4: The New Greatest Game on Earth

Module 4

The New Greatest Game on Earth

labor upon mother earth produces wages The object of the 4000 year old oriental game of GO is to gain control of territory by capturing enemy stones on a board. You win by forming walls with your stones that surround more territory than do your opponent's stone walls. One of the oldest games known, GO is based on the concept that if you possess land or territory, you have an area to base life on. You then have liberty and freedom. Without land or territory, you do not have anything to base life on and are considered without life, or dead.

Chess, probably invented in India in ancient times, was widespread in Europe in the 16th century when the rules were definitively stabilized. A more directly confrontational and combative game than GO, chess exhibits the same theme of territorial conquest and control as a life or death affair. Both are games of metaphor which mirror real life militarized territorial goals.

Consider for a moment that for thousands of years and millions of hours multi-trillions of brain cells have been focused on taking, expanding or holding territory in the face of the "enemy." We now live in an age when defining the "other" as "enemy" can lead to the annihilation of both. "Winning" by capturing the land and resources of the "other" now has a boomerang effect, as numerous intractable wars attest. Time, attention, energy and money devoted to securing or maintaining exclusive claim to particular territory now needs to be redirected to save the earth, all of humanity and other life forms from the current threat of overall ecosystem collapse. It’s time for a New Great Game – Saving the People and the Planet!


The Landlord's Game The board game commonly now known as Monopoly was invented by Elizabeth Maggie Phillips in about 1903. She called her game The Landlords Game. Features on the game board include railroads, timber, coal, oil and farmlands, the “go to jail” space, and street names. In one corner it pictures the earth and says “Labor Upon Mother Earth Produces Wages.”


In 1931, this game was transformed into Monopoly as we know it. Charles Darrow copyrighted some art work and began to sell Monopoly in 1933, dishonestly claiming invention rights to this game which by then had become a public domain folk game.

The game was played in two ways – first with the usual Monopoly game rules where it ends with one person owning everything. Once you got the gist of the real world economic game from playing Monopoly, then you played by a new set of rules based on everyone having Rights to the Earth – to the land rent.

Played in this way the game teaches people how to claim the earth as their birthright via land value capture. For information on the fascinating history of how Monopoly was monopolized go here