Be careful about memory games as icebreakers

Sometimes, group leaders like to do icebreakers to help new people meet each other. When you do this, it’s important to select an activity that is likely to be comfortable for everyone involved.

It’s usually better *not* to do activities that involve asking people to perform feats of memory. (For instance, one popular ice breaker involves arranging people in a circle and asking people to recite the name of every person who has gone before them.)

This is a bad idea because there will almost always be someone who is bad at memorizing large amount of information quickly. There will often be someone who is disabled in a way that makes this difficult, and who might not want to demonstrate their impairment to the whole group.

And even if disability isn’t an issue, no one wants to demonstrate in front of a group of people they just met that they’re bad at remembering names.

Ice breaker activities involving memorization are best avoided.