#ForYou: A Game About Algorithms

#ForYou is a card-based pattern-matching game that helps youth aged 13 to 18 understand the role that algorithms play in their online and offline lives, and the value of their personal information to companies that use those algorithms. The game is designed to be delivered either in school or in community spaces such as homework or coding clubs.

#ForYou has three phases, each of which introduces a different way in which recommendation algorithms work:

  • the Popularity phase, in which players try to guess the Optimization algorithm so their video will be seen by as many people as possible;
  • the Advertising phase, in which players try to solve the Audience algorithm so their ads will be seen by the right audience; and
  • the Machine Learning phase, where players solve a new Audience algorithm with the help of proxy data that lets them infer extra information about users.

Game Cards

Print or order at least one set of #ForYou game cards.

Game Cards (PDF) (printable version)

If you would like scoring tokens for the printed version, you can download them here.

Rules for Quick Play (PDF)

Gameplay Demonstration

Gameplay Video: Classroom Version

Gameplay Video: Workshop Version

Gameplay Demonstration (Google Slides)

Online Play

MediaSmarts offers a limited online play option through the Playingcards.io platform. For more information please see the instructions here.

Discussion Guide

The discussion guide includes a gameplay overview, instructions on how to run the game as a workshop, a pre-brief and debrief before and after each round of the gameplay to introduce and discuss key ideas about algorithms, rules for quickplay, and a glossary of key terms.

Lesson Plan

In this lesson for Grades 9-12, students play the #ForYou card game and use it as a prompt to learn about and discuss the role that algorithms, data collection, and machine learning play in their lives.


If you would like to provide feedback on this resource, please complete the survey by clicking this link.

#ForYou: A Game About Algorithms was made possible by a financial contribution from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.