When I was younger we played Monopoly. I know, I know, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we didn’t have games to play on big screens. We actually had to do math and stuff too. Moved pieces by hand and everything.
Sometimes, depending on where we were playing, we played by different rules. Occasionally someone would require all tax money to go into the center of the board. Eventually, one player would ‘win the lotto’ by landing on the Free Parking space and receiving all the tax money. I played many years before I actually read the printed rules one day out of boredom or curiosity. I discovered the rules handed down to me from previous generations of players were not 100% as they were written. The general gameplay was the same, but there were minor technicalities and details that had been omitted or modified; probably to streamline gameplay or to minimize the learning curve for new players.
After I had memorized the rulebook, I would often inquire upon the start of a new game, which rules would be observed, which were optional and which would be ignored. Often the host would look quizzically at me, not knowing their house rules were not identical to the printed version in the box.
It wasn’t just Monopoly that had house rules. When I was very young, occasionally the whole game would be made up from scratch. Anyone who’s been to high school knows their friends with a pool table or air hockey table or ping pong table in the basement had some house rule that went into effect when parents were home.
Later, during the college years, I was introduced to various tabletop style role-playing games; Dungeons & Dragons being the most well known. These games are always controlled by a Dungeon Master or Game Master; the referee or controller of the game. Like Monopoly, these games had printed rulebooks that were often adapted to fit the local Game Master’s personal preference. S/he would often toss out particularly troublesome rules, or add things not included in the rules to keep the game moving smoothly. Again, when introduced to a new group or game I would begin with clarifying the local House Rules.
House rules for the most part were not a big issue, but in a few instances someone would find a rule or two to be unacceptable. It was rare, but sometimes a player would give their money back to the banker or pick up their dice and go home because the House rules warped the gameplay beyond the boundary of fun. If you’re playing a game and not enjoying it there is something wrong.
I’m not enjoying this ‘game’ anymore. I can’t go home. I live here. This IS my home.
I’ve read the rules — The Constitution of the United States
I think it’s time we told Congress we aren’t going to play by their house rules anymore. We’re the people and it is our game. We don’t have to let them play at all.
They can sit in their fancy building and spout all the hot air they want. Who cares? They only have power if we honor it. We stop paying their salaries, we stop trying to live by their twisted rules and we play the game as it was intended.
I’m a Natural Born Citizen of the United States. I know how to play this game. I’ve read the rulebook.
There are 50 players in this game; one for each star on the flag.
The 10th Amendment states clearly who’s in charge.
It is time they learned who bought the gameboard. I did. I’m a Veteran.