Thursday, October 08, 2009

Stop the Presses: Monopoly Can Go On Forever!

Ah Monopoly, the classic board game of finance and negotiations.  A game of high risks and competitive play that captivates the world over, at least until you get down to the last two players.  For most people, this is either where they stop playing Monopoly, or where other people make them before the game goes on forever.

Of course, these concerns are more figurative then literal.  Surely all games of Monopoly have to end sometime, right?

Not according to a study by researchers at Cornell University.  According to their research there is a 12 percent possibility that a two player game of Monopoly can continue forever.

Think about that for a second.  They're basically saying that if you play a two player game of Monopoly there is a better then 10 percent chance that the game will be impossible to complete within the remainder of your life.  For those smug people in the back, please refrain from the "I could have told you that"s.

True hell would be if you had to play Monopoly forever, but could never land on Free Parking

Realistically speaking though, the odds of a Monopoly game continuing infinitely are nonexistent.  The world record for the longest Monopoly game is 70 days, but most people would probably kill themselves then even consider playing just seven hours.

As an interesting corollary to the story is that of all the places an infinite Monopoly game could occur, it's unlikely that it will happen at higher levels of play.  Apparently in professional-level Monopoly game (and it really shouldn't surprise you that there is such a thing) games are so aggressive that they don't last more then an hour.

San Diego Union Tribune

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