mmmAcademia card game

mmmAcademia is a card game to stimulate reflection and conversation about Recognition and Rewards in academia. This game is not about winning. It is about having meaningful conversations about how working in academia currently is, and how it could and should be. It covers almost all topics of the Radboud vision on Recognition & Rewards and offers play modes for a wide range of situations and goals. All to facilitate conversations about Recognition & Rewards and stimulating change.

card game about recognition and rewards

How to use

mmmAcademia can be played with anyone working in academia, either at the coffee table or at workshops, with at least two players and optimally about four or five. Playing with colleagues who are in the same team or department and of different academic positions gives the most insightful experience. 

The cards in mmmAcademia contain 55 descriptions of situations related to Recognition & Rewards, with associated reflection questions. You can select your own focus points, for example by selecting cards that deal specifically with the four layers of R&R (defining quality, collaboration, diversity and the human touch) or by task (education, research, social impact and leadership). All the rules, including multiple play modes, are explained on the cards in the box, as well as summarized in the video and pdf below.

Game description

Game rules

Get your own set

There are three ways to get your own set of cards:

1. Go to your faculty’s Teaching Information Point. They have many sets of cards to distribute.

2. Check with your faculty or institute whether they already have sets. Sets have been spread to faculty boards plus the following parts of the organisation:

  • PON
  • Young Academy
  • Employee Council
  • TLC lecturer ambassadors

3. Request one or more sets via our form.

4. Externals can send an e-mail to mmmAcademia [at]

Request your own set(s) via our form

card game about recognition and rewards

Adapt or make your own set (download)

MmmAcademia is a Creative Commons licensed project. That means that it is allowed to print your own copies and also the edit the text and layout (not the illustrations), as long as you distribute the game under the same license.

To print your own copy, you can use the following PDFs:

The box has been created based on the specifications of, which is the suggested site to print the decks.

If you would like to adapt the deck, you can use the free software nanDECK (, in combination with the following file (coming soon) containing all material used to make the deck.

Specific play mode suggestions

ContextGoalPlay mode suggestion
Coffee tableAnonymously gather opinionsUse the optional A2 canvas and voting mode (see rules).
RetreatDiscuss R&R with a large group

Select a relevant subset of cards and choose one of the options:

  • Split the large group in groups of 4-5, each having their own set or subset of cards. 
  • Play the with the large group distribute focus group roles with most attendees being observers.
  • Play with the large group, but focus on voting mode with each attendee voting and discussing the votes afterwards.
Group meeting, workshop or retreatDiscuss Social SafetyFocus on the green cards (Human Touch), together with cards 10, 11, 26, 27 (and optionally other cards on leadership). Choose play mode as befitting the group, emphasize the social safety as mentioned on card IIb, and optionally distribute focus group roles to balance dominance in the group.
Research group meetingDiscuss PhD-supervision

Only use card 22 (“In the same boat”) as inspiration. 

  1. Read aloud the quote on the card.
  2. Next, ask each member of the group to think of a metaphor which for them captures:

    - How a PhD now typically works (left question)
    - How a PhD according to them should work (right question)
    - And what would be needed to go from the one metaphor to the other.

  3. Optionally record the answers, for example in an online sheet.
  4. Next make a round and discuss the metaphors, trying to draw lessons how collaboration and supervision can be improved where relevant

Play the game and let your voice be heard

mmmAcademia has been designed and developed by Frank Leoné, teacher and researcher at Artificial Intelligence, with input and feedback from colleagues across Radboud University and support of the Radboud Teaching & Learning Centre and Radboud committee for Recognition & Rewards.

We are curious to know how you use the card game and what reactions it evokes. Share your experiences, suggestions, questions and feedback with creator Frank Leoné.