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The popularity of certain video games and other entertainment options seems to change with the seasons, but the board game Monopoly has remained tremendously popular with the American public for more than seven decades. One member of the American public, retired economics professor Ralph Anspach, continues to actively promote his own version of the game. It's titled "Anti-Monopoly", and the controversy surrounding the game has included a lengthy legal battle with the company Parker Brothers that has seen many twists and turns. Among other things, Anspach takes exception to the official company line regarding the original game's origins, which state that Charles B. Darrow developed the game during the Great Depression. Anspach refers to this creation story as a "corporate fairy tale". Parker Brothers remains less than thrilled about the "Anti-Monopoly" created by Anspach back in the early 1970s. He created the game in order to inform his son about the potential downside of monopolies, and several years afterwards Anspach received a letter from a Parkers Brothers attorney requesting him to stop selling his new game. Over the past three decades, Anspach has attempted to schedule events around past World Monopoly Championships in order to bring attention his cause. After a lengthy and very costly court battle, Anspach was, in a sense, victorious, as the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in 1979 that the trademark "Monopoly" was generic, and using the name was not in fact a trademark violation. As of this writing, Professor Anspach had not made plans to attend the World Monopoly Championships, which are being held in Las Vegas this week.
The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Tuesday's Wall Street Journal that discusses the ongoing saga surrounding "Anti-Monopoly". The second link whisks interested parties away to a news article from this Monday's Las Vegas Sun that talks about an oversized Monopoly board that's all the rage on the Strip. Moving on, the third link leads to the official Monopoly site. Here, visitors can learn about the various officially sanctioned spinoff products, game history, and of course, Mr. Monopoly. The other side of Monopoly can be found at the fourth site, which is the official homepage of the "Anti-Monopoly" board game. The fifth link leads to a classic piece of reporting from the Straight Dope about the significance of the Monopoly playing pieces. Lastly, the sixth link leads to a 1987 article from the New York Times that profiles "Winning Monopoly", a popular paperback guide to succeeding at Monopoly created by Kaz Darzinskis.
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