#FadingMemories

I played the #FadingMemories game designed by the game designer in residence at the V&A museum Matteo Menapace at the Digital Design Weekend.

Led by the designer himself, this game was accompanied by live performance with musician Amit Sharma and painter Aimee Johanan. The musician recorded fragments of the players’ voices as the game unfolds, manipulated them in real-time to generate melodic and rhythmic soundscapes. The painter improvised some colourful abstract paintings based on the narratives shared by the players.

There was five of us playing. We all came from different countries. We played this game in turn. On our turn, we had to flip two cards and share a memory promted by the words on those cards. For example, if I flipped ‘Mum’ and ‘Listen’, I had to tell a story about my mum (or someone else’s mum) and ‘listening’. Then, these two words would be covered by fade cards (tracing paper) once I finished with telling my story. And people around the table had to remember my stories, and the locations of the words. When identical words appeared, the playing person had to re-tell the original stories (to an acceptable standard), and locate these two identical words in order to remove the fade cards covered on top.

Once all the pairs of words were found (15 pairs in total) and the whole team won. And if the team ran out of the fade cards (there were only 16 of them), then the team lost. It is team work, definitely.

Apart from remembering the stories and the location of the words, the game is also about sharing and active listening. In fact, if the players don’t listen actively during the play, it’d be difficult to recite the stories. It would also be easier for other team members to remember your stories if the stories had specific time, space, event.

I also recalled someone who flipped two cards: Brother and Talk. This person shared a story about she and her brother. They used to be very close to each other, but after her brother got a scholarship and moved to Beijing, they kind of lost in touch. Since all popular apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp were all banned in China, her brother asked her to install WeChat. But after she created an account, WeChat blocked her because they thought she, being outside China, did not have legitimate reason to use WeChat. After two attempts, she gave up. Now she could no longer talk to her brother.

It is a great game to make friends. It helps people to open up, a perfect ice breaker.

This is how far we got to within an hour:

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#FadingMemories #DigitalDesignWeekend2019 V&A Museum

And the session was being recorded and live streamed on Instagram:

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#FadingMemories #DigitalDesignWeekend19 V&A Museum
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#FadingMemories #DigitalDesignWeekend19 V&A Museum

Matteo created the #FadingMemories game to remember his late nonna who suffered from dementia at the end of her life. There was another exhibiting project that also aims to address the problems faced by people living with dementia – Music Memory Box. It’s a treasure box in which you can fill with meaningful objects (shells, photographs, toy cars, etc.) People can place a sensor on an object, and link a song to play when you put the item in the centre of the box. This project was inspired by the designer Chloe Meineck’s personal experience with her great gran who had dementia, and supported by a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

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#MusicMemoryBox #DigitalDesignWeekend19 V&A Museum

These playful projects helps overcome those negative emotions (such as sadness and anxiety) caused by dementia or loss of memories. And it’s great to have found them at the Digital Design Weekend at the V&A Museum.

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