Episode 33: Get Your Head in the Game

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 33: Get Your Head in the Game
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This episode considers how best to learn and teach games. Are there particular techniques that enables people to learn games more quickly and efficiently, and that also results in a longer memory for those rules?

Game References

Fog of Love, Magic Maze, Mechs and Minions, Wingspan

Research References

Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational researcher13(6), 4-16.

Haverty, L., & Blessing, S. (2007). What did that $2.5 million dollar ad buy us? Cognitive science goes to the super bowl. In D. S. McNamara & J. G. Trafton (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty–ninth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 347-352), Nashville, TN. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Khazan, O. (2018). The myth of learning styles: A popular theory that come people learn better visually or aurally keeps getting debunked. The Atlantic, April11.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/the-myth-of-learning-styles/557687/

Warrneder, J. (2021).  These two blog posts on boardgame geek:

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/116980/thinking-about-design-thinking

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/118075/science-learning-and-its-application-teaching-game

Episode 28: From Novice to Expert in One Easy Step

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 28: From Novice to Expert in One Easy Step
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What happens, cognitively speaking, as we move from novice to expert in a game? The episode examines changes in memory and strategy as people gain experience not only games, but in other mental and physical activities as well.

Game References

Chess, Incan Gold

Research References

Bloom, B. S., & Sosniak, L. A. (1985). Developing talent in young people. Ballantine Books.

Chase, W. G., & Simon, H. A. (1973). Perception in chess. Cognitive Psychology, 4, 55-81.

Chi, M. T., Feltovich, P. J., & Glaser, R. (1981). Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices. Cognitive science5(2), 121-152.

Ericcson, K. A., Chase, W. G., & Faloon, S. (1980). Acquisition of a memory skill. Science208(4448), 1181-1182.

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Episode 25: Now That’s Deep!

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 25: Now That's Deep!
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We examine the concept of levels of processing in this episode, that if you process an experience more deeply, you will remember it better. This comes into play in many aspects of gaming, for both players and designers.

Game References

Fog of Love, What Remains of Edith Finch, When I Dream

Research References

Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of verbal learning and verbal behavior11(6), 671-684.

Episode 22: The Amazing Declarative to Procedural Transition

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 22: The Amazing Declarative to Procedural Transition
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Big changes happen in memory and knowledge as a person goes from beginner to expert. What does this entail for playing games? We take a close look at the two main types of memory, and how knowledge transitions between the two.

Game References

Marvel’s Spider-Man, Secret Cabal of Gaming

Research References

Anderson, J. R. (1996). ACT: A simple theory of complex cognition. American Psychologist51(4), 355.

Blessing, S. B. (1996). The use of prior knowledge in learning from examples (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.imsa.edu/alumni_dissertations/11

Crossman, E. R. F. W. (1959). A theory of the acquisition of speed-skill∗. Ergonomics2(2), 153-166.

Newell, A., & Rosenbloom, P. S. (1981). Mechanisms of skill acquisition and the law of practice. Cognitive skills and their acquisition1(1981), 1-55.

Episode 19: Decrypto and Codenames CG Cognalysis

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 19: Decrypto and Codenames CG Cognalysis
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I take a dive into Decrypto, comparing how clues are given in it versus in Codenames. Both the similarities and differences shed light into our cognitive processes and how items are stored in our memories. Spoiler alert: Bayes’ Theorem is discussed!

Game References

Codenames, Decrypto, Downforce, Monikers, Outburst, Secret Hitler, Taboo

Research References

Gallistel, C. R. (1992). Animal Cognition. MIT Press: Boston, MA.

Anderson, J. R. (1996). ACT: A simple theory of complex cognition. American Psychologist51(4), 355-365.

Episode 16: Virtual Gaming

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 16: Virtual Gaming
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Virtual reality adds new dimensions to games. Psychology informs us of the issues on what goes on in a virtual environment. Join the discussion as we hit some of the big topics in this new way to play games. Also, Fireball Island addendum to ep 15!

Game References

Fireball Island, Playstation VR Worlds, Star Wars Battlefront I, The Void: Secrets of the Empire, Catan VR

Research References

Curtis, Michael K., Kayla Dawson, Kelli Jackson, Liat Litwin, Chase Meusel, Michael C. Dorneich, Stephen B. Gilbert, Jonathan Kelly, Richard Stone, & Eliot Winer. (2015, September). Mitigating Visually Induced Motion Sickness: A virtual hand-eye coordination task. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 1839-1843). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Mori, M. (1970). The uncanny valley. Energy7(4), 33-35.

Strawberry example: https://www.thekitchn.com/this-is-why-everyone-is-freaking-out-over-this-photo-of-strawberries-242605

Episode 15: The Malleability of Memory

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 15: The Malleability of Memory
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Some people have the idea that memory is like a tape recorder: if you remember it, that’s the way it happened. But, the data show that our memories can change quite a bit over the course of time. We discuss these experiments and what it means for games.

Game References

Aeon’s End, Assassins Creed, Clue, Dominion, Fury of Dracula, Letters from Whitechapel, Monikers, Outburst, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Sleuth, The Stanley Parable, Taboo

Research References

Jacoby, L. L., Kelley, C., Brown, J., & Jasechko, J. (1989). Becoming famous overnight: Limits on the ability to avoid unconscious influences of the past. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 326-338.

Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of verbal learning and verbal behavior13(5), 585-589.

Roediger H. L.III, McDermott K. B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 803–814. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.21.4.803

Episode 12: Cognitive Gamer Cognalysis: Horizon Zero Dawn

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 12: Cognitive Gamer Cognalysis: Horizon Zero Dawn
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This episode contains a deep dive into the cognitive ins and outs of the Playstation 4 game Horizon Zero Dawn. Much of the analysis, though, could be applied to most open-world games. We’ll consider narrative, skill transfer, and types of knowledge.

Game References

Assassin’s Creed, Horizon Zero Dawn, Player Unknown’s Battleground, Watch Dogs

Research References

Crossman, E. R. F. W. (1959) A theory of the acquisition of speed-skill. Ergonomics, 2, 153–166.

Gunzelmann, G., & Anderson, J. R. (2006). Location matters: Why target location impacts performance in orientation tasks. Memory & Cognition34(1), 41-59.

Madigan, J. (2017). Don’t do your best: Goal setting and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Retrieved from http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2017/10/dont-do-your-best-goal-setting-and-horizonzero-dawn/

Newell, A. & Rosenbloom, P. S. (1981). Mechanisms of skill acquisition and the law of practice. In Anderson, J. R., editor, Cognitive skills and their acquisition, pages 1–55. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ.

Seijts, G. H., & Latham, G. P. (2001). The effect of distal learning, outcome, and proximal goals on a moderately complex task. Journal of Organizational Behavior22(3), 291-307.

Sweller J., Ayres P., Kalyuga S. (2011) The Goal-Free Effect. In: Cognitive Load Theory. Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems and Performance Technologies, vol 1. Springer, New York, NY

Episode 11: O Memory, Memory, Wherefore Art Thou Memory?

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 11: O Memory, Memory, Wherefore Art Thou Memory?
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Cognitive psychologists make a lot of distinctions with different types of memory. In this episode I provide an overview of the various ways that scientists have divvied up memory, and how each relates to how we play games.

Game References

Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Call of Duty, Clank!, Dominion, Kingdomino, Scrabble, Uno

Research References

Anderson, J. R. (2014). Rules of the mind. Psychology Press.

Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. (1974). Working memory. Psychology of learning and motivation, 8, 47-89.

Corkin, S. (1968). Acquisition of motor skill after bilateral medial temporal-lobe excision. Neuropsychologia, 6(3), 255-265.

Sperling, G. (1960). The information available in brief visual presentations. Psychological monographs: General and applied, 74(11), 1.

Tulving, E. (1986). Episodic and semantic memory: Where should we go from here?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 9(3), 573-577.

Episode 07 : That Blows Chunks: Increasing Working Memory

Cognitive Gamer
Cognitive Gamer
Episode 07 : That Blows Chunks: Increasing Working Memory
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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.

Game References

Chess, Guitar Hero, Konami Code, Scrabble

Research References

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 Psychology4, 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.