12887290) Homepage

        1. You wouldn't be in direct control of the soldiers, they'd just go where they wanted to.

        And this is different from Counter-Strike how, exactly?

      • Re:but... (Score:5, Funny)

        by ISaidItOmega ( 792820 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:48AM (#12887672)
        You're missing the biggest problem of all:

        The US soldiers would probably give up their positions once the Iraqis heard them shouting "FUX0RING N00BS!!!11" or "thiS GUYS USING a WaLLHACK!!"

        ....fucking Iraqis and their wallhacks..

    • Re:but... (Score:2, Funny)

      by FidelCatsro ( 861135 )
      If Iraq was real life Counter strike , Then a shed load of troops would have been server banned for PKing and abusing the hostages
      • Re:but... (Score:2, Funny)

        by aussie_a ( 778472 )
        Why do you think there was so much friendly fire in Iraq? Fucking campers.
  • by michaeldot ( 751590 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:49AM (#12887101)
    Steve Jobs is also playing and he's landed on Regent Street.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:54AM (#12887116)
    basically you set it up, it ticks for 24hrs, then at the end it tells you how much money you made. im on about 300m last i checked, the game ends at 24hrs and you start again.

    it isn't fun.
    • I agree. This is a a neat idea. It could be a fun game. I wish that it were.

      It's not BAD. I wouldn't run home in tears if I were the developer of this game or anything.

      I don't think that I'll play it again though.
    • by spongeboy ( 681073 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:51AM (#12887401)
      yeah, but it did help me come second in a beauty contest.
    • by pcmanjon ( 735165 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @03:51AM (#12887540)
      I happen to be friends with one of the guys who works at Hasbro; and he's told me it isn't GPS controlled as they claim.

      This is just marketing to make it appealing and feel "real."

      He's told me that although he didn't do any of the programming work for the cab stuff, he has done some apache configuration and stuff for the server.

      He tells me that they used a "deamon" like program coded in C to sned the current location to an SQL database, and the webserver handles it from there.

      It makes sense that they would make it all fake to save money, having GPS's and stuff for real cabs just seems like too much work.
      • eh? They use a "daemon like program coded in C" (typical web developer, thinks anything that isn't script is just some black art that does nothing serious) that places location coordinates in a database.... Sounds suspiciously like an AVL system is set up.. and you can do AVL using GPS nowadays (though radio triangulation used to be more common).

        I know it may sound like science fiction to a web developer, but AVL systems have ben used for years and years. Using GPS makes sense to reduce the costs of the v
  • Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xiaomonkey ( 872442 )
    This seems....um...random?

    What exactly is the added trill of having the position of your player on a monoploy board correlated with the position of a real life cabby?

    I guess I just don't get it.
    • And a dice roll is deterministic? The only real difference I see with this is that the cab's don't travel around the board, they go from anywhere to anywhere else directly.

      Even the concept of jail probably exists if the cabbie does something wrong.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:04AM (#12887570) Journal
      It's actually more fun for the passengers.

      Cab: Where do you want to go?
      Passenger: Regent Street
      Cab: You sure you really want to go there? I hear they've got some hotels on that street.
      Passenger: Yeah I'm sure.
      Cab: Alright. ....10 minutes later a police-man pulls them over....

      Cab: What's the problem officer?
      Policeman: This one of them monopoly cabs?
      Cab: Yup.
      Policeman: Can you and your passenger get out of the vehicle, this street has been designated the go to jail street.
      Cab: Aaah shit.
      Passenger: Don't worry, I've got a get out of jail free card.
  • Make Way (Score:2, Funny)

    by tdmg ( 881818 )
    Watch out horses, Vegas, and greyhounds. Make way for the next level in high stakes betting. Who wouldn't be willing to put down a few real dollars ( or pounds) on a real live Monopoly game for once? I can see it now, Hasbro goes from clean cut toy company and becomes a modern day Mafia. Leading the way to high tech illegal gambling and racketeering.
    • Hasbro goes from clean cut toy company and becomes a modern day Mafia. Leading the way to high tech illegal gambling and racketeering.

      And this is different from a modern corporation in what way?
  • And you have to send them your email address to sign up.

    Apparently I've been receiving notices about this game for the past year or so and just didn't realize it was Hasbro.

    Stop spam!
  • by egypt_jimbob ( 889197 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @12:56AM (#12887126) Homepage Journal
    Oldschool cardboard-and-paper Monopoly is boring as hell. This sounds much more fun, since you can just get out of the cab and go to the pub.
  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) * <bc90021@b[ ]021.net ['c90' in gap]> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:02AM (#12887148) Homepage
    ...that some lucky cab rider gets a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card? If so, are there limits to what they can do to land themselves in jail? ;)

  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:12AM (#12887175)
    I'm not sure if the cab system differs in London compared to where I live, but I'd predict a large increase in abandoned calls from locations people have bought a lot of property on.
  • One has to think that with the current prices of petrol, cab maintenance, sallaries, parking fees and so forth, it'd be quite a bit of work to just break even, particularly when you only get $200 for going around the whole board just once.

    Perhaps this could become a new True Cost [pncbank.com] kind of standard!

  • by Bifurcati ( 699683 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:22AM (#12887201) Homepage
    In other news, thousands of Brits have been trying to hack the game so that Margaret Thatcher, and indeed any other of her party, land on the "Go Directly to Jail" square.

    Democrats flew President Bush over (on the pretense of buying him a pet sheep) for a similar trick, but Bush simply changed the constitution so that while he didn't have to go to jail, he did get to collect $200, and without having to pass Go, either. He then rewrote to board to read "Go directly to Guatanamo Bay. And stay there."

  • No Wimbeldon (Score:4, Informative)

    by os2fan ( 254461 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:28AM (#12887210) Homepage
    For those who have not seen a proper monopoly board, the streets are (by colour-group, from Go)
    • Old Kent Road, Whitechapel
    • The Angel of Islington, Euston Road, Pentenville Road
    • Pall Mall, Whitehall, Northumberland Ave
    • Bow street, Malborough street, Vine street
    • The Strand, Fleet street, Trafalgar Square
    • Leister square, coventry square, piccadilly
    • Regent street, Oxford street, Bond street
    • Park Lane, Mayfair.

    The railway stations are in order, Kings Cross, Marylebone, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street.

    Utilities are Electric Company and Water-Works.

    You still have chance and community chest, with such joys as "go back three spaces", and "take a walk on the broad walk, advance token to mayfair", although not the German "go back to Old Kent Road".

    • Except that this is all to advertise their new 'UP TO DATE' version of monopoly, with such wonders as 'The London Eye' 'Camden Markets' etc.

      So, even though I couldn't be shagged looking through all the properties on the board they have there, I bet Wimbeldon is there.
    • Re:No Wimbeldon (Score:4, Informative)

      by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:56AM (#12887280)
      Of course, that is only on a British monopoly board.
      American boards, Australian boards, Star Wars boards, Star Trek boards, Simpsons boards and others have totally different stuff :)
      • Re:No Wimbeldon (Score:4, Informative)

        by Muttley ( 53789 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:22AM (#12887608)
        Growing up in Australia I always thought the UK edition of the game was the 'true' version of monopoly, but the game was in fact invented in America, and so the original version, and the version used in all monopoly world championships, is the American version of the game.

    • Re:No Wimbeldon (Score:5, Informative)

      by indianajones428 ( 644219 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:22AM (#12887332)
      I guess they aren't using the standard British Monopoly setup, because there is a Wimbeldon. IIRC, it's about where St. James Place usually is on the American board.

      On the "Monopoly Live" board, the streets are (sorry for any spelling errors):

      -Portobello Road Market, Camden Market
      -Hammersmith Apollo, Wembley Arena, GMTV
      -The Oval, Wimbeldon, Wembley Statium
      -Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Tate Museum
      -London Eye, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square
      -Tottenham Court Road, Covent Garden, Regent Street
      -Notting Hill, Soho, Kings Road
      -Canary Wharf, The City

      The railway stations are now airports, and are in order: London City Airport, Stansted Airport, Gatwick Airport, and Heathrow Airport

      Utilities are Telecoms and The Sun

      There is still Chance and Community Chest, but you have to text message for those, so your guess is as good as mine (anyone in England willing to tell the rest of us what they are like?).

  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:33AM (#12887227) Journal
    In fact, arguably the nearest of the properties on a UK Monopoly board to Wimbledon is Old Kent Road*, which, ironically, is the first and hence cheapest property on the board.

    If I were to make an educated guess, I'd say that either Euston Road, Picadilly or Trafalgar Square would win this competition, as they are major traffic arteries that cabs are always visible on.

    (*Both Wimbledon and the Old Kend Road are south of the River Thames. There maybe a property that is a little closer to Wimbledon, but anyone who's ever lived in London would know that trying to get a taxi cab to take you "south of the river" can sometimes be harder than drawing blood from a stone.)
  • Monopoly is boring (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:43AM (#12887249)
    Yeah, I know Hasbro is running the game, but..

    Why not do something interesting like this based on a game that is actually fun to play. Puerto Rico, Catan, Carcassonne, etc. Especially in Europe where they don't play crap like Monopoly, and they play good games.
    • Great games. Easy to learn, great replayability, chance and expertise. It's all good.
    • by hcdejong ( 561314 )
      Where do you get that idea? Monopoly is quite a popular game over here.

      If you want to have fun with Monopoly, try playing with more than one board. We used to do this with a Dutch and an American board, laid down side-by-side. Odd or even dice rolls would determine whether you would take a right turn or go straight on (and onto the other board), and we had a 10% loss when exchanging money from Dutch to US (and vv). Complicates things no end.
      Other rule changes are also fun (have everyone play two 'pawns', a
      • My favourite variant is 3 dice. Player chooses any two.

        Allow landlords to haggle over which two dice the player chooses ("if you land on my hotel I'll only charge you $100")
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @01:45AM (#12887254) Homepage
    Playing real-life Monopoly in London is kinda of dangerous with all the spooks, CIA agents, and Russians with posion-tipped umbellas running around. Personally, I would try my luck with a pissed off New York taxi driver since it would be safer as the muggers get run over more often than the pigeons.
    • Playing real-life Monopoly in London is kinda of dangerous with all the spooks, CIA agents, and Russians with posion-tipped umbellas running around. Personally, I would try my luck with a pissed off New York taxi driver since it would be safer as the muggers get run over more often than the pigeons.

      Nah, just bring with you a bullet proof hat with razor sharp brim. Looks dashing and is the best defence from spooks, CIA agents, and russians with poison tipped umbellas. But those nasty man eating bubbles
    • New York taxi drivers can be fun - I once got in a taxi somewhere around W.86th street and asked to be taken to Grand Central Station. The taxi driver thought for a minute and said "umm - OK, but do you mind if we go fast as I have just noticed one of my tyres has a slow puncture and I want to get back to the depot as soon as possible".

      Cue one ludicrous-speed taxi ride!!
      • Over 40 blocks of high-speed cab? Reminds me of a scene from The In-Laws [imdb.com] where Sheldon and Vince are in a speeding cab in New York:
        Sheldon: Are we stopped?
        Vince: Yes, we're stopped.
        Sheldon: Did we hit the little boy on 6th Avenue?
        Vince: No, we missed him by a good foot and a half.
  • US Version? (Score:2, Funny)

    by DingerX ( 847589 )
    Of course, with the success of the London edition, Hasbro is considering deploying a US Version (aka "The Original"), in which, as is known, the streets are those of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    The Taxicabs will still be there, but to ensure proper coverage of the board, GPS transceivers will also be attached to a select number of Hookers, Pimps, and Retirees off the bus from NYC.
  • by Anomalous Communard ( 718990 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @02:23AM (#12887333)
    London's been a board game [dunx.org] for ages.
  • This sounds a lot like an article I found linked off Ars yesterday. Apparently some companies are trying to combine LARPing with GPS and computer games to make some sort of real life game. Anyone know if there's anyone doing this in San Francisco?

    Gamers turn cities into a battleground [newscientist.com]
  • Why Monopoly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flyboy Connor ( 741764 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @03:19AM (#12887459)
    Cool idea, but why the hell would they choose Monopoly as the game to be played this way? Monopoly is incredibly boring.

    Why not Scotland Yard [boardgamegeek.com]? It's IDEAL to be played in the centre of London!

  • As a veteran of three of these, I no longer need a map or a list of pubs. That's a total of 26 drinks, by the way, including the four station bars. It's a LOT easier to do on vodka and orange than on beer.
  • Aaah London memories (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The OPTiCIAN ( 8190 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @03:59AM (#12887558)
    I worked in Central London about twelve months ago. A mate and I had read up on decomissioned tube stations and the like, and thought it would be fun to spend a Saturday going around and trying to find them. This turned out to be not so fun. You pass a siding, see a shadow of something in the darkness, and go "Oh there it is"... and that's it. So this quickly turned into game of "let's see if we can pass through all of the zone 1 tube stations before the tube closes tonight. It was a close run, but we did it. We took a photo at each stop. basically - leap out of the train, *snap*, scuffle awkwardly away from the arms of any nearby security people, leap back on the train before the doors close and on to the next stop! During that day we got seriously yelled at for taking photos of an interesting looking building near Vauxhall Cross. Top day.

    On another weekend I came third in a Mornington Crescent championship.

    And since cab drivers are mentioned in this story, I'll also mention that during my time in London I also got propositioned by a cab driver. It was a company-paid and organised cab as well (!). I explained that while I had every confidence in his a lovely personality, I had a girlfriend back home and it just wouldn't do.
  • South of the river mate - Nah, can't go down there. You'll never guess who I had in the back of my cab yesterday.....
  • by ndansmith ( 582590 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:30AM (#12887628)
    . . . the delightful real-life board game from New York, PacManhattan [pacmanhattan.com].
  • by bullgod ( 93002 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:25AM (#12887732)
    Mornington Cresent, cabbie.
  • by Quazion ( 237706 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @06:03AM (#12887790) Homepage
    community chest card by smsing a text to 82222, this i what they try you to do while playing the game, i am telling you its just another get rich quick sceme!

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