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Sentiology.
by Glenn Storm on 01/21/10 09:15:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Previous Post: Beyond the Magic Circle

This has been a long and deliberate presentation; building step-by-step from rather abstract concepts toward a comprehensive experience model that can be used practically in the evaluation and analysis of aspects that relate to the craft of Game Design in particular. The last sections have been dealing with that practical application to reveal a relative consistency between the system of Experience as asserted and the common knowledge and best practices from this craft as it stands today. Further application of this experience model to aspects of this craft that are not yet commonly understood may result in discovery and development of new design methodologies and stimulate the evolution of Game Design.

Potential directions of study and exploration using this experience model as a guide include:

  • Formal description of other concepts of Game Design in terms of the system of Experience, such the ludological concepts of Intentional Play from Doug Church and Improvisational Play from Clint Hocking.
  • Comparitive analses between a wide range of experience design domains; such as how a state of trance, as identified from various sources, relates to a state of Immersion, or what knowledge from improvisational theater can apply to the problems of interactive narrative design.
  • Development and evolution of specific heuristics that target prevalent challenges for Game Design in the industry today; transforming the more elusive and subjective tasks into more targeted and graceful ones.
  • Formally challenging conventions of Game Design and proposing new standard practices with supportive reasoning, particularly for those aspects which have suffered from a lack of objective analysis previously.
  • Identifying unknown aspects of experience design and performing exploratative tests to better understand the scope of the field and to take full advantage of that new territory.
  • Throughout this presentation, the discussions that followed each post included many intriguing questions related to this study. Many interesting relationships to other disciplines have been suggested. Review of those discussions should reveal a number of potential directions of study and exploration.

Conclusion

This was a reasonable attempt at a formal presentation of one designer's personal understanding of a system of Experience. The hope has always been that it can lead to interesting discussions and further reasoning on the nature of experience and the effects that external forces have upon it, particularly as that understanding pertains to the field of Game Design. Everyone should feel encouraged to continue to discuss or debate the assertions made in this presentation as part of an ongoing evolutionary effort.

Acknowledgements

Personal thanks go to the authors, designers and scientists referenced, those who helped to shape the style of this presentation, and those who helped to formalize these ideas; namely a colleague at the ICT, Kelly Christoffersen. Of course, thanks go to those who have been following and contributing to the ongoing discussion on many of these posts during the course this presentation; namely Christopher Wagg, Luis Guimarães and Bart Stewart.

Sentiology?

Sentiology: The Study of Experience

Perception and Cognitive Models

Memory and Prediction

An Experience Model

Reliability

Understanding and Attention

Efficiency

Stress

Motivation and Satisfaction


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Comments


Glenn Storm
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I hope that anyone who's followed some of this presentation would comment on how relevant this has been overall in your opinion. While we seemed to have an abundance of Game Design community momentum at the start, with the problem statement, it appeared to me to drop off a cliff as soon as it was clear that I was going to assert a formal description of something as ethereal as experience and work from that toward a practical design tool. I fully understand the personal reputation risk that this presentation represents. I also understand the dire need Game Design has to define the concepts surrounding experience and progress toward some consensus.



So, I guess I'm asking all of you reading this now, including previous commenters, game designers, professionals, amateurs, academics, Gamasutra staff, gawkers-at-large:



Was it worth it?

Taekwan Kim
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Mr. Storm, I would not be discouraged by the perceived lack of participation. It is difficult to contribute much further to these individual posts as the subject matter has been so tightly presented and thought out. As well, theoretical models can be highly personal, so it is tricky to dive into the discussion until the presentation is concluded—before giving the presenter a chance to fully communicate his thoughts.



I would congratulate you on an excellent job of describing a large array of cognitive processes, an understanding of which is too lightly dismissed too often (because their wide ranging relevance to many fields [of industry, and life] cannot always be seen). And sometimes, just the act of communicating alone informs your cognitive model and further develops understanding because you are rearranging and interlinking/accessing the contents of the subsets in order to achieve presentation, so I would hope that this series of posts has helped your own understanding as well (there is value in the exercise even if others may not have been able to benefit from it). So yes, I would say it was worth it.



That said, I believe, though, that there was a crucial component to human behavior which your posts rather left out: the neurochemical background. There is considerable evidence that the processes you described are essentially the outcomes of inherent neurochemical processes (we are wired to behave in this way through regulatory productions of neurotransmitters which effectively function as risk/reward systems), but these processes are not “logical” or “motivated” as much as they are simply “causal” (consider drugs, for instance, which trigger these neurotransmitters without the preceding causal chain that usually rewards them). In other words, leaving out these underlying processes is to assume that “understanding” is in and of itself always the goal, and not actually the sensation which arises because of the neurotransmitters which reward that experience.



For example, games like slot machines or end game Diablo 2 (minus the pandemonium event) actually have very little to no new understanding to be achieved, but the experience of suddenly getting that roll you’ve been waiting for *emulates* in a highly condensed and intense fashion the feeling one experiences when a prediction is proven correct (that is, when one’s cognitive model is affirmed as reliable) because the same neurochemicals are involved. The goal in this case is not actually greater understanding at all, it is simply getting chance to align with expectations/predictions, even if this comes at significant efficiency costs. Sometimes (actually, all too frequently), the pleasure is in getting the world to fit the expectations, or obtaining the accoutrements which "prove" you are correct, and not in getting the cognitive model to better fit the world (because the mind often cannot tell the difference, or refuses to do so).



This is just one example; quite often human behavior is such that either the fear of the negative sensations of stress hormones (the fear of being wrong), or the desire for the positive sensations of dopamine, etc. (the pleasure of being right), cause the individual to throw out efficiency and understanding altogether (one hopes this would not be exploited by designers, but sometimes it is in a brutal fashion: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/25888/VGS_09_Game_Designers__E
verything_You_Know_Is_Wrong.php). It’s an aspect of human psychology which cannot be fully disassociated with (and thus exists in every game experience to some degree) and which we would be naïve (as well as inviting danger) to ignore (something which, I have to admit, I too am prone to do).

Glenn Storm
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Well, this is a very good response, tk, and I'm very much encouraged by it. Thank you. And yes, I have been taking much from this study all through the process, both during research and from thoughtful discussions in comment. And, please, it's Glenn. :)



But, of course, I meant this presentation primarily for a community of game designers. Despite being a presentation of personal theoretical ideas, I had hoped that it was presented in such a way as to invite discussion at all points and encourage debate. I see your point, however, that perhaps letting the presentation complete before comment or debate is a prudent strategy. The presentation itself was one of the harder challenges, frankly. Let alone that the subject matter tends to cause people to back away slowly without breaking eye contact; the idea that one designer might try to propose such a wide-ranging understanding and assert it, for benefit to others or not, is just odd. I acknowledge that.



Now. You bring up an excellent point, and cite a great article that came up as I was drafting this presentation. To me, this is not inconsistent. While I don't go anywhere near the lowest level mechanics of brain physiology in this presentation, that is an intentional omission meant to leave room for 'harder' sciences to do their work. Instead, by focusing on what we can corroborate through discussion, debate and consensus, I allow whatever true from of those mechanics to co-exist with the understanding we share. This is another great test of these assertions and, if I can get a running start, I'm going to try and tackle it.



First, the point centers around what looks like a definition of understanding that might be too focused on new knowledge, and correct me if that categorization is incorrect. Whereas in a previous assertion, Understanding within this system is defined as primarily concerned with an overall condition of Efficiency, an overall condition of Reliability, among Cognitive Model concerns of the present, including Perception, as well as Memory and Prediction. This is an important distinction, because while new knowledge, such as an understanding the direction the first mushroom powerup will travel when Mario hits the "?" block, does indeed create a more efficient condition for the player to grab it and reap its benefits, that is by no means the only form of Efficiency that is sought after in terms of this definition of Understanding.



As well, I may need to clarify a distinction on the nature of Motivation, just to be sure. Motivation can direct Attention on a course that is perceived to deliver the system toward an efficient state of Understanding; rather than delivering it absolutely toward more Efficiency. Indeed, in the post that focuses on Frustration, the premise is that Motivation had predicted an Efficiency gain through a course of Attention, that was subsequently found to have little or none. Rather than being a logical system operating on absolutes, this is a system attempting to operate in a logical way, but within a world that is not, and with Perception, Memory and Predictions that can fail.



In fact, now that this presentation is done, it occurs to me that I might attempt a summary of just what Experience is, according to the aggregate of these assumptions. I may append that to this final post at a later time. I believe an appropriate summary of complexity requires care, grace and time.



But let me get back to the root question I believe you're point targets; and again, correct me if I am off. I believe the question, aside from omitting brain physiology or assuming the system is absolute or logically operating, is really about where the Understanding is in something as repetitive, illogical or even ultimately predictable as gambling or drug addiction. This is a great question, whether that's really what you're asking or not, so please indulge me this test of the assertions.



In some earlier discussions, questions were raised about what Reliability, Efficiency or Understanding can be wrought from various situations or needs, such as thirst. Not to instantly cop out, but I do bring up a variety of simple logistics, such as, if you can't continue (to live), you are certain not to be efficient; and how the nag of physical thirst serves as a distraction, a diffusion of Attention. But, I also bring up the idea that nature, evolution, the complexity of our physiology, including the brain's neurochemical system, has in place safeguards to ensure we can't be distracted from basic needs, for example. This idea could easily be extended to the effects of a wide variety of chemicals have on us, including the rush of endorphins, adrenaline or the effects of artificial chemicals with similar function. This is, as you point out, not a logically operating effect of Experience, but one that acts on the Perception, the Prediction; simply the idea that Efficiency is being gained.



Again, I don't want to cop out and say, "drugs do that, duh." The point is that other kinds of motivated behavior, including gambling, compulsiveness, panic, even gamer griefing, seem to defy the notion of Efficiency on the surface, yet I still hold the belief that there is some progression toward Understanding being served, from the perspective of the Self. So, let me try and address your point at face value in the terms outlined above.



If a slot machine paid off in rubber bands instead of redeemable tokens or cash, would it be as likely to encourage the compulsive behavior of gambling? While I can't expect this to be known now, I suspect you can agree that the motivation to play at all is in part, if not primarily, due to the potential for gain in the form of monetary value. This position leads to a relatively clear suggestion that monetary gain can lead to an easier life by some measure; at least by the perspective of the average player. A player need only have dreamt of the potential benefits of monetary gains and what they would do with them (a neat self-told story, a fantasy) to recognize a potential Efficiency gain through playing. I can come back to this, if you like. I want to make sure I meet your intentions.



Let me take the other example, the end game of Diablo 2; where one experiences a situation where Prediction ("This time, for sure.") is supported by the alignment of Perception ("I got it!"), Cognitive Models constructs ("I have to get it eventually.") or Memory ("The walkthrough video showed this happening."). The alignment and consistency of these various aspects of the system of Experience, supporting each other in terms of Reliability, is precisely what I assert Efficiency to be, and what defines the ideal goal of Understanding: a measure of overall Reliability, rather than simply an acquisition of new knowledge.



So, not to discount the effects of human physiology; indeed, the underlying, if unstated, assumption is that current scientific knowledge on the very low level mechanisms of the mind are at least on the right track, supporting this system of Experience; instead, I am attempting to describe the mechanisms and complexity that emerges from simpler constructs, as systems designers are prone to do. In order to be practical, the system of Experience as asserted must be inclusive of all reference sources, including human brain physiology, rather than conveniently omitting them or making exceptions to our common understanding of experiential factors.



I hope that engages your point as you intended and satisfies the questions you raise. If not, I'd consider it a pleasure and honor to readdress the argument.



As a post-script, mention of the effect of drugs, addiction in general, mental disorders or the like were purposely omitted from the presentation, as this subject deals with the psyche and, given the formal style attempted by this presentation, the potential of an appearance of authority on those subjects was not an acceptable risk to take.



Very nice comment, tk.

Christopher Wragg
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These have been wonderful articles, and I've enjoyed every moment of them. I too believe that a nuts and bolts approach is fundamental to crafting better experiences. I would also have to agree that a mental disorder may indeed be hard to analyse within a "standardised" system of experience (which is what I believe was being presented here), as the very nature of a mental disorder indicates an issue or lack that would undoubtedly have an impact upon Reliability (Schizophrenia)/Attention (ADD)/Memory (Alzheimer's) or any other factor that could easily be linked to a disorder.



Drugs also deserved omission as they reproduce similar effects to those of a mental disorder, for instance hallucinogens would affect reliability and Stimulants/Depressants affect Attention Costs. As such it becomes hard to place them fully within any standard set of experience. Although there is probably worth in learning their affects on the system of experience so that an experience could be crafted to produce similar feelings or emotions. For instance if playing a character with Schizophrenia, understanding how to manipulate reliability might be a key to reproducing feelings similar to that of a schizophrenic. But I believe that's a much deeper set of concepts than this first series of posts were intended to cover.



Also, why did you omit the last several articles from your final list.

Glenn Storm
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Thanks for that, Christopher. And thanks very much for your continued involvement in the discussions throughout this presentation. I think this would have been a very different overall presentation without your contributions.



The final list of links I put at the tail end of this last post, is sort of a table of contents to the main assertions; those concerned with the definition of the components and system of Experience. The last several articles take that aggregate assertion of the system of Experience, and the Lens tool, and apply it to the common and state-of-the-art understanding of experiential aspects as they pertain to Game Design in particular. In other words, in those last posts, I take the list of concepts above and apply it to Frustration, Flow, Variance, Self-Determination Theory, etc. to see how the primary assertions hold up against our current understandings as a testing measure. While all the posts are linked and those last posts are important, that list of primary assertions is the core of this presentation and, for anyone new to the presentation, I wanted to make clear that's the meat of it.



EDIT: A day later, Christopher, and your question continues to haunt me. Perhaps I was concerned about a large list of links not being clear in terms of structure, but that's actually a formatting problem. And those last posts do demonstrate the use of the tool, which is the whole point of the presentation. I've taken a whack at organizing the full list of links at the bottom of the main post. Thank you for pointing that out.

Taekwan Kim
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Actually those are very good points on the distinctions between new knowledge and your usage of the term Understanding—I have to admit error in glossing that over. As well, the example of the rubber bands is excellent—you are quite correct, of course. It also occurs to me that perhaps I was simply describing the concept of efficiency in different terms when I brought up the fear of negative sensations or the desire for positive sensations.



But I suppose what I meant is that the model thus far, as far as my imperfect understanding of it can tell, has not addressed the concept of regression. That is, the model implies that human behavior is always progressive, which is not necessarily true. The human mind often has a tendency to engage in regressive behaviors when faced with the prospect that one’s cognitive model is much too incorrect, and the individual needs to formulate a different understanding.



In your article about frustration, you note, “If then the Attention does not yield that result, and a reevaluated Prediction of the total Attention cost rises, Motivation is likewise reevaluated to determine whether the ultimate Efficiency tradeoff for this task is still valuable.” Sometimes, however, the cognitive resources of the individual are already too strained for the individual to be able to perform those reevaluations. In these cases, the mind ends up taking the quickest available outlets which can have a circular effect: one keeps making the same mistakes and taking the same outlets which cause the same disruptions to the goal of a consistent state of experience, thus generating a repetition of the same mistakes.



This is actually in line with your concepts of efficiency, stress, and paying attention, but the point is that efficiency does not necessarily result in understanding (greater consistency of experience). Instead, frustration causes the individual to repeat the same patterns because the cognitive cost to changing one’s cognitive model is too high. That is, sometimes attention is depleted faster than it can be replenished, and the critical mass required to obtain greater efficiency is never acquired (I mentioned neurotransmitters because if one thinks of psychological operations like chemical reactions, then one can refer to the situation in which the reagents are present, but not enough of them are there to create a reaction).



In other words, the path of least immediate resistance does not always result in greater efficiency (this is somewhat analogous to GPS guidance systems in which the algorithm takes you on a ridiculous and inefficient path because it’s path calculation merely points you towards turns which are nearest to you, instead of taking a wider perspective and actually calculating the most efficient path). Drug addiction is simply one manifestation of this (where the goal of a state of consistent experience is for a consistent high), but it’s not the only example, and these cases aren’t too outré or extreme.



Perhaps at this point, despite what I just said, I really am starting to stray too far from the scope of the discussion as it pertains to game design, so I’m not sure how relevant this even is (although I have to say that game addiction and similar behaviors in gameplay are not as extreme and uncommon as we would like to believe). I think this is only relevant in that the concept of regression could help reinforce your description of frustration and further flesh out the understanding of the point at which a game’s design causes the player to quit, or be unable to do so (in the article I linked in my last comment, the speaker specifically mentions creating environments in which “a lot of conflict and drama can happen,” thus draining the player of his cognitive resources and creating the feedback loop described above).



(This is excellent though, in that I believe this discussion demonstrates the sophistication of your model thus far in that we can have this level of discussion using the vocabulary you have established).

Glenn Storm
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Ah, yes. I think I see what you mean, tk. Please, let me try and reflect your point back.



With the term regression, you are speaking to a degrading of Efficiency, of overall Reliability; causing the system of Experience to regress from Understanding. The point you make is that the system as asserted does not assume a potential for regression, that the system as asserted will always progress toward Efficiency in an absolute manner. Do I have that right? That the GPS analogy is meant to demonstrate that despite the best intentions, efficiency is not guaranteed. Please correct me if I misrepresented you.



If that is your point, then I want to try and address it this way. Before I was speaking to the nature of the system in terms of how Motivation makes attempts to properly direct Attention efforts, based on available Perception, Memory, Prediction; and keeping in mind that all those can fail, and that the world in which we operate is also imperfect. I need to bring that idea up again to address this concern; and this really goes back to the fundamental concept of Reliability. Rather than being a logical system operating on absolutes; such as in Mathematics, this is a system attempting to operate in a logical way, but within the context of an imperfect world and with sub-systems that can clearly fail.



Absolutely, the system of Experience can regress, and I think again, the discussions on Frustration, Stress, Anxiety and Randomness point precisely in that direction. The assertions regarding Motivation in particular define the dynamic mechanism that addresses regression as Stress when it is encountered. I make no claims in these assertions that the system progresses toward Understanding absolutely, but I do assert that all attempts made are toward Understanding; to the extent that the system can properly perceive and predict a course of Attention that leads to Efficiency. The idea that the course Motivation chooses to direct Attention might actually lead to a decrease in Efficiency, a decrease in Reliability overall, due to a failure of Prediction, for example, is entirely consistent with these assertions. This is consistent with your example of a system under strain while trying to properly evaluate all factors so Motivation directs Attention appropriately; sometimes, as due to Stress and distraction, it just doesn't work out.



I don't think this is necessarily straying too far from the scope of the presentation and study; as I strongly advocate this system being able to accurately describe experiential conditions of all stripes. But, I do appreciate the concerns you raise and the thoughtfulness of your comments, tk.

Taekwan Kim
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Yes, I believe you are quite right in that the model thus far *does* allow for regression (I had thought as much reading the articles on frustration and stress, etc., as you mention). Otherwise I would not have been able to bring up the idea of drained cognitive resources creating a feedback loop within the context of this analysis to begin with.



I guess my only (and now that I think about it, original) point of contention, then, is a nebulous and probably unwarranted feeling of caution precisely towards the assertion that "all attempts made are toward Understanding". This seems a bit too teleological to me (or in danger of being so), but it's very likely that this is merely a matter of personal opinion and an imperfect understanding of your model (I don't believe there actually is a teleological reasoning involved, merely that I am perceiving it in my interpretation).



Good points, and good discussion!

Glenn Storm
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/me looks for Teleology [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology]



...



Interesting. During the early research phase, I would start with a question like, "Is there such a thing as the study of experience?", posed to cognitive psychologists and the like; which often resulted in, "What you're talking about is Philosophy". This point you've raised about the danger of this presentation being perceived as Teleologically-based theory does shed light on those assessments. I think you're right that the danger of that perception exists; as it appears that this branch of philosophical study is closely related to 'design' concerns. I might consider this another test of the assertions, if I can rely on wikipedia for the moment.



"As a school of thought, teleology can be contrasted with metaphysical naturalism, which views nature as having no design or purpose. Teleology would say that a person has eyes because he has the need of sight, while naturalism would say that a person has sight because he has eyes."



Wow. Yeah, this sort of hints at a couple sticky concepts, like the 'design' of natural systems and evolution as a form of natural design. Let me tie-toe past the sticky stuff so I can address the danger you raise specifically. The primary distinction that appears to me on the surface, between naturalism and teleology, is one of a chicken vs. egg dilemma; where the question is about the origins or causes of structure, whether we consider it designed or not. These assertions I make do not address the origin or cause of the structure, and leave those questions open; while the nature of the structure, its composition, behavior and dynamics, is the focus of this study.



If we take the example of the person and their eyes, the philosophical debate between Naturalism and Teleology appears concerned with why eyes exist and why sight exists, in terms of causality; while the focus of this study (if it were applied to those) would be something like how eyes give sight and the scope of sight that eyes provide. In other words, I still believe we can distinguish the concerns of the domain of philosophy from the pragmatic focus this study employs.



This also goes back to the questions raised about the practicality and application of this study in the discussions found at the beginning of this presentation. The points raised by a number of Gamasutra community members centered around the need for, and the danger due to lack of, objective evidence; measurable results from verified observation of the structure of experience and the conditions thereof. I agree that such evidence and observation would provide a much more solid foundation for this study to be based upon; and thereby strongly advocate for all manner of true scientific evidence to be brought to bear on the assertions made as a comparative analysis.



That said, and in the absence of such direct observation of the structure of experiential conditions, we who study in the field of Game Design are able to take advantage of both Science and Art; and choose among the more valid of sources. Art, and the rich history of experiential design, in the forms of storytelling, music and theater, for example, can reliably go where Science cannot. I guess this study is really theoretical Science at its core, but it is squarely focused at the concerns of Art, and draws from that rich history we share and can corroborate as its source of reliability. This is why I was confident at the beginning of this study that the real questions Game Design cares about have already been answered; that to be reliant on the Lens of the System of Experience, one only need agreement and corroboration with a common understanding and our best practices.



And this is what makes the presentations from Chris Swain, E. Daniel Arey, Nichole Lazzaro, Chaim Gingold, Clint Hocking, Doug Church and Scott Rigby (just to name a few from recent GDC sessions) so interesting. They demonstrate that the field of Game Design is more than ready to rely on Science as well as Art, that they are being used in combination successfully already. As soon as you can look at a game design and begin to apply scientific methods to aspects that were once thought to be purely artistic, you must acknowledge the potential to transform that which is subjective to be objective; the potential for the mystical to become practical, for the unknowable to become understood.



As the field of Game Design progresses, we cannot conveniently decide that player experience, the very result of our labors, is too mystical a beast, too complex a topic, too scientific a concern, to define, categorize, study and ultimately understand to the extent that it is practical.

Taekwan Kim
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Hmm… let me see if I understood you correctly? Essentially, I believe you are stating that, while we might not be able to create new scientifically verified and empirical knowledge of the experience of gameplay through consensus, that doesn’t mean we can’t apply the science we have access to right now to improve our understanding of gameplay in order to produce more deeply affecting art. Is this correct?



Basically, I absolutely agree with this position (I think you already know that from reading my own application of analytical psychology to gameplay), and I don’t think your model is in any danger on that front. But, I think the point of confusion (at least, for me) arises from the model's stance towards the philosophy of mind, as opposed to it's position regarding the philosophy of science (clearly, you are not questioning empiricism).



I believe we’ve been discussing difficulties pertaining to philosophy of mind so far—notably, the behaviorism/cognitivism split. It’s interesting in that your descriptions have largely been grounded in cognitive psychology (as far as I can tell, which honestly isn't saying much). *But* the language and aim of your assertions (for example, bypassing internal physiological events) seem to have a distinctly behaviorist slant, which might create confusion due to the apparently conflicting thrusts between your descriptions and your assertions (the whole of your model seems to be colored behaviorist despite its cognitivist content). This might result in distracting debates actually originating in differences of philosophy which would dilute the point of the discussion (I think I'm already guilty of doing this).



This has really been my only concern (which is why I brought up neuroscience in my first comment), and really, my own understanding of these concepts is *very* shaky (not to mention, the perceived behaviorist slant may just be a misinterpretation on my part, as I noted in my last comment) so I might be entirely off base on this (in which case, please forgive me for carrying on so).

Glenn Storm
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"Essentially, I believe you are stating that," [corrected] while we might be able to acquire scientifically verified and empirical knowledge of experience through observation at some point, that doesn’t mean we can’t apply the artistic knowledge as well as the scientific knowledge we have access to right now to improve our understanding of experience in order to produce more deeply affecting art. [/corrected]



Of course, the application of both Science and Art are valid with regard to Game Design. I'm not sure I see a conflict pertaining to philosophy of mind; I certainly didn't intend for there to be one. Funny you should mention it though, I was just looking this over earlier today: [http://psychclassics.asu.edu/Wundt/Outlines/wozniak.htm] It's an interesting study in academic politics, for me, but not a compelling reason to discount reliable knowledge from any particular source or method. Perhaps there is a conflict with regard to this presentation's style from the perspective of psychology, but I don't think there can be one if viewed from the arts.



In any event, this study was not intended to challenge scientific convention, history of the arts or common understanding. The intention is be inclusive of reference from any relevant reliable source. If there is a contraction in this presentation with regard to content, I would certainly want to address it. I may have misunderstood. Is it you saw a contradiction between descriptions of experiential components and other assertions made? Or some other kind of inconsistency between content of the assertions and something else?

Taekwan Kim
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Oh man, I was actually just trying to point out that I believe I am in error, and that I think there are actually two different questions that arose in the discussions at the beginning of this presentation: one is a question of philosophy of science (whether or not scientific truth can be established through discussion/consensus as opposed to empirical study) and the other is a question of philosophy of mind (whether or not the scientific truth of the operations of the mind can be established purely through an examination of observable behaviors, or whether a deeper study of the underlying substrates is required).



I was just trying to indicate that I don’t think there’s much trouble either in the former (because the goal as I understand it isn’t so much to establish scientific truth as it is to establish artistic understanding through available knowledge) or in the latter (because the perception I am forming that both these rival schools of thought are present in your presentation is probably just a misperception on my part).



I think, at this point, I have long since ceased to contribute constructively and am merely adding confusion :(. My sincere apologies.

Glenn Storm
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Your comments are welcome and your questions are valid. No need to apologize. While I understand the philosophy of mind dilemma you mention, as you say, I don't think it relates to this study or the intended results of the presentation. There may be behaviorist appearing theory presented alongside findings of empirical convention, where they are relevant and reliable, but I think we'd both be hard-pressed to find anyone who'd reject either sources on the basis of academic dogma alone. That said, I do believe the concerns you raise speak to overall consensus, particularly among the experts in this field; which of course *is* a major concern of mine. So, this has definitely been a very valuable contribution to the discussion, tk. Thank you! :)

Christopher Wragg
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The "Philosophy of the Mind vs Cognitive Science" is a misleading comparison. A study of Experience would have to blur a line between the two. Due to a lack of empirical evidence it MUST make use of the closest empirical experience results we have available (behavioral study), while being entirely theoretical/observational in nature (Philosophy), while not ignoring (but not focusing) on "true science" of the mind (Cognitive Science).



As such I would posit that any observations made are not of either category, rather they are the formation of a set of boundaries in which later empirical study may take place (when we have a more concrete ability to do so), or that current sets of philosophy may use as a foundation for the formation of concepts. As to the concept of a Teleological approach, this is most assuredly not. The process concepts of "understanding" and "efficiency" are not geared towards any particular goal. This study does not attempt to conclude the reasons those processes exist, or that there is a reason at all, it makes a nod merely to that fact that the process occurs (for instance both naturalism and teleology agree that sight exists, that is the realm that this study lays within).



Anywho that was my take on it.

Glenn Storm
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That's similar to my take on that concern as well, Christopher. My only addition to that sentiment would be to even further broaden the scope of valid sources for this study, making sure to include Game Design's best practices and our knowledge and history from related experiential design fields; which should include practically anything from storytelling and improvisational theater to industrial design and the cinematic arts to dance and architecture to busking and advertising. As game development is industry, our focus on Game Design really has no reason to limit this study's scope of reference sources beyond that which we find practical, relevant and reliable.


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