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In many ways, Cs the Day: The Card Game is an ode both to academia, which is imperfect but can at times be wonderful, and to my personal passion and research interest, which has helped me to find a place within this profession. It is also, as is discussed in more detail below, an extension of an existing game, and as such embodies many of the same goals and principles of that game. Thus, designing Cs the Day: The Card Game required careful attention to how the mechanics and narrative reflect both the profession and the original game. There are certainly substantial critiques to be made about academia, and in particular the tenure process. Indeed, Way Jeng’s “How I Learned to Love Despair: Using Simulation Video Games for Advocacy and Change,” a tycoon-esque simulation game addressing the use of contingent faculty in English departments, does an excellent job of modeling how games can be used to critique academia. That game places players in the role of an English department chair and asks them to balance faculty loads (both service and teaching related), the department budget, and university goals. By doing so, Jeng creates an open space for academics to play with this system, in a way that encourages further critique and engagement with the ethics of dependance on contingent faculty. Thus, the play of “Despair” is transformative in that it allows us to “see values and practice them and challenge them so they become more than mindless habits” (Sicart 5).


OneShot: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Play and Game Studies is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This article is also available on the journal's webpage:

The card game files are available below as an additional file.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Additional Files

Cs-the-Day-Card-Game-Files.pdf (1126 kB)