Monopoly is a board game published by Parker Brothers, an imprint of Hasbro. Players compete to acquire wealth through stylized economic activity involving the buying, rental and trading of properties using play money, as players take turns moving around the board according to the roll of the dice.
According to Hasbro, since Charles Darrow patented the game in 1935, approximately 750 million people have played the game, making it "the most played (commercial) board game in the world." The 1999 Guinness Book of Records cited Hasbro's previous statistic of 500 million people having played Monopoly.
In the original version produced by Charles Darrow, and later by Parker Brothers, the board consists of 40 spaces containing 28 properties, 3 Chance spaces, 3 Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, Jail, Free Parking, and Go to Jail. The properties are named after locations in (or near) Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Each player is represented by a small metal token that is moved around the edge of the board according to the roll of two dice. The twelve playing pieces currently used are pictured at left (from left to right): a wheelbarrow (1937b edition), a battleship, a sack of money (1999 editions onwards), a horse and rider, a car, a train (Deluxe Edition only), an old fashioned thimble, a cannon (1937b edition), an old style shoe (sometimes called a boot), a Scottie dog, an iron, and a top hat.
Many of the tokens came from companies such as Dowst Miniature Toy Company, which made metal charms and tokens designed to be used on charm bracelets. The battleship and cannon were also used briefly in the Parker Brothers war game Conflict (released in 1940), but after the game failed on the market, the premade pieces were recycled into Monopoly usage. Hasbro recently adopted the battleship and cannon for Diplomacy.