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People's Democratic Dictatorship

Contributed by Marcus Graly (

There is a variant of Mao called People's Democratic Dictatorship. It is like standard Mao, except each player makes up one rule and is responsible for enforcing that rule only. In my experience, this game is better than standard Mao, because everyone is on equal footing, rather than those who know the rules lording over those who don't.

This variant was invented by my brother, Joseph Graly, and some of his friends at Carleton College.

The problem of contradictions between different players' rules, which is rare to begin with, can be largely avoided if rules are of the prescriptive form. (ie. In situation A you must do B) However, this is not required. In my view, contradictions in the rules are perfectly consisted with the spirit of the game, and it would be interesting (although somewhat frustrating) if in some situations you could only satisfy one player's rules.

The name of the variant assumes that the name the original card game refers to Mao Zedong. This etymology, while possibly incorrect, is still appropriate, since in Mao's China people were often punished for breaking rules whose existence they could not have been aware, as "the party line" was constantly changing.

Last updated 5th November 2003