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Thursday, 2 November, 2000, 16:06 GMT
Monopoly invests in dot.coms
Monopoly
Monopoly: New versions of the classic game have been released
A new edition of the Monopoly board game gives players the chance to own dot.com companies instead of locations such as Oxford Street and Mayfair, which feature in the classic UK edition.

The new board game features portals and search engines such as Yahoo!, AltaVista and Ask Jeeves, business sites including CBS MarketWatch.com and Monster, and sports sites Foxsports.com and Sportsline.com.
Monopoly board piece
Changing times: A new Monopoly piece reflects the internet age

The game's traditional pieces have also been replaced by metal laptops and computer mice.

But the board game's makers may be taking a gamble with some of the new internet "properties".

While Mayfair and Park Lane will always have a certain cache, the same cannot be said for all dot.coms.

Yahoo has seen its share price tumble in the last three months, while Priceline.com, another of the featured dot.coms, has also hit trouble.

The At Home corporation, owners of the Excite portal, has seen its stock tumble during the course of the year.

But Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, are confident the new game reflects the new commerce of the 21st Century.

Great Depression

"When the (original) game was introduced, it was at the height of the Great Depression and the dream was to buy real estate," Mark Morris, a spokesman for Hasbro Games said.

"And while the classic game still plays like that today, the dot.com is fun because it is about acquiring monopolies of dot.com industries."

Monopoly is available in a number of different versions, reflecting the property value of streets in different countries.

The game's makers have also released special edition versions, such as the Rugby World Cup.

Hasbro believes that board games will remain popular even in the internet age.

"The social interaction that board games bring is unique to home entertainment," said Mr Morris.

"People still appreciate the social interaction and they realise that board games are the best to deliver a fun, social experience."

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