Do It Yourself Monopoly in the Late Soviet Period

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Author: Roman Abramov1,2
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  • 1 Department of Sociology, National Research University, Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow, Russia
  • | 2 Senior research fellow Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

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This article examines the role of the monetary world inclusion in the world of children’s games in the late Soviet period by opening a previously unknown page of board games’ social history in the USSR and describes the practices of playing Do It Yourself (DIY) Monopoly by Soviet children in the 1980s. Soviet teenagers used friendly relationships to exchange tacit knowledge about the basic rules of the board business game. They made playing fields and developed the rules of the game, using school knowledge about the principles of the capitalist economy. The article shows the game rules’ evolution of the DIY Soviet Monopoly versions and shows the creativity of the Soviet teenagers in the re-invention of the rules of the board business game. DIY Monopoly versions were a form of adaptation of western goods to socialist conditions, which were common practice in the Soviet Union since its inception.