A game to teach historical thinking through games about WWI.

What is it?

Chronocards is a card game created to teach kids about historical thinking. That is, to piece together fragments of history to create a larger understanding of events that occured in the past. Specifically, the first version of chronocards tackles WWI and the causes that led up to it.

In order to maximize play, the two different card games can be played in one set: one on each side of the cards. The first (the one with characters) is about stringing together series of events that lead to WWI. The second is a simple sentence making game where students propose various cause-and-effect situations and then debate on their validity.

The game was developed in the Game Innovation Lab within USC's School of Cinematic Arts in collaboration with Microsoft Research, as part of a suite of games targeted at teaching historical thinking strategies.

What I Did

Role: Designer

  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Game and Usability Testing
  • Web Design

The team consisted of a large number of graduate students in the Game Innovation Lab, and was overseen by professor Tracy Fullerton. I worked on the project as part of a larger participation in the Game Innovation Lab during my employment within the lab.

More Project Details


The game was published in 2014. Given the educational aspect of it, it was released as a PDF online for free, and a copy could also be purchased from The Game Crafter.

Tools Used
  • Adobe Suite
  • Paper prototyping
Design And Implementation

The game was a project funded by Microsoft Research as part of a larger effort on their part to assist teachers in schools to teach historical thinking. It also was timed to coincede with the 100-year anniversary of the start of WWI, a topic being taught across schools and grades in the US at the time.

A card game was chosen so the game could be accessible to all classrooms no matter what technology was available, and the game itself had two levels of difficulty and complexity so kids of different ages would be able to engage with it, whether it was used as a teaching tool or played through.

Chrono Scouts, where kids are responsible for reassembling the timeline of history.
Fact Fuse, a game about creating sentences with cards and then debating their validity.
Box image.