Quintin Smith from Shut Up and Sit Down recently gave a short talk about why he left writing about video games to write about board games. I see this talk more about why board games are more interesting from a psychological perspective. He titles the talk “A Feast of Friends” and it’s a very engaging 20 min that you shouldn’t miss!
A month or so ago, the Game Developers Conference happened in San Francisco. In the past, video game developers met there to talk about case studies, tips, and other topics related to game design and creation. This year they invited board game designers as well! I’ve been working my way through the talks they posted on-line. Highly recommended!
Hi All! I have been working bit by bit on this, but after the flurry of activity that surrounded Spring Break, haven’t posted here in a while. My intent is to do a podcast, and I’m laying the groundwork for that. I’m a bit nervous about talking steady for 20+ min, so I’m going to mostly script the first show and see how that goes. It’s a lot more work, of course, but I won’t have to be as mindful about the “umms” and “uhhhhs” and awkward pauses! I have much of a first show in draft form.
The first episode is going to be about activation in long-term memory and how that plays out in games like Codenames, Taboo, and Scattergories. Not sure what the second episode may be, but will probably switch to a video game topic, like maybe attention and first person shooters. Also in the first handful of shows will be expertise and game-playing (lots of chess stuff there, of course), AI and game-playing, talking about Deep Blue and AlphaGo, something about proactive and retroactive interference while playing games (that happened to me recently when playing this deductive game called Antidote), and then there’s at least 2-3 episodes one could do on the Khaneman and Tverksy stuff. That’s 5 right there, and I can rattle off some more as well (what about the use of narrative in games and the power of story?)
I hope to get a a small number of episodes (well, at least 2; maybe 3) in the can before putting them up on a RSS feed so that iTunes can pick them up. That should happen mid-summer-ish?
If you look at my recommendations, one of the websites is Shut Up & Sit Down. This is a great board gaming website, and they have a monthly podcast. The podcast that just went up today has three of the SUSD’ers at the Game Developer Conference. That’s mostly for video games, I believe, but they have some talks about board games. Two of the people had just been to such a talk where the topic was about how players feel loss much more than gains when playing a game. They talked about framing effects, which is a classic cognitive phenomenon, and touch on other psychological concepts as well. Take a listen to the first 30 min of this podcast (#54) to get a sense of what I want to do when I get brave enough to start my podcast.
Actually, it was the podcast from two months ago (#52) that really gave me the impetus to do this. They were talking about, if you are a critic, how important it is to have interests outside of your area of expertise, because that often gives you interesting insight into what you are critiquing. This moved to if you wanted to start a blog about board games, that’s all well and good, but you really need to have additional interests that you can bring to the work. Quinns, and this is the thing that obviously hit me like a bolt of lightning because I was already thinking it as he was saying it, specifically used the example that if you were a psychologist, it would be great to write about how psychology influences game design. He said he would read that in a heart beat, and Paul agreed (that conversation starts around the 49 min mark)
Welcome to the Cognitive Gamer website! Over the next couple of months I am going to get this site into shape, and start to produce podcasts concerning how psychology and playing games interact. I am very excited about this whole process. I am currently on spring break where I work at the University of Tampa, and thought this would be a great time to get the ball rolling.
So, I bought the domain name, got this simple WordPress site going, and am beginning to understand how to do a podcast. My schedule is to keep at it bit by bit through the last half of the semester, and sometime this summer produce my first set of podcasts. Until then, I’ll add to this site as I go along and use this space to keep track of my progress.