How I love it when my eclectic reading tastes coincide with weird news!
Last week, as I ate up Mary Pilon’s tour-de-force book, “The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game,” I plotted about how I could get away with writing about the sleepy, 2014 business book.
Perhaps only hard-core Monopoly fans would even consider picking up such a tome. But once in its pages, all readers would be hard-pressed not to be enthralled by the epic saga of how the real estate game went viral well before Parker Brothers mass-marketed it during the Great Depression.
The book manages to touch on everything from Abraham Lincoln to the Quakers to a feisty feminist who invented a nearly identical pastime called “The Landlord’s Game.” It culminates in the tale of how one man nearly bankrupted his family and lost his marriage in his quest to uncover the full truth of the board game’s origins. “The Monopolists” is nothing short of fascinating.
And thus I was filled with glee when I saw a news report about Secret Hitler, a so-called social deduction game that models the rise of fascism in a democracy. Gameplay revolves around five to 10 players who take on the identities of fascists and liberals as they attempt to find and stop a Secret Hitler among them.
Apparently, this game has taken off like every other entertainment touching on the anxiety of the Trump presidency, including the new TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel “Brave New World.”
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