There are no spoilers in the post, but if you hold a belief that some designers are mysterious and that their games are magic, I would advise thinking twice before deciding to read the post.
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 as 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 stylish elements that are to be organised 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.
On request, the text provides a short guide to the 7- grade model of reasoning 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).
What differs our thinking from animals is that we can create meanings based on beliefs, desires, and dreams. What it means in practice is that we can have a dream about an adventure and start building a boat and create a meaning that motivates our actions. We can also stand on a carpet and pretend it´s a boat and share the experience with others by creating a meaning that makes others join in. But due to the conflicting currents between the church and science during the Enlightenment everything relating to our ability to imagine was put aside in order to study nature. In this way our creation of meaning based on beliefs, desires and dreams, together with stories that were seen as a carrier of fantasies and illusions, and where the narrative became the scapegoat to all creations that didn´t correspond to reality, were bundle off away from science and labelled with the sign saying “disbelief”.
For many years ago, I lived in a rainforest until one day I couldn´t stand not being able to see the horizon and the only thing I was staring at was my skin looking for leeches that appeared from nowhere looking like a stroke of a pen on the skin. If not being attentive to the thin black line and remove it quickly, it wouldn´t take long before you found a lump, big as a plum, attached to the skin that had to be unscrewed. The only thing I felt sorry about by leaving was to miss the yearly event when people from the distant and widely spread cattle stations gathered in the village to find a life companion. It was the biggest event of expectations I had ever experienced until E3 turned up.