Pretensive Shared Reality: From Childhood Pretense to Adult Imaginative Play. Kapitany, R., Hampejs, T., & Goldstein, T. R. Frontiers in Psychology, 2022.
Pretensive Shared Reality: From Childhood Pretense to Adult Imaginative Play [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Imaginative pretend play is often thought of as the domain of young children, yet adults regularly engage in elaborated, fantastical, social-mediated pretend play. We describe imaginative play in adults via the term “pretensive shared reality;” Shared Pretensive Reality describes the ability of a group of individuals to employ a range of higher-order cognitive functions to explicitly and implicitly share representations of a bounded fictional reality in predictable and coherent ways, such that this constructed reality may be explored and invented/embellished with shared intentionality in an ad hoc manner. Pretensive Shared Reality facilitates multiple individual and social outcomes, including generating personal and group-level enjoyment or mirth, the creation or maintenance of social groups, or the safe exploration of individual self-concepts (such as alternative expression of a players sexual or gender identity). Importantly, Pretensive Shared Reality (both within the specific context of table-top role-playing games, and other instances) are primarily co-operative and co-creative. We draw on multiple examples, and focus on Table-Top Role Playing games (TTRPG) – and specifically, the most popular and enduring table-top role-playing games, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) – as a primary example of such play. Our conception of “pretensive shared reality” links the widespread existence and forms of adult imaginative play to childhood pretense, places it within a developmental and evolutionary context, and argues that pretensive shared realities – which underpin many forms of imaginative culture – are an important topic of study unto themselves, and may be utilized to provide methodological insight into a variety of psychological domains.
@article{kapitany_pretensive_2022,
	title = {Pretensive {Shared} {Reality}: {From} {Childhood} {Pretense} to {Adult} {Imaginative} {Play}},
	volume = {13},
	issn = {1664-1078},
	shorttitle = {Pretensive {Shared} {Reality}},
	url = {https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.774085},
	doi = {10.3389/fpsyg.2022.774085},
	abstract = {Imaginative pretend play is often thought of as the domain of young children, yet adults regularly engage in elaborated, fantastical, social-mediated pretend play. We describe imaginative play in adults via the term “pretensive shared reality;” Shared Pretensive Reality describes the ability of a group of individuals to employ a range of higher-order cognitive functions to explicitly and implicitly share representations of a bounded fictional reality in predictable and coherent ways, such that this constructed reality may be explored and invented/embellished with shared intentionality in an ad hoc manner. Pretensive Shared Reality facilitates multiple individual and social outcomes, including generating personal and group-level enjoyment or mirth, the creation or maintenance of social groups, or the safe exploration of individual self-concepts (such as alternative expression of a players sexual or gender identity). Importantly, Pretensive Shared Reality (both within the specific context of table-top role-playing games, and other instances) are primarily co-operative and co-creative. We draw on multiple examples, and focus on Table-Top Role Playing games (TTRPG) – and specifically, the most popular and enduring table-top role-playing games, Dungeons \& Dragons (D\&D) – as a primary example of such play. Our conception of “pretensive shared reality” links the widespread existence and forms of adult imaginative play to childhood pretense, places it within a developmental and evolutionary context, and argues that pretensive shared realities – which underpin many forms of imaginative culture – are an important topic of study unto themselves, and may be utilized to provide methodological insight into a variety of psychological domains.},
	language = {en},
	urldate = {2022-03-01},
	journal = {Frontiers in Psychology},
	author = {Kapitany, Rohan and Hampejs, Tomas and Goldstein, Thalia R.},
	year = {2022},
	keywords = {\_HOT, \_TTRPG, \_collaborative, \_dnd, \_embodiment, \_major publication, \_pretend play, \_religion, \_scholarlyTTRPG},
}

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