Of tic-tac-toe and infodesign

tue10jun2008—24w162d44%— 06h16m00s—0utc

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)!

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