What if someone said that if you did something special for 20 minutes a day, your memory would improve. Your intelligence too!
Would you do it?
Turns out, our family doesn’t. There’s this Dual N-back app that Catherine downloaded. It’s challenging and I could see how practicing is good exercise for one’s mental capabilities.
Instead, I’ve convinced myself that learning new games and the strategies within them, is the way I’d rather work out my brian. Ben pointed out that I don’t like running, but would play basketball. Same thing. Analogies are the mark of intelligence.
Anyway, I’m still hooked on Carcassonne. But now, there’s some Outwitters going on. It’s of a class of games that I haven’t played much, but I thought that the characters would interest Sal. And it’d be another good way to get his mind shaped around strategy development. He’s taking to it very well, though we still see the game a bit differently.
He was asking me what my favorite character was. And in my answer, I qualified it for the different types of boards, the style of game I was going to play, the style I felt my opponent played, and the color of my mood ring. It took me that long to realize he was just asking which character I thought looked the coolest.
You need to play 5 games to get a ranking in the game. Sal finished his five games over a few days (depending on your opponent, things could take a while). But he came to me sad. “Dad, I’m so bad at Outwitters, they won’t even put me in the Fluffy league.” This was just a few days after he had a victory against some stranger online. He was bummed and I felt bad for him. But I also felt like everyone gets ranked.
He had two games against me, which were unranked. He thought those counted. So he’s happy now he’s still in the hunt for the Fluffy league. Click on that game screenshot to see a video of his win. Which was completely unassisted by a parent. I got a text from Catherine while I was at work that he beat a stranger (she’s staying away from the game because the Fog of War makes her nervous…the Fog of Poor Memory makes me more nervous) and I was anxious to get home to watch the replay. I was pleased with how aggressive he was. Over the wide variety of games that we play, he’s picking up some decent strategic ability.
Myself, well, more than half the time I make a move, there’s some aspect of it I immediately regret. But the percentage of time that’s happening is shrinking. Slowly. Shrinking because I’m making fewer mistakes. Slowly because I’m still learning more about the strategy of the game myself. I’m increasing the number of things I’m paying attention to – meaning I’m learning new ways that I’m making mistakes. But I figure collecting those facts/strategies is in the same spirit as the N-back test.
Or at least, it is good enough for me.