I played my first ever game of Go Fish, taught by a ten year old girl who didn’t just teach me how the game works but also showed me a method she had created for making it easier for her to keep track of the sets of cards she’s playing with.

Go fish

She lays the cards face down in a line, left to right, aces to kings, leaving gaps for the cards she doesn’t have, meaning that with a glance she can know which cards she is trying to collect. It helps her focus on the playing of the game as her system keeps track of her cards.

As Go Fish is a game that rewards honesty and cooperation, having the cards visible to other players isn’t a problem, and in fact means that her framework for playing offers a way for deaf and hard of hearing people to play. They don’t need to be able to hear the other players asking for cards and in fact the game can be played in complete silence. When it’s a players turn to ask if any of the other players have a card they can just lift up a card from their row to show to the others. And if they have any of the requested card they hand them over, and then the next player does the same.

It’s a programmers mindset; creating a framework that enables you to solve a problem in a logical and repeatable way. I was very impressed.