Korean Monopoly; Blue Marble

Blue Marble is a game all Korean children and young people love.  Most of the ones who play it don’t speak English, and they don’t even know that Monopoly exists.  However, when I played this game with my students from the university, I recognized it.  As far as I am concerned, it is a Monopoly knock off, but it is a very popular Monopoly knock off!

Playing the Blue Marble game
Seoul Olympics is the most expensive property on the board. It costs 100 man won.  Man won is 10,000 won. Multiply that by 100, and you will have the price.
Key cards become Community Chest cards and Chance cards.


Blue Marble’s board is laid out almost exactly like the Monopoly game board with a few exceptions.  Monopoly’s properties are in America, but Blue Marble’s properties are all over the world, and the most expensive property on the board is the Seoul Olympics instead of Boardwalk like in Monopoly.  Instead of there being both Community Chest and  Chance, there is just one set of cards in the middle that you draw if you land on the spaces with the keys.  They do the same kinds of things that Community Chest and Chance do.

The game pieces are plastic airplanes.

Instead of only houses and hotels, Blue Marble has houses, villas, and hotels.

If you buy three of the same color, you can buy houses, villas, or hotels. These three properties are the cheapest properties on the board, right after “go.”

The game pieces, instead of being things like a horse, a shoe, a thimble, etc., are airplanes.  The dice are the same, and Blue Marble takes just as long to play as Monopoly.  If you get three properties that are the same color, you can buy a house, a villa, or a hotel.  A villa in Korea is an apartment in a house, not a nice big house like in other countries.

These are examples of the property, deed, cards.
If you turn the property cards over on the back, they tell you how much everything costs for those properties.

If you turn the property cards over on the back, they tell you how much everything costs to buy.

This is 1,000 won, about $1.00. (They say chon on.)
This is 5 man won, 50,000 won, about $500. (They say, “Oh man on.”)


This is 50 man won, about  $5,000. (They say “Oh sheep man on.”)


The money in Blue Marble is made after the Korean money system, of course.  Chon won is 1,000 won, and that is only worth about $1.00, according to the exchange on the particular day you check.  The have something they call man won, and that is a 10,000 won note.  Korean money gets very complicated to talk about because they add so many zeroes.  Above, you can see some examples of the money.

If you pass “go,” you get 20 man won, about $200. (They say, “ee sheep man on.”)

There is a salary if you pass “go,” like in Monopoly.  However, you don’t go to jail. Instead of jail, they have a deserted island where you get sent.  Instead of railroads, they have an airlines, a big ship cruise lines, and Jeju Island.  Instead of utilities, they have a rocket ship.  Instead of the space that sends you to jail, they have a space that sends you on a rocket ship to outer space.

Instead of a railroad, you may buy a cruise ship. This one costs 30 man won, about $300. (They say, “sam sheep man on.”)
Instead of going to jail, you would be sent to a deserted island.
Instead of buying utilities, you might buy a space ship for 45 man won. (They would say, “sa sheep oh man on.”)

The game is played the same, but completely remade. I guess someone did the Japanese thing, but for the Korean people.  The Japanese like to take existing products that are good, look at them, and remake them improving them.  For the Koreans to be able to play Monopoly in Korean is an improvement for them. It is much more fun if you don’t have to play in a second language and you see spaces with places in your country or in adventurous places around the world instead of all in America.


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