Propaganda Game

The instruction book defines and gives examples of fifty-five propaganda techniques. A chapter called “Explanation of Techniques” consists of sections devoted to six categories of propaganda technique: self-deception, language, irrelevance, exploitation, form, and maneuver. Within each category of technique there are at least eight different techniques listed. For example, among the ten techniques of exploitation are appeals to pity, flattery, ridicule, prestige, and prejudice. Each of the example cards contains one example for each of the six categories of propaganda technique. Various games are described, all of which are based on players determining which propaganda techniques they think are being used for examples appearing on the example cards. The instruction book has a chapter called “Suggested Answers” that includes explanations of the authors’ choices of the technique used in each of the 240 examples on the cards.
The simplest version of The Propaganda Games is The Solitaire Game in which a player chooses one of the sets of twenty cards and one of the six categories of techniques. The player is read the example on each card for that category and is asked to predict which technique is used in each example. The player wins if the predictions made agree with that of the authors for at least eighteen of the twenty examples.
Over the years the name and location of the distributor of The Propaganda Game changed, although the phrase “Games For Thinkers” has been associated with it from the start. Price lists in the WFF ‘N PROOF Newsletters (part of the documentation in accession 317891) indicate that at first the version was distributed by WFF ‘N PROOF in New Haven, Connecticut, and sold for $5.50. In 1970 the price was raised to $6.50 and in 1971 the game was distributed by WFF ‘N PROOF through Maple Packers in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. A firm called Learning Games Associates of Ann Arbor later took over distribution and donated this example to the Smithsonian in 1975. The Accelerated Learning Foundation of Fairfield, Iowa, then became the distributor.
Games For Thinkers Website.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1970
Allen, Robert W.
Greene, Lorne
Learning Games Associates
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 2.5 cm x 15.25 cm x 12.5 cm; 31/32 in x 6 in x 4 29/32 in
place made
United States: Michigan, Ann Arbor
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Mathematical Recreations
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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