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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okay, I figured out ID3 tags and the whole publishing process. I just logged into Apple’s portal for submitting podcasts to their service, and the Cognitive Gamer podcast is now under review (see picture!). Wheeee!!! Oh, and I just got this email:
Dear Podcast Owner
Your podcast feed, [ my feed URL] was successfully added and is now under review.
The iTunes Store Team
I will let you all know when it goes live and you can acquire it via iTunes’ Podcast app or any other app that subscribes to that service. I may submit it to a couple of other services, but basically about everyone uses iTunes’ feed.
Oh, if you want to listen now, you can just click the Podcasts link in the menu above and get it that way… But, hopefully in the next 2-3 days (Apple’s review process takes a little while) it will appear in podcast feeds everywhere.
How verbal items are stored in long term affect how they are retrieved. This in turn affects how we play a fair number of games, as they require retrieval of items from long term memory. In particular, I consider such games as Codenames, Scattergories, and Taboo.
For those who want to know more about the mathematics and computation behind memory retrieval:
Raaijmakers, J.G.W. (2008). Mathematical models of human memory. In H. L. Roediger, III (Ed.), Cognitive Psychology of Memory. Vol. 2 of Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, 445-466. Oxford: Elsevier.