Give Your Memory a Boost Using “Kim’s Game”

As a member of law enforcement, having an excellent memory is critical to your ability to do your job effectively. Unless you are a recent member of specific crack military units, you have probably never had much in the way of memory training. There are many different methods and programs you can take part in that have been proven to improve a person’s memory, one of which is Kim’s Game.

What Is Kim’s Game?
The story of Kim’s Game is told in Rudyard Kipling’s book “Kim” that was first published in 1901. The book tells the story of a young Irish immigrant who goes by the name Kim and how he was trained by the Indian government to be a spy for their intelligence agency. Kim’s training involved a great many things, one of the most important of which was memory training.

The memory training involved the use of a tray containing a number of gems and miscellaneous stones. Kim would be allowed to study the tray for one minute, after which it was covered with a cloth. At this point, Kim would be asked to list everything he saw on the tray. While this might seem to be a bit simplistic, memory training like this continues to be used by military units around the world. It is even used by the Boy Scouts to help scouts improve their memories.

Easy Game to Play
Kim’s Game is incredibly easy to play and takes at least 2 people to play. Of course, you can involve your entire shift meeting in it by giving each officer a sheet of paper to write down what they saw. You might be surprised at how quickly some people’s memories will improve. To add more challenge to the game, you can add more items or shorten viewing time.

According to history, during World War I, British Major Hesketh-Pritchard included Kim’s Game in his sniper training program. He wanted his snipers to be able to report back everything they saw each time they went out on a mission. At U.S. Army Sniper Training School, the snipers are not allowed to name the items they see. Instead of saying one paper clip, they have to describe it in great detail. One piece of silver wire that has been bent into two ovals.

U.S. Army training expands even further on the original game by stretching out the time between seeing the items and when the snipers-in-training are allowed to list them. By the end of training, trainees may see up to 25 items and then be required to train all day long before being asked to list them.

Although you might think you have a reasonably good memory, you just might be surprised at how much of a struggle trying to remember 20 or more items can be if you are only given a minute or less to see them. However, after only a few weeks of playing Kim’s Game, you will be even more surprised to see just how much better your memory is. Something that can make a huge difference in your ability to do your job.

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