Card games in a post-truth world

When in the US earlier this year, I came across many souvenirs mocking the country’s leader, including a card game called, Trump Cards: The Wackiest Game of Fake News.

It looked like a fun party card game in which players tried to pick out ‘Fake News’ from real quotes by President Donald Trump. A player receives one point for a correct answer and zero for incorrect answers.

So, let’s break out the card game and test your abilities. Did the US President really say these things or is it ‘fake news’?

“I will make Mexico pay for a wall on the border.” Ah yes, the infamous wall. Bingo! That’s an easy guess. The Donald definitely said this. 1 point.

“Bambi’s mother was clumsy. She deserved to die.” Nope, this one was completely fabricated. Good try. 0 points.

“To the fake Pocahontas, I won’t apologise.” A classic! Pocahontas was one of his nicknames for political rival Senator Elizabeth Warren. 1 point if you guessed the quote was real.

Right, now for something a bit harder:

“For anyone that has money, they know the first rule is to use other people’s money.” Sounds like Trump, doesn’t it? Well, it was really a quote from American rapper Kanye West.

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it!” Yup, Mr Trump again.

“I’m a perfectionist.” Was that the US President? No, it was our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on the decision to drop to Alert Level 3. But it looked like a Trump quote, didn’t it?

If you miraculously got all six points, congratulations, you are immune to fake news… well, so you think.

Comedians and rappers are meant to have great one-liners, that’s their job. I guess politicians also make a regular appearance on “History’s Greatest Quotes Vol 1-59.” In this world of fake news, it’s not only difficult to tell what the truth is, but increasingly, what the original context was.

Trump Cards’ is fun for the whole family, but games like this are only possible because we are so used to quotes being pulled out of context by newspapers. In isolation, any line can sound terrible but clipping a few quotes from thousands of hours of speech doesn’t help solve the problem of fake news. Even Ardern can sound like a buffoon out of context.

I can live with a fun card game, but I don’t think anyone is sure how to live in a ‘Fake News’ world that destroys context almost as a matter of course. You can quote me on that.

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