Advergame Card Game


Ian Bogost discusses three types of advertising: demonstrative, illustrative, and associative.  Using this framework and your rhetorical knowledge, create a card game used for advertising (an advergame).


You have used critical thinking and rhetorical knowledge to revise/remix a game; now, it’s time to create your game from scratch. Creating a card game that advertises a product or service can be a powerful marketing tool. A game included in a McDonald’s Happy Meal or handed out to prospective college students visiting a university can demonstrate, illustrate, or associate the product with positive values, emotions, or information.


How and why do advergames work?  Are they effective?  Is demonstrative, illustrative, or associative advertising the best?


  1. Select a product or service that you think could benefit from having a card game. You should be at least familiar with and preferably like the product or service—if you don’t like or eat at McDonald’s, don’t create a card game for them just because it’s the example we used in class and it seems easy. You should read up on your product or service to better understand what the company values. This is research lite—Wikipedia, company webpages, news stories, etc.
  2. Begin thinking about the design of the game. This should be connected to what type of advertising you want to engage in: associative, illustrative, or demonstrative. Consider the types of games we discussed in class. Consider an inventive game, or something else you are familiar with. Begin designing cards and the instructions for the game.
  3. Design your game cards on 3×5 index cards first. They are cheap, large, easy to write on, and easy to revise. Your final game can be on 3×5 index cards, but you are welcome to use blank white cards or custom cards as well. Well-designed cards will be rewarded with a higher grade. If you are worried about your handwriting/drawing skills, consider purchasing mailing labels, design the card information on a computer, then print the labels to stick on the cards.
  4. Playtest your game with a friend and make any necessary revisions.
  5. Write your final instructions and design your final cards to be handed in.


February 12 – Games will be playtested in class

February 17 – Hand in physical copy of game with instructions.


  • A 1-2 page instruction sheet that describes how to play your game, and is clearly branded and associated with your product and service.
  • A deck of your designed cards (at least 10, no more than 100). 3×5 cards are acceptable as your card game, but you are free to use other types of cards. If you are hand drawing information on the cards, it should be legible.
  • It is worth 10 points.

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