‘Illuminati Card Game’ Analysis – Part I


‘Illuminati Card Game’ Analysis

Part I: Introduction and Overview


Previously in this series:

Preface and Contents


Contents – Part I

1 – The ‘Illuminati card game’
2 – Confusion about the two versions
3 – Mainstream coverage of the games
4 – Relevance to the alternative/conspiracy/truth scene


What is the ‘Illuminati card game’ and why would anybody care?

In Part I of this series we are looking at the basic facts concerning the ‘Illuminati card game’ and why it may be of interest to thinking people.


1 – ‘Illuminati card game’ – introduction

In 1982 a standalone card game was released by Steve Jackson Games entitled ‘Illuminati’.

Then in 1994 the same company released a collectible card game entitled ‘Illuminati: New World Order’ (INWO), largely based on the 1982 release.

Since then there have been several updates (‘expansions’) for both the original 1982 standalone card game and the 1994 collectible card game.

Both versions feature hundreds of playing cards, many of which make reference to various ‘conspiracy’ theories, ideas, and tropes.

The gameplay of both games revolve around the notion of conspiracy, secrecy and world control. For example, in the original 1982 game, players can take the role of The Bavarian Illuminati, the UFOs, the Servants of Cthulhu, etc.

In short: The ‘Illuminati card games’ revolve around ‘conspiracy theories’, secrecy and world control.

Note: The history of both Steve Jackson Games and its founder will be covered in detail in Part IX of this series.


2 – Confusion about the two versions

As will be explained in more detail in a moment, the two games are different:

-The 1982 version ‘Illuminati’ is a standalone game, which means that all cards come as part of the game set as purchased.
-The 1994 version ‘INWO’ is a collectible card game, which means that collectors/players collect and trade cards to build their own decks.

There is a lot of overlap between the games. Many cards appear in both (although in different style).

Comparison of two ‘Psychiatrist’ cards.

Above is a comparison of the ‘Psychiatrist’ card from the standalone game (1982) and the collectible card game (1994).

Generally the games are referred to as ‘the Illuminati card game’; few people seem to understand the distinction between the 1982 and 1994 versions and speak of them interchangeably.

For the rest of this series I will refer to the 1982 standalone game as ‘Illuminati’ and the 1994 collectible card game as ‘INWO’.

In short: There are two ‘Illuminati card games’, released by the same company, which are similar in many ways: ‘Illuminati’ (1982) and ‘INWO’ (1994).

Note: We’ll take a much closer look at both games separately in Part VII of this series.


3 – Mainstream coverage of the games

The games have received attention in a small number of mainstream news articles, such as this 2012 piece in Vice and this 2016 article in the Daily Star.

Image from Daily Star article.

Note that the Vice and Daily Star articles cited above both seem to confuse the two games as being one — and their sloppy reporting does not end there. Consider this line from Daily Star:

Steve Jackson’s Illuminati: The Game of Conspiracy was released in 1995, well before many of the shocking moments it predicts.

‘Illuminati: The Game of Conspiracy’ is the original, which was released in 1982. The version they are referring to, ‘Illuminati: New World Order’, was released in 1994.

In other words, they have apparently confused the two games as being one and managed to get the year of release wrong as well.

This may be a result of the Daily Star writer sourcing his information from the earlier Vice article, which says this:

In 1995 games designer Steve Jackson created a role-playing card game called Illuminati: The Game of Conspiracy.

Given that INWO was released in late 1994, the error concerning release year is understandable.

The inability to distinguish between two different games is less forgivable, however, and it afflicts mainstream and ‘alternative’/amateur coverage of the game.

In short: The games have received some mainstream attention, although the reportage has been frivolous and sloppy at best.


4 – Relevance to the alternative/conspiracy/truth (ACT) realm

Simply based on their names alone, the games would appear relevant to the alternative/truth/conspiracy (ACT) realm. There are two main reasons why a deep understanding of the games — who is behind them, and what they are really trying to tell us — is of importance to anybody seeking a better understanding of this thing we call ‘reality’.

The first is well-known among ACT regulars: several of the cards from the games do appear to depict events which have come to pass subsequent to the release of the games. It ought to go without saying that we will be taking a look at a number of specific examples as the series continues.

The second may be less obvious but every bit as important: by critiquing the content which has previously been released by various figures in the ACT realm, we can see once again just how poor a standard of ‘research’ has been allowed to fester in this corner of the internet.

It is truly mind-boggling just how little attention the games have received from would-be ‘truth-tellers’, and how superficial this attention has been when given.

By the end of this series you will see that there is more truth to be found in the ‘Illuminati Card Games’ than exists in the vast majority of ‘truth’ content available on the internet combined.

In short: The games are relevant due to what they tell us about ‘reality’ and also what they show us about the woeful quality of ‘research’ in the ACT realm.


Summary – Part I

1) The ‘Illuminati card games’ revolve around ‘conspiracy theories’, secrecy and world control.

2) There are two ‘Illuminati card games’, released by the same company, which are similar in many ways: ‘Illuminati’ (1982) and ‘INWO’ (1994).

3) The games have received some mainstream attention, although the reportage has been frivolous and sloppy at best.

4) The games are relevant due to what they tell us about ‘reality’ and also what they show us about the woeful quality of ‘research’ in the ACT realm.


Up Next

Is it possible that whoever made these cards had some kind of ‘foreknowledge’ about major events which would occur years or decades later?

In Part II of the series we are taking a look at some well-known examples of game cards which seem to ‘predict’ major media events.


This page made public 16-Aug-2019.