How to play Tug of Logic

Below on this page you will find the game Instructions for Tug of Logic, and also access to the game. You can’t just jump into this game. You need a group, and you need to choose a topic, called a MainClaim.

You need to understand the game Tug of Logic before you can play it. Learn the ropes first in this instructional video, which breaks its all down nicely:


And now, just below here, you can get to the game itself.

Go ahead, give it a tug

And here is where you access the game itself:

 PLAY Tug of Logic

qrcode www.tug of  300x300 How to play Tug of Logic

Scan this QR code to get to


Tug of Logic Players will want to check out the Tips for playing Tug of Logic.

Logic Referees will want to know these valuable Strategies for facilitating Tug of Logic .

Teachers will want to adapt these staged exercises for using Tug of Logic in class.

Game Details:

(You can download the Game Instructions here.)

1. Game Description

Tug of Logic (ToL) is an Internet-enhanced game of live facilitated philosophical dialogue. Players engage in critical inquiry through guided dialogue, but also participate via required Internet-connected devices. The game is managed by a Logic Referee who facilitates the discussion and solicits players’ contributions to the dialogue. The game is played live with active, present participants (i.e., in a café or classroom), and requires a large, shared projection screen or monitor to display on-going vote tallies and provide cognitive social feedback.

A game of ToL of best played with less than 20 players unless the Logic Referee has an Assistant. To accommodate larger groups, more than one game can be played at the same time, but each game requires at least one Logic Referee.

2. Game Materials

a). A facilitator computer & projector (or big monitor) to share the image in the room.

b). Internet-connected devices, at least one per every group of three or four students.

3. Participant Roles

a). A facilitator who plays the role of Logic Referee

b). A facilitator assistant (optional)

c). Players. These are the participants (about 5-35, although ideally 10-15)

4. Goals

a). Support for critical enquiry and thinking.

b). Skills development for philosophical dialogue.

c). Acknowledgment of different positions on controversial topics.

d). Self analysis on proposed points of view.

5. Game Terminology

a). Logic Referee: The game official who facilitates the philosophical dialogue, declares the start and end of Bouts, and ensures fair play.

The role of the Logic Referee is to encourage the articulation of persuasive reasons in defense or critique of the Reason-in-Play (RiP; see below), to encourage prompt revoting, and to ask about specific wording changes to the Reason-in-Play that might make it more acceptable or swing voting results. The Logic Referee may also point Players in the direction of strategic moves (e.g., identifying required but unstated premises for later Bouts; establishing opposing points to block required premises; building common ground before provoking isolated controversy; etc.)

b). Controversial MainClaim (MC): a single and complete self-contained statement (true/ false sentence) that divides players’ opinions more or less equally.

Without a controversial MC, there can be no game of Tug of Logic. Its wording cannot be changed after the Straw Poll (though a later game can be begun with a revised MC, provided that it too is controversial, as determined by a new Straw Poll). Once the Straw Poll closes, Players can no longer change their vote on the MC. However, Players do get to vote on it again in the Final Poll.

c). Straw-Poll:  the mechanism that allows all participants to vote on a proposed controversial MC through their internet-connected devices.

A game of Tug of Logic begins with a Straw Poll. For the purposes of the game, a MC is controversial if present participants are divided in their opinions on it, as determined by the Straw Poll. The game of Tug of Logic cannot be played on a MC that is unanimously accepted.

d). Reason-to-Play (R2P): a single and complete self-contained statement (true or false sentence) that an individual player enters and submits, either in support of the MC (adding evidence) or in opposition to it (proof against it).

Once the initial Straw Poll is complete, Players may submit R2P via their devices, which they can edit anytime or supplement throughout the game.

e). Reason-in-Play (RiP): a statement selected by the Logic Referee in agreement or challenging the MC, from all the R2Ps that have been sent by the Players.

The Logic Referee (or Assistant) chooses, from amongst all the submitted R2Ps, one to be the focus of each Bout of Logical Scrimmage. This statement, called the RiP during the Bout, is displayed on a large, shared monitor and also sent to Players’ devices.

f). Bout of Logical Scrimmage: an open-ended, but time-limited, period of philosophical dialogue facilitated by the Logic Referee and focused on an individual RiP.

Under the Logic Referee guide, all players discuss on the truth-status of the changing focal RiP. The bulk of the game ToL consists in a series of Bouts of Logical Scrimmage, during which Players are also able to cast votes on the RiP, specifically, whether, as currently stated, it is Established or Contested. Bout votes can be revoked at any time during the Bout, and the Player who entered the reason into play is able at any time to revise its wording, forcing a fresh vote.  The Bout ends when the Logic Referee decides further discussion is unprofitable, or unlikely to improve wording so as to change the vote results.

g).  Final Poll: a final vote on the MC that closes the game. It is called by the Logic Referee after the discussion is complete and/or the time available for Bouts of Logical Scrimmage is over.

Players vote in a repeat of the initial poll to reveal whether the dialogue has changed any players’ minds on the MC. Results are displayed in lists, notably a list of any Players whose Final Poll vote differs from their initial Straw Poll vote. Players who report a change of opinion on the MainClaim are declared the nominal winners and are given a chance to explain their change of heart.

6. Instructions for players

A game in three parts:

one: a strawpoll SetS the MainClaim

a).  Together with those present, solicit and select a MainClaim to propose (Process may vary).

b). Go to on your internet-connected device. Click on Join Game and then, enter the Room Code provided by the Logic Referee.

c). The Straw-Poll begins. Carefully read the MC and vote on it. You have two options, Convinced, or Not Persuaded.

Note: If there is insufficient disagreement, as determined by the Logic Referee, a game cannot start. Return to StrawPoll again (6.1.). The Logic Referee will solicit and select a new proposed MC. Once an MC is determined, go to 6.2.

Two: A Series of Bouts of Logical Scrimmage

(a). Once the Straw-Poll is concluded and closed to voting, you enter a reason (called Reason-to-Play or R2P), for or against the MC, in the window that will appear on the screen. You can add or contribute as many reasons as you like, but be strategic. Assemble and coordinate complete arguments that others will accept.

b). The Logic Referee (with help from Assistant for large games) selects from amongst the proposed R2Ps, one that will serve as the basis of the Bout. The chosen R2P becomes now the Reason-in-Play (RiP).

c).  A Bout of Logical Scrimmage (Bout) begins. In this stage, you both partake in the facilitated dialogue focussed on the selected R2P and vote on the active RiP.  You are free to change your Bout vote on the RiP at any time during the Bout. Be sure to recast your vote whenever the RiP wording changes.

d). If you are the Player who introduced the RiP, you are free to revise its wording at any time. In light of the comments of other players, you may want to do so to garner more votes. You are free to ask opponents what changes to the wording would win their support. You cannot proceed in the game with a RiP that does not earn sufficient voting support, as determined by the Logic Referee.

e). Any Player may speak for or against the RiP during the Bout, giving reasons why other Players should vote for it or contest it. The Logic Referee facilitates this dialogue, encouraging Players to articulate reasons in defense or in critique of the RiP.  You can participate by sharing the reasons for your opinion, by contesting the RiP, and also by proposing specific wording changes to the RiP that might induce more Players to vote it as Established (true).

f). The Bout ends when the Logic Referee decides further discussion is unprofitable; that is, unlikely to improve wording or change the vote results. There are two possible outcomes, the RiP is either Not Established (insufficient voting support) or it is Established. All RIPs that are Not Established drop out of the game and cannot be made use of further (though they can be reintroduced as the basis of a later Bout). Established RiPs are moved to Common Ground and become part of the Case For the MC or the Case Against the MC (or both)


a). The Final Poll starts. The established Common Ground (for and against) is displayed. Vote once again on the MC as it was proposed at the beginning of the game. Are you Convinced or Not Persuaded?

b). Finally, the system displays a list of all the Players who, after the discussions in the Bouts, changed their mind on the MC. If you are one of those, you win!  Congratulations!

Your prize is the last word, an opportunity to explain why you decided to take another stance on the issue!

    I’m Michael

    I’m a writer and philosopher, and now a game developer. This site introduces Tug of Logic, a game and web-app I have created to serve public reasoning.

    Recent posts