The board game Monopoly has obtained a new property of its own: the Internet.
Hasbro has launched an online version of Monopoly, renamed Monopoly City Streets, where players can purchase streets using Google Maps as the game board.
The new version of the popular board game, which will remain online until January 2010, has already exceeded its creators expectations. Within hours of its release, the game's servers crashed from a surge of eager players, who overloaded the system. (At this time, the server seems to have rebooted. Earlier today, a blog post from Monopoly City Street administrators mentioned that they were "in the process of increasing our firepower and expect to be running more smoothly within the next several hours.")
The free, online Monopoly game is different from its 1935 predecessor. At the start of the game, each player has $3 million Monopoly dollars to purchase any street on Google Maps. If you don't want to buy, you can build skyscrapers, hotels, and other properties in any area of the US – including your own neighborhood – to begin earning rent. (Already, streets such as Madison Avenue in New York and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC have been purchased, reports PC Magazine.)
To increase property value, players can also build windfarms and schools, for example. Online, there's another twist: Chance cards now allow players to build sewage plants or prisons near their opponent's properties to lower their property values.
The release of Monopoly City Streets coincides with Hasbro's upcoming release of Monopoly City, a 3-D version of the board game, which will be available in stores this fall.
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