Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Memory Golf

Memory Golf

Andre Willers
20 Mar 2013
For Gerda
A time-based game for training or re-training short-term memory (tile based , without computers)

Discussion :
1.The aim of the game is to train the short-term memory system by using a well-known competition game , in this case Rummikub .
2. Rules :
2.1Normal Rummikub rules apply .
2.2The player sets up four hands (preferably on a rotating tabletop) .
2.3The player notes the time (or sets a timer)
2.4 The player then plays each hand in turn , with the aim of finishing as quickly as possible .
2.5 When any one hand has played out , note the time(stop timer)
2.6 Note the time taken , and datetime of game .
2.7 Redo the game from para 2.2 above . Play it again , Sam.

2.8 After the end of each game , the player compares present time taken with previous durations .
2.9 If it is less , he wins . Else, it is try , try again .
2.10 Handicaps can be established for multiplayers of various ages or impairments .

3.Essentially , the player competes against himself , like golf . Think of it as Memory Golf .

4. It is not easy even for a normal human .
The game was deliberately designed with very large numbers of permutations . Even with remembering each hand , finding an optimal time solution is difficult .
The reason is that the human short-term memory is severely limited .
“Short-term memory (or "primary" or "active memory") is the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time. The duration of short-term memory (when rehearsal or active maintenance is prevented) is believed to be in the order of seconds. A commonly cited capacity is 7 ± 2 elements. In contrast, long-term memoryindefinitely stores a seemingly unlimited amount of information.”
A measly 7 items (your ancestors had to make do with 3) for a few seconds .
By the time you get to hand two or three , you have forgotten what was in hand one .
And so it goes .

5.Impairments , like senility .
A lot of information processing is done in the retina and hindbrain . Patterns are recognised without using short-term memory .
Which is why Rummikub is so useful . There is a full tactile , auditory and visual interface .
To get times down , the player will have extremely alert . Now he has to consider four viewpoints .

6.Extreme impairments :
Pare it down to 3 or 2 hands .

7.Coaches and team managers should try this . It measures the ability to handle a team .
With a handicap system , different persons can be evaluated . (This was not my intention)
A bit of mild competition in the geriatric ward is a good thing , but do we really want this at managerial levels ?

8.General Ageing .
Damn . Now I have to try this too . I can’t afford not to .

Regards from the Sorceror’s Apprentice .

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