Monopoly's new cat figurine (Image via

Monopoly’s new cat figurine (Image via

After an extensive online public poll, Monopoly has decided to remove its classic iron piece (you know, that one that looked like something your great-great grandmother would have used to smooth shirts or bludgeon something) and add to the game a cat token. Why a cat? Because, the internet!

The wheelbarrow and the iron were neck and neck for elimination, which makes sense; what kind of manual labor would you rather have representing you: doing laundry, carting leaves, or petting a cat? The new cat piece is basically the platonic ideal of a kitten, with a smooth perky tail, alert ears, and a collar complete with M logo.

The choice of the cat was also a democratic web decision, the outcome of which should surprise no one. The figurine might not literally reference LOLcats, but felines are without a doubt the spirit animals of the internet. What else can we infer from the choice? Well, the Marxist array of household implements that made up the former Monopoly team just doesn’t suit our contemporary sensibilities. It’s a downfall for traditional forms of value-creating work of the early 20th century and a win for the viral economy of the internet! (Besides, wasn’t it weird that such humble objects competed to become plutocrats?)

The array of old-school Monopoly pieces (Image via

The original line-up of old-school Monopoly pieces (Image via

Monopoly players will now select from a racecar, Scottie dog, shoe, thimble, top hat, wheelbarrow, battleship, and, of course, cat avatars. Hint: The cat now wins every time.

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly, Kill Screen, Creators...

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