The PROPAGANDA® Game®

PROPAGANDA®®, a reading game for three or four players, was created by Robert Allen (Director of the National Academic Games Tournament), Lorne Green (Actor), and George Moulds (Kent State University) and is copyrighted by Bob Allen's National Academic Games League. PROPAGANDA®® involves identification and interpretation of techniques of PROPAGANDA® in areas of life such as television and radio commercials, newspaper editorials, printed advertising, political speeches, ads, and debate. While playing PROPAGANDA®®, students develop deeper insights about the underlyng premises behind the intriguing techniques used by professionals to mold public opinion. Players are challenged to identify a presented PROPAGANDA® technique, such as "join the bandwagon," faulty analogy, out-of-context quotation, rationalization, technical jargon, emotional appeal, and many more.

Lorne Greene had this to say about PROPAGANDA®®, which he helped created: "In a democratic society such as ours, it is the role of every citizen to make decisions after evaluating many ideas. It is specially important that a citizen be able to analyze and distinguish between the emotional aura surrounding an idea and the actual content of that idea. It is this goal of clear thinking that the PROPAGANDA® Game addresses."

Actual play of the game is simple. The PROPAGANDA®® Game Manual is used to determine all definitions and scoring. No books or notes are allowed. Players are seated in three-player groupings with four-player groupings used only if a threesome cannot be made. Nine examples which do not pertain to definitions are read in each round in each division.

A central reader reads one or more sentences as an example of one of the PROPAGANDA®® Techniques to the players as a whole group. Sitting in smaller units of three or four, players must decide which PROPAGANDA® technique is being used from the particular section. Each example is read twice. From the end of the second reading, players have 30 seconds to make their decisions. The penalty for failing to make a decision within the 30 seconds is -1, and that player is not allowed to offer an answer for that example.

After answers are revealed, majority consensus scores a point unless the minority player(s) in a group decides to Bold Challenge. After players have revealed their answers and any Bold Challenges have been recognized, the reader gives the correct answer. Any player who Bold Challenged scores 2 if correct but -1 if incorrect. Any majority player gains 1 point if no one Bold Challenges, but scores -1 if the Bold Challenger is correct. If all answers are different, only a correct answer gains the player a point. If the minority player does not Bold Challenge, he or she receives 0 points whether correct or incorrect.

A around ends when all examples have been read or when one or more players in a particular grouping have received nine points, whichever happens first. Any player who scores 9 in a round shuts down play for his or her group but players in other groupings continue until the round ends.

PROPAGANDA®® Techniques have been classified into six Sections. Students may have a list of the PROPAGANDA®® Techniques (but not their explanations) for reference during competition. Students are told from which Section the examples are taken in each round before the question is read. Generally, three questions are read from each Section during a two round competition. All six Sections are covered at both regional and national tournaments. At the national tournament, Rounds 1 and 2 are from Sections A, D, and E while Rounds 3 and 4 come from Sections B, C, and F.

For further information about National Academic Games, please contact: Marlette Price.

Please check out the other pages on this site:

National Academic Games Home
History of National Academic Games
Robert W. Allen, Founder of National Academic Games
Board of Directors & National Rules Chairpersons
National Academic Games Tournament
National Academic Games Tournament Official Games
Annual Leslie Nielsen Achievement Scholarship
Outstanding Senior
Outstanding Co-ordinator
Robin Trice Humanitarian Award
Ding-a-Ling Award
Authors & Founder Scholarship
National Academic Games Links

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