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Dr. Richard Garfield
Revenge of the Interns

Who pays for the CEO's annual bonus? The junior intern, of course. Corporate Shuffle, the new card game designed by Dr. Richard Garfield, C'85, Gr'93, features rules as illogical as those in any corporate workplace. And no wonder -- it's based on Scott Adams's Dilbert cartoon, which mocks every facet of office life from cubicle politics to acronym addictions.
Photo of Dilbert Game

   The hobby that led Garfield to become lead game designer at the Washington state-based Wizards of the Coast, Inc., began in junior high, he explains: "It was triggered by Dungeons & Dragons, which really puts the player in the role of game designer." Garfield planned a career in mathematics teaching and research, but never gave up game-designing for fun. While he was earning his Ph.D. in combinational mathematics at Penn, Wizards of the Coast purchased a game he had created years earlier, RoboRally. His next creation for the company, the fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering, sold 10 million cards in six weeks.
   In Corporate Shuffle, players race to empty their hands and ascend the corporate ladder, achieving leverage with tools such as the ominously-named "Twirling Wedgie" card. By tapping into Dilbert's popularity, Garfield says, his company hopes to attract more game players. "We have a hope that games will become an accepted form of entertainment on the level of movies or sports."

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Copyright 1997 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 11/10/97