My sister is bisexual and barely a year younger than me, so basically we’re gay twins. We’ve been inseparable from the day she was born, even though we now live 800 miles apart and haven’t been able to see each other since the pandemic started. The best way I can actually explain this is to say that one time, when I was four years old, I got a pair of pajamas for my birthday and because it was two pieces I immediately said, “Oh, one for me and one for Jenn!” and we spent the next several months with her wearing Spider-Man feetie pants to bed, while I wore a matching Spider-Man long-sleeve tee to bed. Another time, on a rare snow day in Georgia, she had the flu so I played in the blizzard directly outside her bedroom window the entire day, building her about 10 tiny little snow guys to look at from her bed. She was a thespian in high school and, unless I had a basketball game, I didn’t missed a single night of any play she starred in. Inseparable. We’ve also always been on the same team against everybody else, never, ever turning on each other — with one exception: Monopoly. For a pair of tender-hearts, we are both somehow absolutely ruthless at the game of Monopoly.
I had wondered, on occasion, if perhaps we’d grown out of the brutal way we played the game growing up. Like, you know, making our own grandmother mortgage every last piece of property and then hand over not only the cash and properties when she went bankrupt, but also her little silver thimble piece, so we could display in front of us for the rest of the game like some kind of hunting trophy. This week my sister convinced me to download the new phone game, MONOPOLY GO!, and I am only slightly ashamed to admit to you that: no, neither of us have grown out of being absolute monsters!
MONOPOLY GO! is an even harsher take on the original game. Yes, you move your little guy around the classic Monopoly board by rolling digital dice, and yes you pay up when you land on other people’s property — but! The point of MONOPOLY GO! is to build landmarks all around famous cities, which you do by making money from your properties, landing on Chance and Community Chest, and also knocking down your opponent’s landmarks with a wrecking ball and ROBBING THEIR BANK! You do those last two things by landing on railroads. My sister has been playing this game much longer than me, and has a whole group chat at work about it, and yet, every time I pick up my phone, she has ROBBED ME! Twice now — twice! — she has taken every last rainbow dollar bill from me, leaving me bankrupt! My brother-in-law is not out here pulling these rude hijinks! He’s attacking randoms in the game — always an option! — like little old ladies named Lulabelle from Facebook. Much less mean!
However, I must admit, I’m playing this game by asking myself what my actual favorite top-hatted person would do: And Anne Lister would stop at nothing to become a railroad tycoon!
Like all phone games, MONOPOLY GO! has a bunch of collectibles that allow you to earn more in-game currency and dice, like animal stickers, beach balls, surf boards, etc. When you run out of dice, you have to wait an hour for more; it’s like Candy Crush in that way. By which I mean: It’s always trying to get you to pay $2.99, but you can enjoy the game a lot without ever spending a real life dime.
One of my favorite things to do in MONOPOLY GO! is choose someone to attack based on the fact that they’re wearing MAGA gear in their Facebook profile photo and have been stupid enough to use that photo on a phone game. The thud of destruction is so satisfying, as is the noise of all their money ding-dinging its way into my bank. (I wonder how triggered they are by landing in jail.)
If you want to help me beat up a bunch of old Trumpies or help my sister beat up me, you should let me know in the comments that you, too, have become a monster playing MONOPOLY GO!