|The Game of Moral Dilemmas|
|Publisher(s)||High Game Enterprises|
|Setup time||1 minute|
|Playing time||about 1 hour|
|Random chance||Low (card drawing, luck)|
|Skill(s) required||Simple Social skills
Scruples (full title "A Question of Scruples"), is a board game based on ethical dilemmas. Players are given five yellow cards with a moral dilemma such as "You accidentally damage a car in a parking lot. Do you leave a note with your name and phone number?" The player also has one red card, with either YES, NO, or DEPENDS written on it. The player must ask the question to the person whom they most think will reply with the answer on the red card. If the answer matches the red card, the player asking the question gets rid of their yellow card and red card, and picks up a new red card. In this way, the game tests how well players know the other players. The game is over when someone gets rid of all five cards.
The game was invented by Henry Makow in 1984 and developed by High Game Enterprises. It was later sold to Hasbro, who marketed the game (partly through Parker Brothers) for several years. The game has since sold over seven million copies worldwide and has been translated into five languages.
The game was originally designed and marketed by Henry Makow in Canada in 1984, who licensed the game to MARUCA Industries - Carl Eisenberg. The game took off in the United States due to marketing program by MARUCA that resulted in the game being played not once, but twice on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and then featured in the Wall Street Journal along with other publications and newspapers. Carl Eisenberg negotiated a deal with Steven Hassenfeld of Hasbro through Douglas Polumbaum a licensing agent, to sell the US rights to Hasbro which resulted in HASBRO also licensing other rights directly from Henry Makow. This took place in 1986.
MARUCA initially sold 500,000 copies and was a small company that could not produce the product fast enough. HASBRO was so excited by the potential of the game that they gave MARUCA the ultimatum of licensing to them or being knocked off and advertised out of business. MARUCA licensed the game for a sum of $1,500,000 and Makow was paid $1,000,000 plus a royalty.
Under Hasbro, the game sold over seven million copies. Hasbro later returned the rights to Henry Makow of High Game Enterprises.
Due to the cultural aspect of the moral dilemma questions, Scruples was updated every five years, until the Millennium edition, which is the latest version. It contains 150 questions from four previous versions and 100 new questions.
In popular culture
The game was featured in the first season episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, "The Game".
- "Game Gauges Players' Scruples By Putting Them To The Test". United Press International. September 25, 1985. Retrieved 2010-11-17. "Scruples was born last summer when Henry Makow sold his house for $35000, using the money to produce an initial 5,000 copies of Scruples for Canadian distribution."
- A Question of Scruples @ The Game Show Pilot Light
- Scruples Sizzle