Campus Connection


Background Research


General Information

Play Campus Connection

Campus Connection (MSU edition) is a fast-paced, social card game for four to six players that allows future college students to visualize and navigate the campus!  The deck contains a series of unique cards that reveal and inform players of Michigan State University iconic buildings and references that help students learn about college majors, campus history, and interesting facts that make this university special!

Using communication and a negotiation strategy, players must successfully connect a set of two campus cards determined by the dealer’s initial card sequence laid on the campus board. The first to trade and collect an entire set of pairs wins! Play again and again, and feel as though you know the campus as well as any current student.

Need for the Game

One of the first considerable adult choices a young person makes is whether to pursue higher education and selecting an appropriate college. The majority of college-going students have limited knowledge of institutional culture. Most students rely on “pre-search material” or information that is accessible in digital or print formats, or personal accounts from a trusted source. The shear number of universities and colleges available to prospective students make selecting a college, even narrowing down options of where to apply, a daunting task. Often, students are unaware of campus characteristics or offerings that will help determine the individual’s fit and overall potential for college success. Campus characteristics can play a significant role in college choice and success. Part of making a “best” choice involves feeling like one knows what their future experience entails.

The Campus Connection (MSU edition) game represents Michigan State University’s campus and shares institutional characteristics in a fun, interactive way that helps students contextual college life at MSU. This helps students form an opinion and influences players’ college decision through a less daunting process than investigation and review of traditional college promotional materials. Students ultimately feel more confident about their college choice and reason for applying without feeling like they were being sold a particular experience that has been crafted. Instead, students become accustomed to MSU’s campus and take-away what is most interesting and important to them through the designed game-play, which is hopefully more memorable and fun than a brochure or pamphlet.


Serious Goals

The goal of Campus Connection (MSU edition) is to influence prospective students’ perception and interest in Michigan State University. The gameplay is designed to help players appreciate and gain awareness of diverse and special places and history of the university. This game simplifies and represents interesting characteristics of the university that is often hard to extract from traditional “pre-search material”.

After playing a few rounds of Campus Connection, players should:

• Have increased awareness of MSU • Be able to recognize iconic campus buildings or places particular to MSU • Know whether they are interested in applying to MSU as a 4-year school 

Target Audience

Campus Connection is for many players, but especially meaningful to an audience composed of prospective college students, grades 6 and up! The game can also be enjoyed and played with by parents who are also interested in learning more about MSU, and their child’s college options. Campus Connection (MSU edition) incorporates campus history, iconic landmarks, and resources that players interact with through the game play. Play the game on-campus to accelerate your understanding and familiarity of Michigan State University if you are visiting, or play the game off-campus as a way to explore campus that is far more interesting than reading about the college online or in a brochure. The game isn’t just for prospective students, but for MSU alumni to commemorate their time as MSU students as well! Play the game with a group and feel like you are on campus again, to share your experiences with non-alumni, and to remember special places and details of the university!

Gameplay Summary

Play Campus Connection, where players learn about the college by collecting MSU campus cards!  Players must successfully collect a sequence of two MSU cards, and all 5 cards with the same corresponding image; ten MSU cards total!  The dealer determines the card sequence, and players must quickly negotiate to trade cards and complete the sequence they need. Players will not be able to communicate which cards they are looking for to other players, only the number of cards in his or her hand they are willing to trade in the hopes of swapping hands with someone who has the sequence cards they seek. The first player to collect their entire paired set of Campus Connection cards wins the round!