For immediate release. To celebrate the publication of Cynical Theories in the middle of the exciting cultural and academic climate of 2020, Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay, Herbert Marcuse, and Max Horkheimer are now playable characters in Secret Sartre, the social deduction game of academic intrigue and ideological infighting.
“The intellectual corruption of sense-making institutions, in particular academia, that we have been witnessing in the past few decades is increasingly credited to the post-marxist ideas of Critical Theory in the Frankfurt school, rather than only the traditions of French postmodernism. Players of Secret Sartre have expressed their desire to acknowledge this perceptual shift – to allow different voices to be heard in the game, to open the shared experience to a different narrative – and Max Horkheimer has long been a favourite request among both devoted and casual players,” says game designer Thore Husfeldt.
“To complete the Critical Theory faction, we’ve added Herbert Marcuse, father of the New Left, and another central Frankfurt school thinker. Through his advisor Heidegger, he also connects Secret Sartre to that other large totalitarian tradition of the 20th century, Fascism. This also allows us to acknowledge our ludic, ideological, and intellectual debt to the original game.”
To balance the new expansion offering, both Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay join the quixotic Science faction, championing values such as truth, humanism, evidence, conversation, honesty, and enlightenment. Pluckrose and Lindsay are the authors of Cynical Theories (Pitchstone, 2020) became famous through the Grievance studies affair.
The current expansion to the original 2015 game follows a previous expansion from 2017, which added Jordan B. Peterson and Bret Weinstein to the forces of the Enlightenment.
The game expansion is available as a free download immediately. To unlock Horkheimer for actual play in Secret Sartre requires purchase of Cynical Theories in hardcover or a sizeable donation to New Discourses.