I’ll keep a list of games that I mention in each episode, along with some other games that haven’t (yet) made it on the show or stuff that I just find interesting.

Episode 01: You Must Remember This: The Use of Activation in Game Playing

  • Codenames: A highly ranked game on that serves as a great illustration of activation.
  • Monikers: The classic game of Celebrity done in box form.
  • Scattergories: You need to generate an instance of categories starting with a particular letter. A great game to illustrate how items are saved long term memory.
  • Taboo: I use the idea behind this game to help students review for exam. I give them a list of concepts, then they need to generate Taboo cards which they will then use to play the game.
  • Trivial Pursuit: Straight-up trivia games don’t get a lot of love nowadays, but I still like them.
  • Wits and Wagers: A lot of people see this as more preferable to Trivial Pursuit, as it allows for wider participation and less pressure among the players.

Episode 02: Now You See It, Now You Still Do: The Use of Visual Imagery in Memory

  • Assassins Creed Horizon Zero Dawn, Watch Dogs 2: Video games with either a open-world map that needs to be kept in mind to adequately understand your character’s position in the game
  • Asteroids, Breakout: Two classic Atari games that involve the use of visual imagery to play
  • Carcassonne, Patchwork, Tsuro: Fun tile laying games. Need to keep in visual the current state of the board, and the best way to translate and rotate your tile in order to best place it
  • Pandemic,  Risk: Two board games that involve maps
  • Tetris: Everyone knows Tetris! A classic looking, which really hits on visual representations

Episode 03: Attention, Please! The Role of Attention in Playing Games

  • Captain Sonar: Become part of a team operating a submarine! This game is meant to be played real-time, meaning that you do not wait for the other team to move before you can take your next action. You have to pay attention to what you actions you can currently take, and what actions the other ship is doing
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: There’s a lot of stuff to pay attention to in the display…
  • Pandemic Legacy: Currently the highest-rating game on
  • Stroop: A psychological finding, now made into a game!

Episode 04: Shall We Play a Game? Rise of the Machines

  • ChessGo, and Tic-tac-toe: Classic abstract games. I personally never really got into them, but obviously a lot of other people do (well, maybe not Tic-tac-toe so much)
  • Jeopardy! TV quiz show that’s stood the test of time.
  •  Pong and Video Olympics: The first commercially successful coin-op video game and its first implementation on the Atari VCS
  • Uncharted: great storytelling and action!

Episode 05: Shall We Play a Game? Rise of the Machines

Not a lot of games specifically mentioned this podcast, but the topic is pretty pervasive across all games!

Episode 06: Cognitive Gamer Cognalysis: Pandemic

This episode was an in-depth look at Pandemic, with a mention of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.

Episode 07: That Blows Chunks: Increasing Working Memory

  • Chess: I talk about the classic 1973 experiment by Chase and Simon which used chess and chess players to collect data on chunking
  • Guitar Hero: Why do just air guitar when you can flail around with a piece of plastic? Chunk all those common sequences together for better performance!
  • Scrabble: Classic game, some people really get into it…

Episode 08: Go Search, Young Game Player!

This episode had a lot of games mentioned in an off-handed way, such as:

Episode 09: Don’t Count Your Cognitions Until They Hatch

An episode focused on children’s games. These included:

Board Games (not yet mentioned on the show)

  • Concept: I don’t use this as a game in my class, per se, but it is an interesting one to think about how items are stored in memory.
  • Mechs v. Minions: Program your mechs to meet the objectives of the scenario. This game is good to talk about problem solving.
  • Secret Hitler: A hidden roles game. Can the fascists succeed in Hitler becoming Chancellor? Can they, or the liberals, enact enough laws? This was a particular favorite of my students, and hits a number of psychological constructs.
  • Sleuth: More complicated than Clue, really gets into deductive reasoning

Video Games

  • Gone Home: A great game illustrating the power of narrative in video game design. I talk a bit about this in discussing language.
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes: Another one that I talk about in the language chapter
  • Virtual Reality: Okay, not a specific video game, but this class of games really shows how our perceptions create our reality


  • Boardgame Geek: The place that board gamers go to get the lowdown on a particular game
  • IGN: Not a bad site for getting video game news and reviews
  • Shut Up & Sit Down: A great site for learning about board games.