Part 3, Putting into play – On narrative from a cognitive perspective II

Continuation of Part 2, Putting into play

Realising that our restraint to embrace the cognition-based method, Narrative bridging (Boman, Gyllenbäck, 2010) was a matter of control due to the lack of clear description of how our mind works, and where the familiar story structures and templates constituted a safety. The thorny issue I faced was how to make people aware of their thinking as to access our core cognitive activities. If you have tried talking to people about their thinking and how it works, you will then also know that it is the trickiest thing one can do. If not handled with care, people will, at the most, become aware of you by comparing your thinking with theirs: opinion and meaning-wise. The awareness I am talking about isn’t about being smart or skilled. Instead, it is a matter of being conscious of the mind as a way to become conscious of how emotions, attention, desires, beliefs and intentions relate to our causal thinking and understanding.

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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 organisation 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 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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Part 3, Don´t show, involve

The series “Don´t show, involve” builds upon the narrative as a cognitive process and how to go from a thought to the plotting of an involving experience. As to get the most out of the third and last part of “Don´t show, involve” I would like to recommend reading the previous parts before continuing.

Part 1 Don´t show, involve – how to propel a thought towards a goal.
Part 2 Don´t show, involve – hands-on plotting towards a goal.

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Part 2, Don´t show, involve



In this part of “Don´t show, involve” we will follow Jenova Chen´s plotting of the online game “Journey” with the help of the thought based method Narrative bridging. The article “The journey to create Journey – the quest for emotion”, which this hands-on plotting builds upon, can be found at Gamasutra. If you haven´t read the previous part of “Don´t show, involve”, it can be found here, and for further information about Narrative bridging and its theoretic background, you can go here.

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Part 1, Don´t show, involve

I´m pretty sure you´ve heard the phrase, “Show, don´t tell” as a piece of advice when constructing narratives in film. The origin is said to come from the Russian writer Anton Chekhov who thought writers used too many descriptions and adjectives and should leave the interpretation to the receiver. Today the phrase works as an advising technique for screenwriters to avoid having a character knocking at a door at the same time it says: “I´m knocking on the door to see if my friend is at home”.

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