High level visualization: Gaming and mental templates

I am using my own version of loci method I call “high-level visualization”, which is more of a game than a house. I have wrote several articles about this before. Here I address this method from a different angle.

The loci method enables accurate memorization of huge amount of information. Most of memory champions use some personal variation of a loci method. Being no different from my peers I had to develop a method that is best suited for my personal needs. Since I cannot find anything in my own home and get disoriented very easily, I needed to invent some other worlds which would be more descriptive and memorable.

It is well known that gaming enables development of new mental templates and facilitates learning. The game environment facilitates perceptual visualization – like loci on steroids. Also I love RPG and strategy game genres. Therefore I based my own loci method in a game setup. A game is not limited to any rules except for consistency of the game universe: all things within the game universe follow the same genre rules and storyline. There are clear roads and portals that lead from one space to another – each with its own set of details. The rules of the game follow some sort of mental template, and there is a common sense tactics where to run and what buttons to press.

A huge bonus of this method is use of autobiographic memory I really experience myself as if I live within the game world. I interact with characters and decoration. Typically characters are common ideas that appear in various places of the text, but sometimes they are people performing various deeds or formulating their positions. The constant details that appear in a specific context become decorations. The decorations follow the same genre so that I do not forget which room and in what game they belong.

To remember the whole game, I pass it from the beginning to the end. Sometimes I fail and learn from failure. If I forget an object, I add an action I need to do to the object in order to continue with my quest. If I successfully complete the game I celebrate, by playing in my mind some theme song.

There is a certain danger of getting over-involved in the game. Therefore I painstakingly monitor that I do not introduce to the game anything but the details representing concepts supported by the text. The game world should stay minimalistic, and should experience very few changes between re-reads, so that no dissonance is formed. It is also important not to “play” the game too much: the understanding of the subject may change and it should not be too fixed in our minds to allow modification.

The main modifications I introduce to loci methods are: living the game, active characters connecting sceneries and consistent motive throughout visualization. I think my method is more suited for young people that spent considerable amount of time gaming. The visualization is really fun. Try it with real examples.

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