>Monopoly and Enterprise Architecture

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Monopoly─“a board game published by Parker Brothers, an imprint of Hasbro.…since Charles Darrow patented the game in 1935, approximately 750 million people have played the game, making it “the most played [commercial] board game in the world.” (Wikipedia)

Now according to The Washington Post, 15 December 2007, the classic board game is getting a technology makeover.

Monopoly “is one of the most popular games ever…its colored stacks of money─from the white $1 bills to the coveted bright orange $500 bills—have iconic status.”

Yet, even this classic game is being re-architected for the 21st century. In a new edition of Monopoly released this year, electronic bank cards replace colored money and the processes to track your game’s transactions has been reengineered and replaces good old-fashioned counting and scorekeeping.

The changeover in the game of Monopoly is mimicked in the new game of Life, Twists & Turns, and is a reflection of the change in society from being currency-based (with bills and change) to credit and debit cards. As a senior analyst at a consumer behavior research firm states: “I think this is a case of updating the game play/design to reflect the times.”

These days, “our wealth (or lack thereof) becomes just a number, printed on a bland receipt spit out from an ATM.” Moreover, “cash has become such a hassle that it is a nuisance even in our imaginations.” Imagine that: saying the cash is a nuisance (I bet that is a nuisance that a lot of people would like to get their hands on. J)

So Hasbro has reinvented the game to reflect changes in our society. This is a clear case of technology (electronic bank cards) being applied to a business problem (the out-datedness of the paper-based currency in the game). This is enterprise architecture and consumer marketing at work together and in tandem.

If even the Monopoly game that I used to play with as a kid can be refashioned with some good ‘ol doses of EA, imagine what EA can do for other businesses, products, and services. Reengineering business processes and applying technology to improve outcomes is a plus for board games, but an even stronger medicine for organizations and our economy.

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