Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Picard: the totally awesome flashcard learning and drawing game

The point of this whole post is...

We are running a user study for a research paper right this very instant and we need you to play!

For those who stuck around... Did you know!? The capital of Myanmar (aka Burma, a country in Asia) is* Rangoon (aka Yangon). I know it because I drew this ridiculous picture to help me remember:

NYANcat (~nyanmar) is actually a RACOON (~rangoon)

Writing this blog post will further cement that knowledge in my mind, *except I did some fact checking and have discovered that the capital has changed! The capital of Myanmar/Burma is now: NAYPYIDAW. Nay-py-i-daw. When I first saw it, I think I read "nappy paw", which can still go with my raccoon analogy because raccoons wash their food in water and get their paws all wet (and presumably 'nappy').

What I mean to say is that I, along with some fellow grad students/friends at school, have been working on a game called Picard that pools the creative energy of you and your friends to teach everyone a set of flash cards, like the capital of every country in the world. The game is part quiz (just testing your knowledge), part admiring the helpful mnemonics (or "Picards" as we like to call them), and part drawing your own Picards to help you and potentially other players learn a particular flash card.

Here, I have recorded and posted a video tour of Picard:

Please check it out! I assure you, you will learn something and/or chuckle at some ridiculous picture. The URL one more time: http://games.cs.washington.edu/picard/

P.S. The game is fairly new, so if you have questions or suggestions or bugs to report, please tell me!


  1. There is a picture of a blonde lady holding a tuba on the front page and the caption says "Sue Dan (Halperin) is a Southern belle playing a Jeweled Tuba. (Juba) " but the little gray bar says "NICARAGUA | Managua" !

  2. Ah, that's because we were testing out ideas and using the Picard sketcher for South Sudan (and it's capital Juba) which was so new it wasn't in our database yet. Now it is and if you see that Picard again (by refreshing the page) you'll see it associated with the proper country/capital! http://games.cs.washington.edu/picard/picard.php?id=329