Video Game Memory Palaces

Anyone else use memory palaces from video games? For me, they seem to work just as well, or even better, than normal memory palaces. People said things such as, in a real life memory palace, you feel the ground, you know the smells, etc. But when I’m in a memory palace, whether real or not, I dont feel the ground, I don’t hear the sounds, or smell anything. I don’t really pay attention to those things and it still seems to work fine.

I even use memory palaces from games I never played, just from watching someone else play them, I can construct them in my head, for example watching this:

There really seems to me to be no difference between using places I’ve actually been, or ones I’ve seen. What matters is I’ve seen them from different directions, and can visualize them in my head. Maybe it’s different for the older people here, who haven’t grown up with such a level of visual games.

I seem to sometimes even find it easier to use these video games, because there is a lot of different types of objects, as opposed to a school building or store, which are repetitive and monotonous, same types of desks etc.


Edit: It works even better than movies or tv shows, because those typically jump from scene to scene, and you never see how everything connects. For example, in Lost, I cannot visualize how everything connects inside the hatch, even though I’ve seen every episode twice or so, and I can’t use it as a memory palace.

Edit: Changed Video

I have used some video game maps as memory palace. Although the palaces itself lack graphics compared to movies or real life locations, they are certainly more easily remembable than movies, because:

  1. You have to play it through. Use the objects (eg pick up a key). Thus the object has a reason to be there and can be more easily recalled. Moving objects are in video games are also more memorizable than stagnant objects in a real life location. E.g remembering thirty small items laid on shelfs in a store is hard task, especially when the shelfs are close. Even when I used PAO to numerically order these objects, some closely laid on the same shelf did fade from my memory.

  2. Locations are already merged into one map, where you can move around freely.

But the basic memory palace rules still apply to video game maps also:

  1. Attached objects can be more easily recalled if they have some kind of similarity with the object it was bound.
    E.g I used Counter-Strike maps to remember history course “20.century”. In general Counter-Strike doesn’t have many special objects which would be proper to become attacher objects (i.e object which I use to attach info). Maps are filled with lots of empty space and general items like wall, boxes, ground. Info objects attached to empty space between two boxes or into general objects eg wall isn’t so easily recalled.

  2. One attacher object accomodates only one attachee object.
    If I attach an apple with granade, then the apple can be easily deduced from granade, because they have similiar shape. But if I also attach a book with it, then there is a great possibility that you will forget the book: granade and book just doesn’t have any obvious similarities. Nor isn’t it natural for an usual person’s thought to move from granade to a book for some reason. And having already attached the apple, the book is “second on the recalling list”, so it won’t be as easily recalled.

It all comes from my experience. Hope you find this useful.

Thanks for responding r30

Rememberable* or Memorable. I actually have not really noticed the similarity thing. Usually to me its the opposite, if things make too much sense, or go too much together, I forget them. Like if I wanted to remember Micheal Jordan dunking a basketball, I probably wouldn’t, because I would not pay much attention to it, of course he’s dunking a basketball. But if a pope is wielding a chainsaw, THAT’S memorable.

I agree with the fact that you have to interact with objects, especially like in the video I linked in the post, where the objective of the game is to hide as an object, and test objects. I also usually don’t just put things next to each other, I connect them somehow. Grenades of course explode, if its on top of a box or something; I imagine it exploding and out of the box come flying out lots of books.

Yea, locations are usually contained within an area, and all connected(unlike movies), but you can easily get 50-200 loci depending on size of map.

I found a quote by Yan from a different post:

Platform games work best for me because all of the stations can be divided and seen in an overview on one screen. For example, the old Donkey Kong game has 5 platforms. With the exception of the top platform, each can be conveniently divided by left, center and right. It’s just a matter of moving as Mario would from station to station where information has been laid. I typically use this game in particular as a “quick and dirty” Memory Palace for memorizing a small group of names on the fly at a party. I don’t find it particularly great for poetry, but it can work for a small set of foreign language vocabulary words grouped around a particular theme.

I agree with Bateman that the “reality” of a Memory Palace need no primacy. However, in my experience, spending a bit of time by amplifying and vivifying the environment of a journey based upon a real location, the “stickiness” or “magnetism” of the Memory Palace increases significantly, particularly when resurrecting very old locations, like an elementary school. But this is just for priming a Memory Palace. In actual use, the less you have to remember about the Palace and the journey you create within it, the more you can focus on the target material.

International GM Atkfong :


Metivier, for me 2d games don’t seem to work. Usually they have lots of levels, and you don’t spend a lot of time on each, plus theres lots of repetitive imagery. For example, this game, N-game, has 99 episodes of 5 levels each, but I cannot recall any one of them completely. untitled_0.png

Without a doubt, single-screen games are of limited use and I actually only ever use level one for quick and dirty Memory Palaces. But, for better or worse, I don’t play first-person shooter games so that’s out, but if I were to explore this option more, I would revisit the old Legend of Zelda game and maybe a side-scrolling game like Contra.

One of my main memory journeys is from the game King’s Quest 6 it was the first game I ever played on CD-ROM as a kid and is from the old action adventure genre. I use this journey as my ROM journey, the one I go to when I need to remember something but don’t yet have a set place for it. Or don’t need to remember it for long. Later I can move the information to a more permanent location if needed. Action adventure games are particularly good for memory work but unfortunately they don’t make very many of them now a days. I can write out the journey and post some pictures if anyone is interested.

As for movies I use them a lot. I think what they lack in a synced rout is made up for by the storyline. I base my loci locations in the movie not on the scenes but it is the story which allows me to get easily from one location to the next in my mind. As long as I write down the locations and review them after I can memorize a movie journey after watching it just once. Although I think one of the added bonuses of using movies is that most of us have movies we have already seen three or four times.

Unreal Game engine has a free download UDK…it can make maps and FPS worlds.

I am looking into importing my images as textures to place on crates and objects. (even make the objects).

Then I c an walk around the world and explore each location with the objects.

Steep learning curve for software though.

Any ideeas.

The architectural walk thrus use this too.

Sounds cool. I looked for it, but is there any chance you can share the link to this free download?


Here it is.

I`m just learning how to use it. There are some good videos tutorials.

That’s great - thanks!

These types of maps, like the one in this video, are perfectly sized for me. Big enough to have 50-200 loci, and small enough to be covered in a video, and not get overwhelmed. There are some games with massive maps, like battlefield, that span for miles or so, but the coloring is dull, there isn’t that many objects, lots of open spaces, and it would be overwhelming to memorize. But these are perfect. And the great thing is that game mode specifically focuses on objects, and there are over 80 videos so far…

2 of the 5 palaces I use are from video games. Tonight, I’m so fed up with having so few loci that I’m going to try to find Super Mario 64 and get to work.

Haha. Good luck Lance, tell us how it goes.

I’ve found Mario 64 works decently well (just look up walkthroughs on youtube). I’m using routes from 4 levels already. Here’s my Bob-omb Battlefield route:

-Bob-omb Battlefield:
cannon on grey rock
light orange double block
jade rock
bridge front, light plank
end bridge, chainlink fence
yellow flower circle
grey pyramid
jade pyramid
green wall chain fence
corner precage, brown path
jail star
corner pre teeter bridge
brown path grey stairs end of bridge
orangey wall
brown stump
tree fence

I can imagine Mario 64 would work very nicely as a palace, with each world having quite unique environments.

I was addicted to World of Warcraft some years ago, and re-subscribed a couple of days ago to create a journey (sick of playing the game though, promise). WoW has a vast virtual world (and pretty scenery) and lends itself nicely to journeys. I created a journey with 150 loci yesterday, which I’ll expand when I need to. Those 150 loci came from just a very small fraction of the virtual world.

A nice thing is that with in-game flying mounts, you can fly high above the ground to plan the route. This is helpful since WoW has an open world, i.e. you’re not restricted to moving along a linear path from level to level.

I’ve also been playing Counter-Strike: Source (first-person shooter), and have created journeys from some of the maps.

I’m quite new to the method of loci and mnemonic techniques in general. Having said that, my (limited) experience is that virtual game worlds are by no means less effective than real places. I’m not saying that they’re necessarily better, but they have the advantage of being easily revisited. For instance, if you’ve mapped out as much as you can in the house you’re living in, and your daily journeys, it’ll take extra effort to revisit other places to fill in details. Most often you can revisit a virtual world faster, and you don’t need to get off your butt. I’m not against getting some fresh air and exercise, but you get my point :slight_smile:

I am experimenting with Fable 3. You can use the sanctuary with the butler in it as a sort of table of contents because it has multiple chambers and a map table in the middle with multiple cities on it. You can use the journey method for walking around the cities and use the houses (all enterable so far) as memory palaces, using the 10 loci per room method.
If this works i think it will be incredible. Already in the pub/tavern at Brightwall village i have stored “the 36 stratagems”, a collection of 36 ancient Chinese stratagems to be used in warfare. Question is, will the palaces and stored info hold

Interesting. Good luck with that. Are there any videos of that game on youtube that walk around like that?

The 36 stratagems reminds me of The Art of War, and The 48 Laws of Power, which are both pretty easy to memorize.

Just review to make the info stay.