The next sign of the Apocalypse

(or, Times, they are a’changin’….)

This story on CNN/Money caught my eye. Apparently, at least in the UK, Parker Brothers is set to replace Monopoly money with debit cards and a card reader. No longer will someone have to play the bank and dole out funds; instead, you simply use your debit card and deduct/add the appropriate funds.

This opens up so many other possibilities. Can the bank charge a transaction fee? What about fees for a low-interest account – say, I pat $20 each time I pass Go but I earn 1.5% on the balance? Do I get overdraft protection? What about lost, stolen, or damaged cards? Can another player steal the number from my card and impersonate me? Do I have a PIN? Will it also function as a credit card, such that I pay 16%-20% interest on my outstanding balance each time I pass Go?

We also refer to many internal project’s cost information as “Monopoly money” – money that just moves within the organisation and doesn’t really change hands. I suppose that doesn’t have to change, but it’ll make for much less interesting department meetings to swipe an imaginary plastic debit card rather than give out imaginary paper money.

Somehow, an all-cash society seems so much simpler. An icon has fallen.

Other changes I expect to see in the works:

  • Chutes and Ladders will be replaced by Elevator;
  • Candyland will be replaced with Granola and Nuts, in a nod to preventing children’s diabetes;
  • Sorry will incorporate civil lawsuits and suing for damages when you’re sent back to the start;
  • Clue will add microscopes, fingerprint kits, and laser pointers to measure trajectory when solving the crime;
  • Twister will require proof of medical insurance;
  • Speaking of insurance, Operation will incorporate medical billing, HIPAA requirements, a full OR staff including anesthesiologists and nurses, and a three-month wait to get the game;
  • Mousetrap will be rebuilt to involve humane catch-and-release traps.

You can see where this slippery slope will lead.