What is your story

What's your story? GBL Cards

Learning how to design stories and narratives through GBL cards. The game supports creative and abstract thinking as well as narrative design. Below you will find the steps necessary for creating a story through a GBL card:

Step 1: Decide
Are you going to use your cards in a specific class or workshop? Do you want the players to create narratives around specific themes? If yes, then you might want to consider whether the images on the cards are visual cues specific to a given theme or discipline, or whether the cards can be more generalised cues. When choosing what images you want as cues on the cards, you can make them as broad as possible, to allow the cards to be used in multiple scenarios or with any theme (see original version). Or, you can make the images relate to an area of interest or a particular learning context (design your own!). Think of who you want to use the cards, what ideas and narratives do you want them to think about during the game, and what kinds of images might be most appropriate to the learning context. If you would like to use the original version of ‘What Is Your Story?’ you can download and print it yourself. If you would like to design your own, see Step Two and Three.

Step 2: Select the images
Now that you have decided what kinds of images you want to use, you can go about collecting your images to be used as visual cues for the three categories. To do this you can either make your own images or find existing images that are held in the public domain. If you want to make your own images, you can draw images, take your own photos or use any other means, so long as the resulting images are 300 dpi and can be visually interpreted by the learners/audience you have in mind. If you want to use existing images you will need to find public domain images, or images that you have the appropriate permission to use. To find images held in the public domain, use a searchable image hosting site for images held under the appropriate license. Example image hosting sites include Wikimedia Commons andFlickr. This step is time intensive. It can take a surprisingly long time to collect enough good quality images to make a deck of cards. Make sure you give yourself enough time to find and curate the images you want to use for each story element: People, Activity and Context.

Step 3: Design your own cards
To help with this stage, this toolkit includes design templates to design you cards. Before you get started consider: How and where are you printing your cards? What size will the cards be? (e.g. poker card sized, postcard sized, A4) What is the necessary file setup needed by your print supplier? Are there any necessary branding or aesthetic requirements you need to follow? This toolkit includes both a design file of the original version, and a design file that provides a blank template. The original version of ‘What Is Your Story?’ prints on to poker-sized cards (63.5mm x 89mm). If you need a different size of card you will need to resize the design to create your own version.

Download the game cards and follow the rules: Players sit around a table. Set the three card elements into decks in the middle of the table. Three rounds per game. Set a theme for all rounds in a game, or decide different topics for each round.

At the beginning of each round, players select one card from each element deck: People, Context and Activity. All players have 2 minutes to look at their cards and to think of a fictional narrative that links the three story elements to the theme of the round. When the 2 minutes are up, each player in turn tells their story, revealing their story elements to the rest of the players while telling their tale. When all players have told their story, players choose which player they think had the best story*.

Repeat for each round. The player who had the best stories wins.

  • Two ways of keeping score: (1) Players pass their cards to their chosen player. These cards are discarded and out of play, but are stacked in front of the player to indicate how many rounds they have won. The player with the highest stack at the end of the game wins. (2) Play with tokens. Players have 3 three tokens each. At the end of the round they pass a token to the player who they think had the best story. The player with the most tokens at the end of the game wins.

If you would like to use the cards for an icebreaker activity, without a discipline specific learning objective, perhaps offer fun suggestions of topics or get the group/s to choose their own theme to the play.

See here for a complete guide.