In a day and age when children are practically bombarded from birth with ads extolling the virtues of consumerism, we're not sure that it's the best idea to be thrusting credit cards into their impressionable little hands (debit cards, maybe
), but that hasn't stopped Hasbro's Parker Brothers from trading in paper for plastic in some of their most classic games. The latest title to get Visa-fied -- and the first to hit US shores, as that special edition of Monopoly
was UK only -- is everyone's favorite Game of Life, which as we all know takes players through a thrilling journey from college to career to fabulous riches or abject poverty. As with Monopoly: UK, stacks of cash are replaced by a "personal assistant and electronic banking unit" -- in this case known as the LIFEPod (attention Apple legal!) -- but this time the gameplay itself is also getting a facelift, with the so-called "Twists and Turns" edition dividing the board into four "life paths," ditching the old spinner, and perhaps most significantly, crowning a winner not by wealth alone but by a combination of loot and "life points." Also like the "hipper" version of Monopoly, T and T will sport a higher price tag than the regular game ($35 versus $13) when it goes on sale this summer, although you do get a bonus copy of Visa's "award-winning financial literacy curriculum," Practical Money Skills for Life, which debunks such widely-held myths as the one that "there's no such thing as instant gratification" -- well kids, with a Visa card and a five figure spending limit, there sure as heck is!