Monopoly: More than a game

by kate ferrell, outgoing arts & entertainment editor

Monopoly. It’s a game of strategy, chance, luck and wit. If you haven’t played it, I implore you to grab a group of three or so strangers and a board and explore the upside down and cruel world of capitalism.  

Xavier has brought me many things but above all, it has brought me an appreciation of Monopoly. In my first week at Xavier, I was hopelessly dragged to my first Xavier event: Board Game Night with the OSI. I reluctantly walked into Arrupe Overlook, upset that I was present and nervous about the social expectations that faced me for the next hour.  

I liked board games, but I had never played with strangers. There was a reason for this, as I knew that if I showed the grotesque and horrid face of my competitiveness that board games unearthed, my new peers would certainly turn and run the other way.  

As I sat at the table adjacent to my suitemate of four days (the only semblance of a friend I had at that point), I could feel my palms sweating. This only got more severe when I saw the game that lay on the table in front of us: Monopoly.  

Monopoly was the bane of my existence. I had lost many a friend to Monopoly, as I let my need for strategic superiority far supersede my love for those closest to me. I wish this was an exaggeration, but there was something so satisfying about watching my loved ones crumble to my capitalist regime. Humbly, I was the best Monopoly player I had ever met. That was until I met Alex.  

Never did I think that the stranger that approached my desolate Monopoly table would turn out to be my best friend and greatest competitor. A man that would push me to be my best and encourage me at every turn of the board, but also at the end of the day play a game that did not let me off easy.  

This encouragement did not stop at Monopoly. In fact, it lasted four years through heartbreak, disappointment, triumph and celebration. This corrupt capitalist game not only brought me my greatest supporter but also lessons that have brought about a fruitful academic career and a plethora of passions at Xavier.  

My time at Xavier has shown me that it’s OK to lose out on a property or two at the beginning of the game, because by the end of it, there’s a chance you could be in the lead. It has taught me that it’s important to make allies early on, because they will be crucial to your survival.  

Playing Monopoly with strangers is scary, and the Kate of four years ago would not have been so quick to advise you to recklessly seek out your Monopoly partners. However, as this sentimental senior reflects on her journeys, she understands that it is not only important to take risks, but to also appreciate the scary and intimidating parts of life. I was terrified at the mere idea of new people seeing a raw and real side of me, but I realize now that that is the best way to meet people who will stick around for more than just a season.  

Now that my game is coming to an end, I can only hope that the next round of Monopoly I play will be just as great of an experience as this one.