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Technological Surrealism / Alec Nerds Out

SI Playing Cards

Now that we’ve done away with the Imperial system of measurements, with its outdated and arbitrary units and complicated conversions, why do we still have Imperialist symbols on playing cards?

These SI playing cards do away with the outdated colonial — or, worse, feudal — elements of playing cards, using the modern SI (International System of Units) philosophy instead.

Characteristics include:

  • Jokers standardized to 0 (zero)
  • Ace is now standardized at 1
  • Numbers 2-10 retain their normal value
  • Jack standardized at 10^3 (one thousand)
  • Queen standardized at 10^6 (one million)
  • King standardized at 10^9 (one billion)

Suggested games include “capitalism” (previously called “war”), “sustainable aquaculture” (previously called “go fish”), and 21 (the “Blackjack” moniker has been retired).

Retention of fun not guaranteed.

Print these on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ — ahem, that’s 216 mm x 279 mm — paper, using 100lb — ahem, that’s 45.36kg — card stock. Cut laboriously and enjoy.

The cards are based on these vectorized playing cards by Chris Aguilar (GNU Lesser General Public License 3.0). This modification is available here under the same terms (PDF).

The image on the back of the deck is SI Base Unit by Dono (CC BY-SA 3.0). (Tiled PDF here.)

Related idea: Job title inflation playing cards, in which all the numbers are replaced with lofty sounding names (“sales associate”, “sanitation engineer”) but are still worth the same low values.


  1. funvill says:

    This is my new favorite thing! I gotta make a set for myself.

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