Document Type


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Modern Language Association

Conference Location

Chicago, IL


Students learn more when they play—while the value of play often is emphasized only for those early in their education, play has a role in higher education as well. To teach book history across time and space, I developed two card games: Codex Conquest and Mark. Codex Conquest allows students to recognize the most important books of Western civilization by their nation, century, genre, and current monetary value. Along the way, students learn European history and the scenarios that influence the shape of institutional collections. Mark introduces students to the hallmarks of early modern visual culture by allowing them to play a variety of games with a single deck of cards comprised of printer’s marks (devices). As open educational resources (OERs), both games can be downloaded for free from their respective websites and used as is or changed to suit an instructor’s objectives. As supplemental curricula, both games can be played in a single class period.

In my interactive poster section, I will bring a computer to show different digitized copies of the books represented in my games. Then, I will have my game cards available beside them to show how I translate this information. The poster will have curricular examples ranging from short response prompts to digital humanities projects that can help viewers think about the possibilities of using games in their courses. Those with particular interest in the topic will be invited to play—or to collaborate on booster packs!


special collections, game, book history, early modern, english, visual culture, digital humanities


© 2019 Amy Hildreth Chen.