Shuffle, cut, and learn: Crypto Go, a card game for teaching cryptography Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2020

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 13


  • 11, 1993


  • 8

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2227-7390


  • Cryptography is the mathematical core of information security. It serves both as a source of hard computational problems and as precise language allowing for the formalization of sound security models. While dealing with the mathematical foundations of cybersecurity is only possible in specialized courses (tertiary level and beyond), it is essential to promote the role of mathematics in this field at early educational stages. With this in mind, we introduce Crypto Go, a physical card game that may be used both as a dissemination and as an educational tool. The game is carefully devised in order to entertain and stimulate players, while boosting their understanding on how basic cryptographic tools work and interplay. To get a preliminary assessment of our design, we collected data from a series of test workshops, which engaged over two hundred players from different ages and educational backgrounds. This basic evaluation indeed confirms that Crypto Go significantly improves students' motivation and has a positive impact in their perception and understanding of the field.


  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics


  • symmetric cryptography; serious games; stem education; game based learning