Saturday, 12 September 2009

Playing Monopoly, online...

Finally, after several tries that revealed themselves as nothing else than frustrating, last night I managed to interact with the servers of the new online game Monopoly City Street at a speed good enough to really play (by the way, I am in the game with the nick marcolinux, in homage to one of my favorite operating systems).

I must say that, despite its simplicity, since the first announcement, I felt quite interested in this curious online version of the classic game "Monopoly" ... The most intriguing thing is the chance you have to play on a virtual scenario as big as .. the whole world! As a matter of fact, the choice to rely on Google Maps was a nice thought indeed.

While from a technical standpoint the basic idea of this mash up, i.e. to make Google Maps "playable", is nice and certainly worthy of being further developed, it also must be said that - from an organizational perspective - the "launch" occurred, in my view, not in the best way, perhaps underestimating at a certain degree the potential interest of the game, or at least the peculiar issue of "newness": the consequence was to have, for many hours, servers too busy, and too many gamers detectably unsatisfied. It had been better, perhaps, to deal with a slowly growing traffic, perhaps relying on the classical mechanism of "invites" (remember the opening of Gmail..?). To be honest, in this case not even this strategy would be satisfactory, as the first to play would have clear advantages over players entered a second moment (if not else, more roads to choose from, to buy them).

Now however such "imperfect" start - with someone who could play and someone else who could not - has created a large number of requests for a "fresh start" , a new beginning that would reset all game situations. Needless to say, you easily understand that some people are happy and who is not at all ...

Personally, beyond the interest on the specific game, I am also intrigued to observe the development of the project, and even more to watch at all the "social" buzz that it has already generated (discussion groups, social networking, etc ...). Moreover, all in a very short time, if you think about it!

So, yesterday I went to sleep with my purchase of fourteen streets, some in Rome (Piazza S. Agostino was my first purchase, which is still among my properties), others in Ravenna (only because I have found still much to buy there)

Admittedly, the dynamics of the game is pretty simple (at the moment) ... But, as my son Simone says, "it excites me a lot when I buy a road, because then I realize that I'm the only one to own it, in the whole world ...!"

Beyond all other possible considerations, how can I say he's wrong ...? ;)