At Smithsonian, Mary Pilon writes about the history of Monopoly. It was intended to teach people about income inequality.
“In 1904, Magie received a patent for an invention she called the Landlord’s Game, a square board with nine rectangular spaces on each side, set between corners labeled ‘Go to Jail’ and ‘Public Park.’ Players circled the board buying up railroads, collecting money and paying rent. She made up two sets of rules, ‘monopolist’ and ‘anti-monopolist,’ but her stated goal was to demonstrate the evils of accruing vast sums of wealth at the expense of others. A firebrand against the railroad, steel and oil monopolists of her time, she told a reporter in 1906, ‘In a short time, I hope a very short time, men and women will discover that they are poor because Carnegie and Rockefeller, maybe, have more than they know what to do with.’”