WASHINGTON - Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200: just steal it.
A new version of the decades-old board game Monopoly encourages players to cheat, but plastic handcuffs will leave them "locked up" if they are caught.
The aim of the game remains as it has been since its creation in 1935: to become the richest player through buying properties and collecting rent.
But a recent study "revealed that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games, so in 2018, Hasbro decided it was time to give fans what they've been craving all along," a statement from Monopoly's manufacturer said.
Introducing Monopoly Cheaters Edition... perfect someone you know pic.twitter.com/YAZqjtkK3Z— Heart (@thisisheart) February 1, 2018
The "Cheaters Edition" will be available this autumn.
It adds 15 cheat cards covering the most common types of traditionally unsportsmanlike play such as moving tokens more spaces than allowed by the dice, avoiding rent, or stealing money from the bank.
If they can get away with it before the next players' turn, the "cheaters" will be rewarded with Monopoly money, a hotel, or $200 from the bank.
"But get caught and you'll pay the consequences! Pretend handcuffs will leave offenders "chained" to the board until they are released," Hasbro says.
In another change, there is no longer a designated banker. Each player controls the central money pool during his or her turn -- making it easier to pull off a heist.
While Hasbro says it "has finally decided to embrace our less-than-honest fans by encouraging them to partake in those iconic (yet sometimes unspoken) Monopoly moments," the new version has its detractors.
"Monopoly is a horrible game," and a cheaters' monopoly would be even more so, Edward Castronova, a specialist in media and games at the University of Indiana, told AFP on Friday.
More broadly, the game is "is a completely inaccurate simulation of real economies. If Monopoly's model were accurate, there would only be one company in the world, instead of billions and billions."
More than 275 million copies of Monopoly, in various versions, have been distributed in 114 countries.