This year with the boys I played my first game of monopoly since high school. The main surprise for me was how boring the game itself actually is - it really is all about buying everything you can, hoping you get to extortion level rents faster than the other players. You can apply some statistics, as certain streets are more likely to be visited by players. You can even compare the return on investment for the various street sets, but of course they do not matter in the classical sense as the game is not about making money from investments in real estate. They only matter in so far as they indicate where extortion level rents are reached fastest.

Is this an educational game? Of course it is an opportunity to learn how to calculate with money - combining notes, giving change etc. In school, that is a math topic at the moment. But it may be morally corrosive as it teaches kids capitalist behaviour of the worst kind - the one where “winning” is all important and the only way to “win” is to crush your opponent by racketeering him into bankruptcy. Apparently that was exactly what the games creator wanted to show.

Then again - it is probably useless to apply the usual ethical norms to behaviour in board games. After all, learning the difference between a game and the real world is one major effect of playing games. And bartering over streets, houses and morgades with the boys was actually much more fun that all the stat you get from the internet.