As students head back to school and university they’ll be picking up some essential gadgets. Alongside their textbooks and pens, they’ll want one of the best laptops for students, one of the best printers for students and now they might want to pick up an Oculus Quest 2.
That’s not just because you can relax by playing some of the best VR games out there, but because of Librarium.
This new VR study tool wants to help you ace your exams by helping you construct a mind palace in virtual reality.
castle in the mind
Mind palaces (also known as memory palaces, memory journeys, or method of loci (opens in new tab) if you want to get proper about it) were popularized by the BBC drama Sherlock, but they aren’t only helpful for fictitious detectives.
When someone is trying to memorize various facts, a person can construct a mind palace (which can take the form of a palace, a library, a street of shops, or whatever the person prefers). Then each fact is tied to an object in this imaginary location, with each item being chosen specifically to remember the fact.
For example, if a bar worker is trying to remember how James Bond likes to drink, they might place a salt shaker in their palace’s bar next to a martini glass – which reminds them that the super spy likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. In another example, a student trying to remember the name for the process by which a plant turns light into chemical energy might place a Sony A7 IV (the world’s best mirrorless camera) and a synthesizer in the greenhouse together – which reminds them that the term is photosynthesis.
It sounds silly but the method has stood the test of time – being used by ancient Greek and Roman philosophers – and memory contest champions anecdotally claim that exploring their mind palaces help them secure victory. On top of that recent studies into the method of loci technique have suggested it is indeed a beneficial tool – though don’t expect your memorization abilities to rival Sherlock Homes’ straight away (via Live Science (opens in new tab)).
A library you’ll want to check out
Librarium wants to make constructing a mind palace a more literal thing by bringing the experience to your Oculus Quest 2.
Rather than constructing and exploring the palace solely in your mind, you can fill the game’s VR library with fact-attached trinkets to help you memorize the information you need to know for your next exam.
And to help you get started, Librarium offers a huge catalog of free community-made mind palaces, as well as premium content produced by Kaplan – a test-prep industry expert – which can help you prepare by teaching you important content as well as test techniques so you can better control your exam anxiety. What’s more, if Librarium doesn’t already have the test prep you need, you can use the game’s free companion app on the Google Play Store (opens in new tab) and Apple App Store (opens in new tab) to create your own study cards.
Once you’ve finished your study session you can use the Fact Blaster to put your memory to the test and take a quick quiz about the topics you’ve been studying.
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While Libraraium is a study tool, it’s also a game. The library has its own puzzles for you to solve and hidden words of encouragement to find, and your time spent revising is rewarded by unlocking new areas for you to study and explore.
Thankfully, exploring the library is a breeze. You can play the game from a seated or standing position and you move around using teleportation – so your VR study session won’t leave you feeling motion sick.
We had a lot of fun using Libraraium to help us learn various topics from biology to astronomy to history. The game’s memorization method, however, is only going to be suitable for learning things like definitions, dates, and equations. If your next exam requires you to do practical work or apply your knowledge, you’ll need to use some alternative forms of study too.
If you want to give Libraraium a go then it’s available to pick up for the Oculus Quest 2’s digital store (opens in new tab) right now for $20 / £15 / AU$27.32.
Looking for something else to play instead? Check out our picks for the best Oculus Quest 2 games that you can play today.