Reminding myself about cognitive attidutes

IMG_3176 Modelling can help develop cognitive attitudes.

In our 2012 ‘manifesto’, created at the start of our first performance development process, this was one of the messages we wanted to communicate.

I’ve returned to this manifesto to help me get my head around Best Festival Ever as we redevelop it for new audiences.

Audiences interact with our model using game mechanics to generate outcomes to feed back in to our model – but for me, that isn’t enough. Engaging in game play can develop the same cognitive attitudes that modelling can, and I want to make that the key feature of all featured game mechanics. Not only to they excite and add fun to the experience, but they enhance learning.

In the image to the left is a draft version of a game about transport. We use string to create paths so that our festival audience can navigate the landscape with ease and in safety. In choosing where to lay the string there are needs to consider – each building requires a number of entrances and exits, crossed paths increase travel time, etc. In refining this game, I’ll be looking at the attitudes below and trying to give the audience the best experience possible so that they can get more out of the rest of the show, and walk away with something to reflect on.

Cognitive attitudes we included in our 2012 manifesto:

  • The way we formulate goals
  • Interpret outcomes against expectations
  • Balance emotional responses (Curiosity, Frustration, Blame-shifting, Humility)
  • Tolerating high levels of uncertainty
  • Acknowledging mistakes
  • Searching for counter evidence
  • Self reflection
  • Discover new questions
  • Illuminate core uncertainties
  • Bound outcomes to plausible ranges
  • Demonstrate tradeoffs/suggest efficiencies
  • Build empathy

Here’s some additional viewing on gaming (Jane McGonigal on


– Rachel


About Rachel


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