Part 2, Putting into play – On narrative from a cognitive perspective I

The series Putting into play is part of a more than a one-year-long project which began when I received a request from readers. They had noticed how the cognition-based method Narrative bridging (Boman, Gyllenbäck, 2010) provided an overlook and control of the organization and arrangement of the information (also known as plotting) in the design of an engaging and dynamic game system. Since it is one thing to show how narration and cognition interplay as systems in a game that already exists of which the outcome can be evaluated, but quite another to start from nothing when putting thoughts and feelings into play. When readers expressed curiosity in learning how to use the method from absolute scratch in a hands-on tutorial, a ten-year-old conundrum reemerged concerning the minds-on part of the process.

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Part 1, Putting into play – A model of causal cognition on game design


The title Putting into play is inspired by the term mise-en-scene, which means, “putting into the scene” (or “put on stage”). The term had its origin in theatre and was later picked up by film scholars to have a way of referring to the practice of directing, planning and controlling the elements for the desired effect on a stage or in a frame of a film. Since the term isn´t established in games but where the concept could provide an overlook of the stylistic elements that are to be organized and arranged in the creation of a form; my intention is not to put a new term into play. What I will “put into play” are the thoughts that precede the choice of elements that are to become the parts of the desired form of an engaging and dynamic game system.

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A short guide to the 7-grade model of causal cognition

On request, the text provides a short guide to the 7- grade model of causal cognition that was mentioned in the series “Narrative bridging on testing an experience” (links to the series can be found at the end of the text), and where the framework for the model can be found in the publication: “Tracking the evolution of causal cognition in humans” (2017), written by Marlize Lombard, professor in Stone Age archaeology, and Peter Gärdenfors, professor in cognitive science at Lund´s University (see reference and link to the publication at the end).

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Part 2, Narrative bridging on testing an experience

I wonder if you remember the feeling that slowly came over you when you wrote what would become your last letter to Santa? If you have never written to Santa or, you are still writing, maybe you have the experience of buying a lottery ticket and is thus able to recognise the feeling of doubt when questioning your beliefs, intentions, and desires, as to why you are putting hopes into something you know won’t correspond to your desires? The feeling I´m trying to describe is the same I have every time I return to science in matters that concern the narrative, which is complicated, to say the least. So in January, I decided to settle the relationship, with the same confidence I had when writing my last letter to Santa I wrote my last words to science in my text “Are you a man or a mouse.

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Narrative patterns of thinking

A schemata is a pattern of thinking that describes our seeking for meaning and how we categorize information and store it in small boxes that we call our memory, which forms our experiences and knowledge. What meanings we are creating from a narrative perspective is not easy to tell. However, what isn´t that unpredictable and arbitrary as we might think are the schemata that are running like a goal-oriented vehicle that makes us look for causes and consequences in familiar patterns.

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