Games and memory

During class, we talked about how BrainAge was shown by a study to help children increase their knowledge in learning. Well as a person who has gone through school, I can say with certainty (now), that elementary and middle school never increased my memory, video games did!

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I used to be a pretty hardcore Neopets player. And the biggest part of Neopets was knowing prices of items and the flow of the market. To give you an idea of how many items there were (and there is more now), check out this site: http://www.neoitems.net/search2.php?Name=A&submit=Go!&Special=&Sort=Name&results=20&Checklist=no&Description=&AndOr=&Category=&Rarity=&IDNum=&SearchType=5

Obviously, there was a common set of items that everybody used, but it was still a huge amount. I never really enjoyed memorizing what I thought was monotonous tasks (French words, provinces, capitols, etc.), but I really liked collectibles like Neopets items, Pokemon cards, and what I believe contributed most to my memory abilities, Magic The Gathering cards.

To give you an idea of how many cards there were approximately 12,000 (each with a name infused with SAT level words, type, effect, picture, and mana cost) cards at the time I played (15,000+ now). And like a bundle of SAT flashcards, I meticulously memorized all of them. And I didn’t memorize them for the sole reason of memorizing the cards, but instead for the reason of gaining knowledge about the game.

I think this is gamefication of a horrible task, and I think that it honestly did help me in the long run. Because to this day, I still hate blunt memorization, but if I want to learn something to expand knowledge on it (like learning about the full view of the MtG multiverse), then memorizing the knowledge because very enjoyable and natural for myself. So hmm, perhaps I should make a medical school knowledge-version of these games….

By the way, prof Fishman, need a new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x4mCd5xrlo

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