Polish "Communist Monopoly" Game Goes Global - NBC4 Washington

Polish "Communist Monopoly" Game Goes Global

Board game doesn't let players collect rent or buy land



    Polish "Communist Monopoly" Game Goes Global
    Players show the Russian language version of the international edition of Poland's popular board game "Kolejka," meaning queue or line at its launch by the state National Remembrance Institute in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, June 28, 2012. The game is intended to teach young people about the hardships and frustrations of living under communism, and is now available in English, German, Russian, Japanese and Spanish.

    A popular Polish board game based on the hardships of communism is now available in international editions.

    Poland's National Remembrance Institute released the Polish version of the game — called "Kolejka"— last year. The goal was to teach youth about frustrations and shortages during the decades of communism, which Poland shed in 1989.

    Although referred to as "Communist Monopoly" the game doesn't let players collect rent or buy land. Instead, they often get frustrated because they can't buy anything even after waiting in long lines. "Kolejka" means line, or queue.

    Game developer Karol Madaj said Thursday that he chose that theme because standing in lines was a common experience under communism. He also knew he could "transform a queue into a board game, arrange the pawns in lines and make players elbow their way to the shop door."

    The game has been a hit.

    "I love it. I know it's in memory of sad times but it's wonderful that we can look back on these times with a certain amount of humor," said Barbara Stachowiak-Kowalski, a British-born Warsaw resident whose mother is Irish and father is Polish.

    Madaj said word of the game quickly spread abroad, so the institute is launching versions in English, German, Spanish, Japanese and Russian.

    The international editions will be sold via various websites for 30 zlotys ($10).