Ok, I love new ideas on the web. And considering the fact that this one is about online social gaming, I am already getting goose bumps. This is going to be big and very addictive. Mashable reports that Google Maps is teaming up with board game maker Hasbro to launch Monopoly City Streets this Wednesday.
This will effectively make it the biggest monopoly game ever, with the whole wide earth serving as your game board. This version is obviously going to be online and is a mash up between previous versions of online Monopoly and Google Maps. In this very innovative venture, you can buy any street in the world, and compete with any other player from any part of the world.
You will be given 3 million virtual dollars and you can do the same good old stuff as buying streets, cities, skyscrapers, stadiums and what not. And build them right on top of the Google Maps interface, giving it a 3D look. The UK Guardian has an excellent rundown of the whole scenario. All reports point to the fact that Google had a direct role in the developing the game; smart move!
What else can I see in the future?
Ok, considering the success of such games as Farmville on social networks I think the idea is good. But with ideas of such big magnitudes, the balance of life and death can tilt any way. Why will the idea die, you ask me?
Maybe because it’s TOO grand, maybe the world is too big to handle and maybe it will never be able to match up to the excitement of playing Monopoly on a board with your friends around you on a rainy day.
Why will it work, you ask me? Why not, I say. Maybe because everyone likes to own property, maybe because this game is a time tested classic and maybe those who don’t have the time to play it on board anymore will lap onto this.
Such social games need to be approached from a community view (have you played the browser based Travian?) and the aim should be bring alive an active community of brand evangelists who talk it out and spread the word. Maybe there will be third party plugins to make the buildings more 3D(right now they are being made in Google Sketchup) or to maybe have local currencies.
And as the website says, the goal is simple. Play to beat your friends and the world to become the richest property magnate in existence. Let the dice fall!