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Bored with Board games? Try Massive-Scale Monopoly

(Posted April 9, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Flinging dice the size of patio furniture, purchasing deeds the size of a freeway sign, moving life-size pieces around a game board that is actually a rectangular stretch of sidewalk bordering the central campus, Juniata College students are staging a large-scale game of Monopoly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 21. The event honors a previous staging of the life-size Monopoly contest at Juniata in 1967, when a group of students created the board game. The event was so successful that the College gained national media attention and earned a historical mention on Monopoly\'s game box. In 1987, the game was staged again. \"We\'ve changed some of the layout of the board to conform to the layout of the campus,\" says Kathleen Candando, a senior from Hatpro, Pa. studying molecular biology and one of the student organizers of the event. \"We don\'t have permission from the company that owns Monopoly to use the official logo and layout, so we\'ve created sort of a hybrid version of Monopoly�¢??sort of the Juniata version.\" The Juniata version will include properties, railroads and utilities laid out along the sidewalks encompassing Moore Street, 17th and 19th avenues and Scott Street. Some of the most familiar elements of the game are included. For example, the Go square will be located at the corner of Scott Street and 17th Street, near the entrance gate to the football field. The properties, such as Indiana Avenue, Park Place, and Boardwalk will be laid out using cloth representations, and the game pieces will be inspired by the actual markers (racecar, top hat, dog), although the students are leaving the construction of each piece open to interpretation by each of the four competing teams. \"We will have four teams, one alumni team, a faculty and staff team and two student teams,\" Candando says. Each team will have 15-20 people. In addition there will be a game \"staff\" of 20-25 students in charge of managing the game. Armed with walkie-talkies and driving golf carts, the student staff will move each team around the board. The dice will be thrown on the quadrangle lawn. The central location for the properties, bank and Community Chest and Chance cards will be on the plaza in front of the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The table-size Monopoly game takes several hours to complete, so Candando estimates that the large-scale version should finish before the 5 p.m. end time. The managing staff will track the progress of the game by mirroring the game movements on a regulation-size board. According to Jim Donaldson, professor of business at Juniata and a 1967 graduate of the college, the original idea for a giant Monopoly game originated with a group of students who played marathon Monopoly games in one of the college dorms. \"Originally I think they were going to try to get in the \"Guinness Book of World Records\" for the longest Monopoly Game, but that morphed into a giant Monopoly game,\" Donaldson says. \"I remember carrying a giant foam die up several flights of stairs at Students Hall (since torn down) and throwing them off the top steps for the dice roll.\" The 1967 game was honored by Parker Brothers, the manufacturer of Monopoly. For many years Juniata\'s \"giant game\" was listed on the inside cover of the game, along with other accomplishments related to Monopoly. In addition, the Juniata game has been mentioned on the Monopoly Web site, although not currently. The event will be part of Springfest, Juniata\'s student-centered celebration of spring. \"We wanted to commemorate the first game and the students who created it in 1967. It\'s a neat idea to do one of these every 20 years,\" Candando says.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.