Of tic-tac-toe and infodesign
Game: 2 players take turns to say a number between 1 and 9. Numbers may not be repeated. The goal is to be the first to say 3 numbers which add up to 15.
Sounds like fun? Try it with a friend!
Fun it ain’t.
It’s hard to remember the said numbers and “playing” is a chore involving many additions in your head. Maybe it’s fun for the better short-term memory endowed or those who enjoy arithmetic but that ain’t me.
Turns out that game above is none other than the beloved tic-tac-toe. You see:
This is what I love about information design (and what I tried to do in my calendars) this is its art, its magic: it can turn a chore into a game! It recasts our weaknesses —linear, verbal processing— into a form suitable for our talents — gestalt visual processing.
In math words: it finds useful language-graph same-shapes (isomorphisms)!