The Pericles Group


Everybody’s talking about gamification this and gamification that, but as far as we can tell, it’s all just different brands of chocolate-covered broccoli.

We want winning the game and learning about, say, Rome to be the same thing.

Our card game, CARD-tamen, is part of that effort. Most of what we do is on the web — students as operatives on secret missions to save civilization. . . learning Latin to read a crucial inscription. . . deciding based on their reading whether to vote for or against Socrates in ancient Athens. You can read all about our practomimetic (“game-based”) Latin curriculum under the ‘Operation LAPIS‘ link on the home page.

CARD-tamen is a little bit different, and we’re incredibly excited about it because it’s something students–heck, anybody–can hold. The idea is simple: players must learn about the people and places on the cards in order to participate in and win epic battles of wits and rhetoric about, for example, whether Cicero or Augustus contributed more to the growth of civilization. Players have two minutes to provide the most compelling argument as to why their chosen CARD wins a controversy selected by a d20 roll from a list provided with the game.

But it doesn’t just stop with the Classical world. We are continuously developing, with the aid of content specialists, decks for additional content areas. We've released Life Science, US History, and Healthcare decks in addition to the Rome and Greece decks. The best part about CARD-tamen is that all decks are playable together utilizing the universal controversies. This means that incredible and rich interdisciplinary debate is possible in any setting.

We hope that you’ll be as excited about the possibilities for play and learning in and out of the classroom as we are. Be sure to explore the different CARD-tamen decks that are available for purchase on our products page.

  1. Deal seven (7) CARDs to each player. The player to the dealer’s left goes first.
  2. The first player chooses a controversy from the section of these rules labeled “CARD-tamen™ Controversies”, and a CARD from his or her hand, and announces the controversy chosen as he or she lays down the CARD.
  3. The player to his left may take up the challenge or pass.
  4. If the second player has passed, the third player MUST take up the challenge.
  5. A player takes up a challenge by playing a CARD and beginning a speech in favor of his or her own chosen CARD.
  6. The player who is not involved in the challenge serves as the iudex (judge). Both CARDs are awarded to the player chosen by the iudex as the winner.
  7. CARDs awarded are placed in front of the player to be counted at the end of the CARD-tamen™.
  8. The turn passes to the left, and play continues until one player is out of CARDs.
  9. The winner of CARD-tamen™ is the player with the most CARDs in front of him or her.
  1. More significant to history
  2. Greater cultural impact
  3. Inspired more stories
  4. More remembered today
  5. More essential to survival
  6. Greater potential for future study
  7. More fascinating
  8. Greater continued influence on today’s world
  9. More valued by the average person
  10. Greater potential for controversy
  11. More misunderstood
  12. Less continued influence on today’s world
  13. More complex
  14. Less appreciated
  15. More aesthetically significant
  16. More loved
  17. More hated
  18. Greater unsung influence
  19. More threatening to humankind
  20. More potential for human enlightenment