A card game for a divisive era

About ControVersus

The Story of ControVersus

ControVersus aims to improve public discourse

ControVersus aims to improve public discourse

ControVersus: a card game for a divisive era is an Apples-to-Apples(TM)-style game that promotes understanding of and stimulates discussion on U.S. political issues among students, colleagues, families, and friends without forcing players to reveal their own political positions.

ControVersus aims to improve discourse by helping people talk about politics in a context that is not a reaction to current events or a debate about one’s own opinions. ControVersus aims to promote understanding of U.S. political concepts and opinions across the spectrum.

ControVersus was created at the Pardee RAND Graduate School

ControVersus was created at the Pardee RAND Graduate School

ControVersus was created in the pilot phase of a new kind of learning environment at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Two professors and nine students were charged with doing something to improve discourse. ControVersus was one of five projects that resulted.

ControVersus is a work in progress

ControVersus is a work in progress

The version of ControVersus available for download here was the result of several iterations, and it’s not over yet. New versions and expansions will be released as new players provide input and feedback.

Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Thanks to the Pardee RAND Graduate School tech lab pilot for supporting this work, especially Dave Baiocchi and Bill Welser. ControVersus would not exist without their encouragement.

Many thanks to my fellow tech lab pilot members, the Pieces Corps gaming group, and numerous colleagues and friends who put up with many hours of play testing.

Additional writing in early versions of the game by Julia Pollak and Steve Davenport.

Drawings of me by Karen Lee.

Photos by Dave Baiocchi, and Diane Baldwin.