I had an interesting conversation with an old friend from Singapore who came for a visit recently. In that conversation, he mentioned how Monopoly, the game, can actually illustrate this "game" of life we all participate in one way or another. What a revelation it has been for me! That really got me thinking about the obsession some people have about real estate and how we got ourselves into this unfortunate situation where young people are finding it increasingly difficult to afford a roof over their heads, in a desirable location of course.
So, how does Monopoly, the game which was supposed to give us a basic understanding of the economy, mimic real life. And in a cruel and twisted way, I might even argue that our lives could in fact be distilled to those little pieces on the Monopoly board.
My two cents;
i) In the game, we throw two dice which determine how far we move. Sometimes, we get small steps, sometimes bigger steps. The important thing is not how far we go, but how we deal with the situation where we land. Are we prepared to grab the opportunity presented to us or pass. In life, we are all given 24 hours to do what ever we do, no more, no less. How we use that precious resource depends on how ready we are.
ii) By the time most of the real estate have been taken, we will come to realise that, yes, while everyone works hard for their money, landlords and banks have it easier than everyone else. Little wonder Monopoly was originally called the Landlord's game. It's the Landlord's game, folks.
iii) Always keep some cash in case of emergencies. In our rush to invest in properties, it is easy to lose track of our spending and leave little cash reserve. All it takes is a disaster like that huge repair bill to all properties owned or that inadvertent expensive hotel stay in Mayfair to remind us that cash is always king.
There are many more lessons we can learn from playing Monopoly. However, none comes close to hitting home than that annoying winner's jest, "life is not fair, deal with it." I can't think of a phrase more apt to describe this real world we live in.
Incidentally, there have been successful demonstrations of 3D printed buildings and large structures in several parts of the world. Perhaps 3D printed low cost high quality houses might take some pressure off housing affordability in the future.