The Thinker Game

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Given the wealth of intellectual history, it can be hard to know which thinkers we should know about, or how they might have a bearing on our day-to-day lives. What many of these thinkers have had to say has been hugely relevant and important. But how they often said it – in dense prose and odd formulas – means that many of their ideas have often gone unheard.

This ‘guess who’ game features 52 great thinkers drawn from The School of Life’s curriculum. From da Vinci to Freud, Machiavelli to Woolf, players take on the personas of leading figures from the worlds of anthropology, architecture, art, design, literature, philosophy, political theory, psychology, science and sociology – with opponents guess their identity by asking ‘yes/ no’ questions or requesting hints.

We’ve recovered what we see as their essential ideas and laid these out in an accessible and enjoyable game that should prove a fun way to learn about some of humanity’s brightest minds.


Thinkers Include:

  • Plato

  • Sappho

  • Charles Darwin

  • Karl Marx

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Jean-Paul Sartre

  • Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Hannah Arendt

  • Coco Chanel

How to Play

  • Each player takes a card representing a great thinker and providing the essential information they need to help other players guess who they are.

  • Opponents guess who’s on the card by asking you ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.

  • The game is best played in pairs, or in a group – perhaps on a long train journey, or inside on a wet weekend.

We commissioned the illustrator Stuart Patience to come up with colourful and charming illustrations of each of the great minds. The cards are gently information-rich to seduce us artfully on our knowledge journey.

52 game cards | 89mm x 126mm | Instruction card and ‘Thinker Index’ included