Area company branches in games

West Bend Daily News 01/30/2013, Page A01

Parli-Cards tests players’ knowledge


For the Daily News

Guests at the Parli-Cards launch

Guests at the Parli-Cards new title launch recently in Washington, D.C., warm up at their tables before taking on other tables.
James O’Gara/For the Daily News

Seven years ago, Mary Jo Joyce, public policy and marketing consultant and president of Practical Strategies Inc., with offices in West Bend and Washington, D.C., had an entrepreneurial dream. In 2011, with the fruition of that vision, she added another title — game inventor — launching a new products game division to PSI, under the name Parli-Cards.


Parli-Cards features a series of fun, governmentrelated board and card games that test players’ knowledge of American history, U.S. presidents and the political process.


SpeakDC was the acronym game in the 2011 game series, with a deck of 75 cards containing initials such as “FBI” on one side and the name of the bureau the acronym stands for, “Federal Bureau of Investigation,” on the other.


This popular SpeakDC game inspired the development this past year of a series of similar games, under the subtitle Acronym Ace. New Acronym Ace games contain 105 cards and sport some impressive, new artwork. Dwight D. Duck, who serves as the joker in card games, as well as the teacher and tour guide for acronym games, debuts a themed wardrobe to illustrate his command of the subject matter covered in each game.


These three games — SpeakGOV, SpeakTXT, and SpeakSPORTS — will be unveiled and demonstrated at an event open to the public from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Practical Strategies Inc. West Bend office, 120 N. Main St. (third floor of the Centrum Building).


Activities will include a demonstration by Joyce and an opportunity for guests of all ages to play the new games, along with the original Presidents & Founding Fathers board game, and to win prizes. Board games launched in 2011 at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair — U.S. Presidents & Founding Fathers and U.S. Senate — have undergone some minor changes.


In addition to game play at the launch party, a collection of used hard- and softcover books is for sale to make room for the company’s growing games venture. Many books are inscribed by their authors.


Refreshments will be served.


All ParliCards and Acronym Ace games are designed to entertain a range of age levels and expertise. Games are targeted for those 13 through adulthood. They are ideal for families, educators, students, clubs or anyone with an interest in American history, government studies or language.


In keeping with the company’s concept, all games are made in the United States. Games that were initially sold online only are now also available at retail outlets in Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.


Acronym Ace combo packs, including SpeakGOV, SpeakTXT and Speak-SPORTS are available in a cost-saving combo pack at $45.95 and may be purchased individually at $19.95.


The price of the U.S. Presidents & Founding Fathers game is $35.95, while the U.S. Senate board game sells for $39.95.


Games can also be purchased at Game descriptions and product information are published on the website. The Practical Strategies website is