mrmonopoly.gifThis is worse than calculators in the second grade.  From Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate, October 31, 2007:

I’m not beneath admitting that I was not the first one on the block to get a cell phone. And I was a bit late warming up to the idea of e-mail and computer technology. But eventually, I do come around and find myself better for it.

But now things have gone too far. I cannot imagine living in a world devoid of Monopoly money.

Just in time for Christmas, Hasbro has released its Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition.

Instead of money, each player gets a debit card with which to buy property, pay fines and make deposits to their accounts. They simply swipe this card through a little VISA scanner device. No more need for one player to be the Banker because THERE IS NO MORE MONOPOLY MONEY. The traditional colored paper money will be phased out in future editions of Monopoly.

That’s the new way to play Monopoly. Curiously the traditional Monopoly Deluxe Cash Edition retailed for $22.99, while the new Debit-Card Edition has a price tag of $39.99.

The TV commercial (have you seen it?) is hosted by a young girl who is all a-twitter over how fast she can play Monopoly now. Money was just so cumbersome, you know. Swiping the plastic is fast, easy and so modern.

According to Hasbro, you can “Wheel and deal your way to a fortune even faster using debit cards instead of cash! All it takes is a card swipe for money to change hands.” They boast on Amazon.com that with the new edition, you can:1. Buy and sell properties electronically.2. Store millions on your debit card.3. Teach your children credit responsibility.4. Experience today’s trend of a cashless society.

Good grief.

I cannot begin to tell you all the ways this gives me a stomach ache. But I guess the biggest offender for me is that this edition is being touted as a way to teach children to use credit responsibly. Oh pleeeeze.

I challenge Hasbro to prove this edition will do anything but desensitize kids to the idea of living on plastic and beyond their means.

Let’s see your evidence, Hasbro.

I’ll put my Debt-Proof Your Kids book up against your Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition any day.

And yes, I do have evidence. Plenty of it.

I’m also a little bummed about this, but for another reason. I can’t imagine children growing up without experiencing the kind of exhilaration I felt when I’d pull out a couple of $500 bills I had stashed under the board when my opponents thought they’d forced me into bankruptcy.