RELEASED: Prototype Card Game Free to Testers

October 21, 2021

Contact: Rees Powell


Open for Testing: Code-Cracking Beta Edition Reveals the Plays of Influence, Disinformation, Fake News and Spin. Even Crazy Relatives

BETHESDA, MD, USA  Oct. 21, 2021 – In today’s epidemic of rhetoric you’re probably exhausted by the games that advertisers, online bullies, politicians, and your own kids play to get their way. Even Uncle Harry at Thanksgiving. It’s a persuasion game with no playbook. But now it’s a game with cards.

Released today for public testing by Playmaker Systems, PLAYMAKER® beta is a free prototype card game designed for board gamers, high school and college students, board room strategists, counterintelligence officers, and other members of the influence industries that showcases the precise “plays” that drive any form or function of influence, from marketing and sales to advertising and PR to politics and information warfare, to media and more.

Interested parties may apply to test PLAYMAKER beta here. Applicants will be asked for contact information, their agreement to the game’s terms of use, and a pledge to complete a questionnaire of their playing experience.

Played with three-to-six individuals or teams in a best-of-seven-rounds format PLAYMAKER challenges participants to out-pitch their peers with strategies and stories that bring to life a preliminary set of 15 familiar scenarios in business, politics and pop culture. Controlled tests have yielded hilarious yet memorable lessons in the art and science of influence.

“You run plays, and plays are run on you,” said Playmaker Systems president and founder Alan Kelly. “And what better way than a game to decode and master the moves?”

A production version of PLAYMAKER with approximately 50 scenarios is expected in 2022. Shown above, is an example of a how a round of PLAYMAKER might proceed with standard rules and four players. Three variations on the rules are included for testers to try.


A play (aka, influence play) is a strategy used to influence others, intentional or not—one of 23 elements in Playmaker Systems’ professionally-tested and patented Taxonomy of Influence Strategies, shown below. This breakthrough framework, first described in the landmark book, The Elements of Influence by Alan Kelly, sheds light on how kids spin parents and media spin stories, companies protect reputations and marketers burnish brands, politicians go negative, and propagandists hijack truth.


Playmaker Systems, LLC, based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, is a strategy and analytics firm. We offer analysts, strategists and students of influence the tools, techniques and training to decode, predict and control the plays and players of their markets – from friendly allies to covert competitors, CEOs to politicos, and activists to terrorists. Our touchstone, the Taxonomy of Influence Strategies, is like no other. First described by president and founder Alan Kelly in his landmark book, The Elements of Influence, it is the centerpiece of a precise, patented and proven decision system that powers our standard-setting services and software. These include Playmaker ConsultationsPlaymaker Signatures and MapsPlaymaker Workshops, and Playmaker Simulations and Wargames – used by Fortune 500 companies Abbott, AbbVie, Bayer, Booz Allen Hamilton, Dell, GSK, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Pandora Media, Royal Dutch Shell, SAP and VMware, and taught at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, USC Annenberg School for Communication, and University of Maryland Department of Communication.

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PLAYMAKER Game Application

Online: Taxonomy of Influence Strategies

Infographic: Glossary of Influence Strategies

Website: Playmaker Systems

Book: The Elements of Influence


Copyright © 2005-2021  Playmaker Systems, LLC. Reproduction or distribution without the permission of Playmaker Systems is prohibited. All Rights Reserved. All indicated trademarks are owned by Playmaker Systems. U.S. Patent No. 8,245,157.