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What is a Democs game?

Democs is a conversation card game, a group discussion method based around cards. Players get hands of cards and take turns to play them. But instead of playing to win, they are playing to learn about an important new issue - in this case itís human enhancement - and form their opinions about it. At the end of the game, the players will get to vote on policy options. The kit is made up of several different types of cards. Most have information, ideas or stories about the topic. It was first devised by the New Economics Foundation (nef) in 2001, and has been widely used for many different issues.

Democs is designed to be played anywhere, by anyone. All you need is a kit, about six to eight people (though you can play with more or less), a table and an hour and a half to two hours. You donít need to know anything about the topic to run a game and the rules are simple and easy to understand.

This Democs game has been created as part of a European Commission research project called ETHENTECH, specifically to ask members of the public like you what you think about human enhancement. Your responses, and those of many other players across Europe, will help us produce a report to the European Commission about public as well as expert views on enhancement, and whether regulations might be needed.

More about Democs games and Democs Games On-line.

Human Enhancement Democs Game

Human enhancement raises many issues about whatare the limits (if any) to being human; is there a difference between using tools outside the body (like a computer) and, say, implanting a chip in our brain? Or between repairing the body and enhancing it? What about risks? Who would get access to these new abilities? Is this a matter of individual choiceor should society regulate it? And much more. If you would like to explore these issues and have a group of friends, neighbours, family or workmates we created a Democs card game as part of the EC research project ETHENTECH.

Download: You can download the whole game from this website, free, and print it out for yourself. You will need to download the following 7 files. We find light white card 120 - 160 gsm weight is easier to handle than ordinary paper. Check what your printer can handle. There's quite a lot of cutting up to do. A guillotine may help. You can download the game from the files below.

Story cards
Info cards
Issue cards
Cluster cards
Voting Grid
Feedback form

These two sets of cards are not essential to run the game, but can help:
Yellow cards
Blank cards

By post

We also have a few remaining hard copies of the game, which comes in a small box, with all the cards and full instructions. Send us your address and we'll post it to you free :
- in England & Wales - Perry Walker, New Economics Foundation, 3 Jonathan Street, London SE11 5NH
- in Scotland - Donald Bruce, Edinethics Ltd.,11/6 Dundonald Street, Edinburgh EH3 6RZ.

Extra Cluster Cards and Voting Grids?

If you have already played the game and want to play it again with another group of people, you will need new Cluster Cards and Voting Grids. You can Download them here:



Do you want to see what's involved first?

If you want to get a better idea what this is all about, just download the Instruction Booklet pdf file, and read for yourself.

Once you've played the game : Results

There is a feed back form for you want to tell us who you are, where and when you played it, and what you thought about the game.

If we get enough games played and analysed it will give us an idea what people think about this as an issue. So we'd be very interested in the results - the cluster cards and voting grids. If you can send the results by post to : Donald Bruce, Edinethics Ltd.,11/6 Dundonald Street, Edinburgh EH3 6RZ.

We hope to have a feedback and results facility available on-line shortly.

Religious Version

We also have a version of the game with some Issue Cards designed specifically for religious groups of any faith tradition to explore the religious dimensions more easily. If you want this version then download this file instead of 'Issue Cards' : Religious Issue cards


Want to Play it Again? : Extra Cards

If you have played the game and want to play it again with another group of people, you can re-use the Story, Information and Issue Cards, and the Instructions, but you will need to print out 4 new Cluster Cards, and enough Voting Grids for 1 each per player, and a Feedback form. You can Download them here:

Cluster cards
Voting Grid
Feedback form

You might like to see our other pages for more about Human Enhancement.


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