As you might remember from past posts, I have some interest in memory improvement techniques. Also you might remember, I’ve been learning Chinese for the past few months.
One of the most important things in learning something (like memory techniques, or a language) is using it, practicing it. Getting short-term goals to achieve, instead of just sitting and studying for the very long term goal of “learning it completely”. So how can we make short term practice goals for those things?
If you know me, you’re already guessing that the answer is some sort of game. Here’s a little something I’ve been working on in the past few days:
Basically, it’s the old game known (among other names) as Concentration. Each pair of cards is a Chinese character and its definition, thus every game is a chance to practice my Chinese character vocabulary. As the board gets bigger, it starts making sense to bring in memory techniques – On a huge board, there is little chance to remember all cards intuitively, so it’s a good way of practicing that as well.
Of course, I never see a game without thinking, “how can we make this more complicated”? Here’s what I’ve been thinking:
Make a new game, that is a combination of Concentration and collectible card game. Each player builds their own deck of cards from the set of all available ones, and the game starts with each player laying their cards face down in front of them. Each player, in turn, flips two cards – could be their own or the opponent’s. So far, sounds pretty much like ordinary concentration.
The twist – whenever you flip two identical cards of your deck, you get to use those cards. Each card has a function, like in Magic: The Gathering and similar games. Basically, it’s like playing a Magic-style collectible card game, but instead of drawing your cards randomly from your deck, you get them by remembering. I think it’s a nice addition, it’s probably going in the list of “things to develop one day”. But not very soon.
 At least officially, in reality it’s been pretty much on hold for quite a while.