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I recall reading a few years ago about an interactive exhibit at a science or mathematics museum, which involved a game of some description. There were screens on either side, and the same game could be played on each screen but presented differently. On one side the presentation was such that it seemed to be quite a tricky (perhaps Sudoku-esque?) game, whereas on the other side the presentation was such that it was much more intuitive to see the correct move.

I believe the idea was that kids would be on the easy side and could impress their parents on the hard side, with the overall take-home message something about isomorphisms, I guess.

In a sense there is a similarity with the Wason selection task and its more intuitive equivalent presentation but the game in the museum was not that task.

Does anyone have any idea what this might have been?

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  • $\begingroup$ Could it be the Winton Gallery in London (UK) ? $\endgroup$ – Claude Leibovici Jul 25 at 10:41
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I think you're talking about a game Wikipedia calls Number Scramble, in which two players take turns choosing numbers from 1 to 9 (which correspond to the cells of a tic tac toe board). Once a number is chosen, it cannot be chosen again, and the goal is to choose three numbers which sum to fifteen (corresponding to three numbers lined up on a tic tac toe board). The game is isomorphic to tic tac toe.

The Museum of Math (MoMath) in New York has an exhibit about this isomorphism.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's the one! Thank you very much for the speedy and accurate answer. $\endgroup$ – dbmag9 Jul 25 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ For anyone looking for the entry on the MoMath exhibit listing, they call it 'Finding Fifteen'. $\endgroup$ – dbmag9 Jul 25 at 19:55

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