I hadn't really anticipated this, but people are writing to me about the cards.
(I've even had a response from the trading card company Topps -- see below).
So here's some letters.
Rene Zepeda from Salt Lake
Very, very cool. How did
you tap into my unconscious for the 'psychologists' card? They're like 'cliff
notes' for the attention deficit disorder jet set.
Rene Zamora Zepeda
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Thanks Rene. To show that
the cards are not merely for those with attention deficits, here's a thoughtful
email from another card game designer:
Prof. Galina Sganenko from
The idea to prepare playing
cards with descriptions of sociological theories and views of theoreticians is
wonderful. I have thought about it but in Russia it is not useful and possible
and profitable. But I have had very important experiences in my search for interesting
ideas to make educational card games. In particular, I myself, with my young daughter
Lena, designed and produced the card game "Europe for leisure and pleasure" or
"Europe for all times" or "Europe always with you". (I use different names for
it). The main ideas for it were that the information on the cards should be systemic,
and rules for playing should be "organic". (The cards would be for playing, not
for studying. In this case the educational results would be received as a consequence
as playing, the wish to win, using optimal tactique of a game, and without any
I produced 25,000 copies
of the game, and distribute about 18,000 copies in Saint-Petersburg in Russia.
Also I have ogranized some public competitions among different groups - for teachers,
the general public, and in schools.
As for your game, I have
learnt not much from this introduction of the game. But if I understand correctly,
you are going to crowd each card with a lot of useful but not systemic information.
The first mistake is too much information. The second is that the information
is the "non-systemic" character of the information (from the point of view of
playing). The third is connected with the rules for playing. "Strengths", "weaknesses",
etc seem to be very boring. I think it is possible to find some systemic basic
facts to connect different cards, and find scores and points for ideas, which
are relevant to the sociological matter of the game. If you are interested in
my approach to educational games, let me know.
Designer of the game "Europe for pleasure",
and Professor of Sociology, Centre for
Social Studies, Central European University.
David replies: Thanks
for these thoughts. It's true that more readily comparable facts or statistics
would improve this as a game. But I chose to put hopefully-educational material
on the cards, and then a bit of comment in the 'strengths', 'weaknesses' and 'special
skills'. They are designed to be collectable cards, more than they are part of
a card game. I have indeed written card game rules,
but they're not meant to be taken too seriously. As a game it may be a bit useless.
But I stand by my cards!
In my mind it's a bit like
the Pokémon cards, which may be pretty to look at, but the game seems so
complex that you'd have to be quite dedicated to bother. There you have it: my
trading cards are for people not sufficiently dedicated to bother!
Jule from Topps, the Trading Card producers, USA, writes:
As the only transgender employee at the Topps Company, I was thrilled by your
trading card set. I am annoyed that you only have 5 cards in the set. Do you plan
on creating more? (I hope so). Also, have you thought of doing subsets? What about
relic cards? [...] How about applying new technology: a limited edition foil or
holographic set? Embossing?
I'm glad you took a look at the Pokémon series and keyed into the very
real threat of fraud. You wouldn't want to exit the subway in the morning to find
that your cards have been mass produced without your permission and are being
sold on a folding card table along with CD bootlegs of DMX and NSYNC. That would
be a real bummer.
A final note: I just walked down the hall and spoke with our non-sport editior
who confirmed that Topps cards would indeed be produced in association
with the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. We were thrilled to have finally
inked that deal. I then went and spoke briefly to a marketing director who projects
that bootleg sales of the cards will probably outsell the licensed version, but
Topps does expect to turn a "modest" profit. The fact that the set will be produced
in French will limit marketing possiblities in the U.S., but we expect robust
Web Content Coordinator,
The Topps Company, USA
Great to get a response
from Topps, who are the big US trading card producer -- they even did the famous
Mars Attacks cards, which Tim Burton then based a film on. When I saw I
had an email from someone at 'topps.com', I feared it would be a legalistic rebuke
of some sort. So thank goodness it was lovely Ilsa, who seems to have understood
the spirit of the series! But I should have known that the Ecole Normale Supérieure
could not be trusted.
Meanwhile, in Spain...
Luciana Rogoski from Barcelona
Summer fun!!! Played all
day long with a bunch of friends and had mine covered in plastic so they wouldn´t
wet at the beach. Psychos got really mad at me, but i won all their Giddens cards!
Waiting for the next ones!
See, Luciana has made up
her own rules, and still seems to be having fun.
Robin Page from Sussex,
Too groovy. Can't wait
to get out the cards and start swapping under the table during a particularly
boring lecture on de Certeau, he he. Keep up the good work!
University of Sussex
Boring lecture? Pardon?
Kym from New Zealand writes:
If the cards are for real,
then i want to know where I can get them in New Zealand. I have a lecturer who
is immersed in postmodernism and I think they'd be cool for class =] ha ha ha
Disappointment for Kym,
then, but the cards can be downloaded and printed to a full professional
Angela Lauria from Switzerland
These trading cards are
I can't wait for more.
What an awesome idea. Thanks.
European Graduate School
Prof. Jerry Rosiek from
Alabama, USA, writes:
This is GREAT! Very good
fun. Please create many more! These trading cards are incredible!!!!!
Professor of Educational Research
Univeristy of Alabama
Even professors of education
go a bit crazy when faced with the pedagogical advance which is the Theory.org.uk
Geoff Lealand from New Zealand
Well, I am stunned and
astounded! They will go nicely in my wallet, next to my "Official Critics" card.
My 13 year old son helped with my reading of the 'Psychologists' card -- he tells
me the images are versions of Professor Oak, of Pokémon fame!
University of Waikato,
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ahem. Any resemblance to
Pokémon pictures are purely coincidental.
Geraldine from Christchurch,
New Zealand, writes:
Your cards are fab. I did
a presentation about postmodernism for a feminist studies paper, and passed the
Butler card 'round to great effect. Afterwards I organised a proper card swap
session with the girls.
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand