Life-Size Monopoly Game for Community Building

By Melanie Banayat, WingSpace Founder

I began working with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Business Students a little over a year ago.  Every semester I would request to work with a team of business students to help me work on a few areas of business development. It started out with determining my minimum viable product for WingSpace by way of surveying the community, then moved onto business planning, then building the community through meetups, and last Fall we began looking for a physical space to lease.  It has been a worthwhile experience every time.


My current team of students, Michelle, Chelsey, Marshall, and McKenna, focused on event planning to let the Prescott Community area at large know that WingSpace Coworking exists!  I challenged them to think outside the box of the typical Grand opening event, or business networking meetup or business mixer, because that's all soooo overdone in this area. They suggested a service industry appreciation night.  I thought, okay, now you're on the right track.  

The team came up with the idea to play a life size monopoly game that would end up where the teams would have to come together as a community to save an area of the city.  I wondered how they were going to pull that off in the game with only 2 hours of play time. They would have to customize the game and manipulate it somehow.

I was so busy getting WingSpace ready for opening day that I had to let go of any real involvement in the development of the game or the marketing strategy.  About two weeks before the night of the event the team hit the streets and hand delivered the invitations, collected business cards, and followed up with an email reminder a few days before the event. 

On the day of the event the team showed up to lay out the game board on the floor inside of WingSpace, which turned out really well. They "Prescottized" the game with familiar local business names.


After teaming up and getting the rundown on the rules the game began and it was pretty much played just like the regular game of Monopoly for the first two times around the board. Then the Town Marshall "Marshall' began throwing wrenches into the game to start manipulating it in the direction that the team needed it to go.


Eventually Marshall would come up with some crazy new rule every few turns around the board - things like if we rolled an odd number we would have to go to jail. What?!  We felt blind sided. That's not fair!  Sounded a little too much like real life, but unlike real life we were laughing and having fun.


The opportunity and community chest cards had us dancing and playing musical chairs, tumb wrestling, and answering riddles to get out of jail.  It was hilarious.


Without giving away too many of the details the ERAU students came through in the end and fulfilled the objective of the game. I was so impressed with how the team managed to manipulate the game, keep it moving forward, and make it fun all at the same time. 

Hmmm? I wonder why I got this Community Chest card?!  Ha! Ha!

Hmmm? I wonder why I got this Community Chest card?!  Ha! Ha!


After the game the conversations among the players suggested that this particular version of Monopoly could easily be used in all sorts of community building or team building venues for businesses, schools, and leadership trainings.  I will definitely use this game in the future for community building.


"Because paying bills and getting robbed by politicians isn't enough fun in real life, I decided to attend the Life Sized Monoply event hosted by WingSpace where I could take it to the next level in tooth gnashing and fist waving. The Embry Riddle team did not disappoint and I came away broke, angry and in need of wine." - Theresa Lode




Every semester I learn new things about myself and gain new insights into the world of business. This semester I learned how to let go and trust others to do some of the things I normally take care of such as the marketing pieces. The bigger take away for me was learning how to make the most of things when they don't go according to expectations, and to be okay with the final results, because in the end it was truly all about the connections, the positive experience, and good memories that will help build the community that is...WingSpace.







Melanie BanayatComment