Where are the Real People?

Last night I played a few rounds of Real People, a Parker Bros. game from 1991. In a lot of ways, the game felt like a precursor to reality TV programs. The publisher must have issued some kind of casting call or solicitation to get people to share a photo and answers to questions like:

  • Reputation in High School
  • Pet Peeve
  • Secret Fantasy
  • Personal Motto

The 400 people profiled in the game do not make up anything resembling a random sampling of Americans. Reading through their responses, it’s clear that these were generally extroverted, attention seeking, and generally happy people. Nobody used the words, “medium” or “average” to describe themselves.

I’d like to know if there has ever been an attempt to connect the 400 cards to actual people. It’s been over 20 years since the game was published and it would be fascinating to see if any of these ambitious, outgoing, people did anything with their lives.

The game contains 400 cards that each have a black and white headshot on one side and 10 facts about the person on the other side. (1991 was a good year for people with big hair, by the way). One player draws four cards without looking at the faces and puts them into a display rack so that she can read the facts for one of the four Real People. The other players take turns asking questions to learn the facts about the players. Once you think you know which of the four faces matches up with the answers to the questions, you write your answer and stop asking questions. The fewer questions needed to correctly guess, the higher your score.

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