Gamify Learning with Trading Cards - Spark Innovation, Collaboration & More.

How USC's Reality Ends Here Trading Card game helped college freshers innovate and create beyond what they wanted to major in

Photo of Niranjan Vasireddy
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Inspiration - Reality Ends Here Trading Card Game

                        The Thing of the Future Trading Card Game

Reality Ends Here Trading Card Game

Reality is a collaborative media-making game for 10 or more players. It is not a single-sitting game, but rather a long-term experience. Depending on how you want to run it, a “season” of Reality can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer. It is not a game like Monopoly or Senet or Tag or Mario Kart. If anything, it’s more like a miniature sporting league, where the sport involves media-making, socializing, strategy, and team-building, and where the teams are impermanent, forming and dissolving on a project-by-project basis.

Creator and Designer Jeff Watson's Reality Ends Here, won the Impact Award at the 2012 IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games.

See how the game is played -

 The Thing of the Future Trading Card Game

The Thing from the Future is an imagination game that challenges players to collaboratively and competitively imagine objects from a range of alternative futures. 

How it Works

The object of the game is to come up with the most entertaining and thought-provoking descriptions of hypothetical objects from different near-, medium-, and long-term futures. Each round, players collectively generate a creative prompt by playing a card game. This prompt outlines the kind of future that the thing-to-be-imagined comes from, specifies what part of society or culture it belongs to, describes the type of object that it is, and suggests an emotional reaction that it might spark in an observer from the present. Players must then each write a short description of an object that fits the constraints of the prompt. These descriptions are then read aloud (without attribution), and players vote on which description they find the most interesting, provocative, or funny. The winner of each round keeps the cards put into play for that round, and whoever has the most cards when the game ends is declared the overall winner.

Read more on how the game is played -

Potential for Impact:

Games provide a channel through which players can connect with one another and generate social arrangements centered on the discussion and practice collaboration.

1. Students will love it - Makes learning fun

2. Encourages collaboration

3. Community leader-boards that encourage new ideas.

4. More than a million combination - Encourages Innovation & imagination

Scaling & Adaptability

Low cost

Easy to use and implement.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jessica Lura

I realize that we're out of this stage :) but Dan, I would love to hear more about what your idea for your AP lit students. Also, I could see the value of adapting these cards for my 8th graders to facilitate conversations about their future and mentoring conversations.

Photo of Niranjan Vasireddy

Jessica, Gaming is a powerful medium that excites kids to learn things faster and in a fun way. I Think it is a great idea to use theses cards to facilitate conversations. I was in fact looking at this model for maker spaces. What I like is the "n" number of possibilities, that encourage creativity and imagination. I also like the way how students are led through their own discovery process as opposed to instructor fed. This also leaves students with a lot of scope for personalization and opens the willingness to cooperate and learn from each other rather than just the instructor.
I am sure the model can be used for any group including but not limited to AP Lit Students. There is another version of the cards called Dr. Scribb’s Fantastical Card Combinatorium. This is a collaborative writing game that could work out for AP Lit Students - Check out

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