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Verum Mendacium

People are often unaware that their rights are compromised by poorly explained changes in legislation and policy, meaning they are often blind to an erosion of their rights. Genuine policies are sometimes indistinguishable from parodic policies in satirical TV shows such as The Thick of It.

There are examples of 'guess the real X' quizzes online, but none that introduce a competitive element. We decided using this, alongside another ice breaking game: two truths one lie; and introducing a point scoring system would be our design.

We wanted to use a game to highlight the ridiculous policies that affect people's lives that may otherwise go unnoticed. We started around the idea of a chess board, using the hierarchies of the playing pieces and the restrictions on how pieces move as a metaphor for rights, we also ideated around using Barons and Peasants with different privileges, and the idea that groups of peasants could rebel or overrule Baron's orders when in groups. Although these did not make it to the final design we kept the voting element, and talked about implications for using the point scoring as a currency in future iterations.

Although this demonstration uses the Magna Carta, we foresee replacing the Magna Carta clauses with contemporary policies, particularly those that concern digital and privacy rights.

Game flow

  1. Players enter their nicknames.
  2. Display two real Magna Carta claues and a textbox for a made up one.
  3. Players save their made up clause
  4. The three clauses are shuffled on each player's screen.
  5. A round:
  • The first player taps one clause from their list and reads it out.
  • Other players are presented with True and False buttons. They tap one.
  • Scores are stored but not revealed to the players.
  • Repeat, alternating between players, until each player has read all three clauses.
  1. Scores and false clauses are revealed! Everyone has a bit of a discussion about them or something.
  2. Play round 2.


  • When a player correctly chooses True or False, they get a point.
  • The player reading the clause gets a point for every player who guessed wrong.

Further development ideas

  • Interface for letting other people add their own true or false policies to a central database.
  • Buy a clue to the correct answer by providing some personal data (eg. your date of birth; what you last bought on Amazon).
  • Online high scores table.
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