I’m trying to get the word out about the podcast. If you found this website via Boardgame Geek and my attempts there to get the word out better, welcome! I’m now seeing triple digits in some of the episodes! Woo hoo!
I know what the next episode will be, one on problem solving. Then, either Episode 09 or Episode 10 will have a special guest it looks like. We are still working out the details.
Thanks for being on this ride with me! I hope you are enjoying it!
One constraint that everyone has is working memory capacity. Or in other words, how many things you can remember at any one point in time. While there are individual differences in this, another aspect turns out to be more important: chunking.
Chess, Guitar Hero, Konami Code, Scrabble
Chase, W. G., & Ericsson, K. A. (1982). Skill and working memory. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Vol. 16, pp. 1-58). New York: Academic Press.
Chase, W. G., & Simon, H. A. (1973). Perception in chess. Cognitive Psychology, 4, 55-81.
Miller, George A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.
I consider the popular board game Pandemic from a number of different angles. What makes it an interesting game, cognitively speaking? I touch on decision making, attention, cooperation, and also the Legacy and iPad versions.
Burgle Bros, Mechs vs. Minions, Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy
Daviau, R. & Leacock, M. (2017), The Making of ‘Pandemic Legacy,’ GDC 2017.
Schank, R. C. (1995). Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Sherif, M. (1961). Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment. Toronto: York University.
Treisman, A. M., & Gelade, G. (1980). A feature-integration theory of attention. Cognitive Psychology, 12, 97-136.
Humans do not always make the most optimal decisions. We are limited by our cognitive resources. We usually make decisions, even in playing games, that are just “good enough.” The process of making a “good enough” decision is known as satisficing.
Blessing, S. B., & Ross, B. H. (1996). Content effects in problem categorization and problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, 792-810.
Griggs, R. A., & Cox, J. R. (1982). The elusive thematic‐materials effect in Wason’s selection task. British Journal of Psychology, 73, 407-420.
Simon, H. A. (1947). Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-making Processes in Administrative Organization. New York: Macmillan.
Wason, P. C. (1968). Reasoning about a rule. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 20, 273-281.
I’ve now done four episodes of the podcast. I’m pretty proud of them. I know what the next two are going to be. The next one will be about decision making (well, one small area within decision making, as that broad topic could have 6-8 episodes at least). Then, the sixth one will be a different type of episode, one I’m currently calling a “game vivisection,” where I take one game and examine it from different angles, both cognitively and otherwise. I think I know which game it will be first.
Six episodes then I think will be, not necessarily a “season” but a set. A set of episodes will then have 3-4 shows where I look specifically at a cognitive concept, relating that one concept to a number of games, 1 or 2 more philosophical podcasts, and then 1 or 2 game vivisections.
And, there are people I don’t even know listening to the podcasts! The Word Press plugin I use gives me some info about number of downloads per episodes, along with how they got the episode (Hello! Overcast listeners; that’s the app I use; and, hi to my one listener from Stitcher!) I set a pretty modest goal of listeners for the outset, think double digits, and it has been met. Once I get six episodes in the can, I’m going to try to “market” a bit more and I have a new goal for after that.
Thanks to all who have listened so far!
For about as long as there have been computers, there have been computer programs that play games. This episode considers some of the history of game playing computers, and how that has shed light on the nature of human intelligence.
Chess, Go, Jeopardy!, Pong, Tic-tac-toe, Uncharted, Video Olympics
Isaacson, W. (2014). The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Simon and Schuster: New York: NY.
Licklider, J. C. (1960). Man-computer symbiosis. IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, 1, 4-11.
Metz, C. (2016). What the AI behind AlphaGo can teach us about being human, Wired.
Montfort, N., & Bogost, I. (2009). Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.
You need to have focused attention while playing games. If you don’t, you might miss a critical move in a board game, or totally miss that other player about to blast you in Call of Duty. This episode considers how attention works as we play games.
Captain Sonar, Horizon Zero Dawn, Pandemic Legacy, Stroop
James, W. (2013). The Principles of Psychology. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Simons, D. J., & Chabris, C. F. (1999). Gorillas in our midst: Sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events. Perception, 28(9), 1059-1074.
Simons, D. J., & Levin, D. T. (1998). Failure to detect changes to people during a real-world interaction. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5(4), 644-649.
Stroop, J. R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18(6), 643-662.
Simons and Chabris Visual Attention Demo
Simons and Levin Visual Attention Demo
Change Blindness Demo
We can now be reached on Twitter, @cognitive_gamer
Visual memory has a different character than verbal memory. This episode examines the nature of our visual memory, and how it is used in such games as Tetris, Carcassonne, and any game that has a map that your character must navigate.
Assassins Creed, Asteroids, Breakout, Carcassonne, DixIt, Horizon Zero Dawn, Pandemic, Patchwork, Risk, Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Tsuro, Watch Dogs 2
Shepard, R.N., & Metzler, J. (1971) Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science, 171, 701-703.
Kosslyn, S. M., Ball, T. M., & Reiser, B. J. (1978). Visual images preserve metric spatial information: Evidence from studies of image scanning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 4, 47-60.
Pylyshyn, Z.W. (2002). Mental Imagery: In search of a theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 157–182.
Clive Wearing video
Okay, the first episode of the podcast is now up on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. More than likely, no matter how you listen to podcasts, it probably works with one of those services (but, let me know if it doesn’t). Please subscribe!
The direct links to each of those services can be found here, on the About page.