Game Development Reference
Procedural knowledge corresponds to the sequence of actions that it is necessary to
perform to follow a certain route. For example, a visitor to Paris will quickly memorise
the route that he takes from his hotel to the nearest restaurant.
Finally, topological knowledge corresponds to an overall knowledge of the envi-
ronment where the observer is capable of assessing the positions, the relations or the
distances between the different elements. This knowledge of the highest level is the
most difficult to acquire. It is made possible by an increase in the number of visits and
understanding of general maps. Taking Paris as a standard, for example, the knowledge
of a district from a metro station is often procedural knowledge, whereas connecting
the different districts is about topological knowledge.
22.214.171.124 Egocentric and exocentric strategies
The construction of a cognitive map depends on how the individual orients himself
in his environment. Among the overall population, some prefer an egocentric strategy
(centred on themselves) while others prefer an exocentric strategy (centred on objects
that surround them). The first are based on postural indices, related to gravity. The
second are based preferably on visual indices extracted from the environment in which
they develop. These apprehension strategies of the environment can be linked to the
“dependence-independence'' theory (Asch & Witkin, 1948a; Asch & Witkin, 1948b)
with the subjects, using an egocentric strategy, being generally independent. Subjects
adopting an egocentric strategy, anywhere in the environment, will orient themselves
in relation to their position and their current movement, whereas subjects with an
exocentric strategy will use reference points of the environment.
As a result, individuals using an egocentric strategy of movement construct their
cognitive maps based mainly on procedural elements whereas those using exocentric
strategies follow global elements (plans, landmarks). We will subsequently see these
differences in cognitive styles that may involve problems in selecting view points, based
on which virtual scenes will be displayed.
Wayfinding is a process of decision-making that lets us select a direction to follow,
a path to take, depending on the place where we are. This decision-making depends
on the mapping of landmarks and clues that surround us with the knowledge that we
have of the environment. This process of decision-making is illustrated in figure 12.6.
Elements immediately perceptible around us change with our movements. These
elements can be of different kinds: visual (“I see a park''), auditory (“I hear the belfries
ringing''), olfactory (“I smell the sea'') or tactile (“the ground is soft''). Taking these
different elements into account contributes to spatial orientation , i.e. the knowledge
of our position and of our direction of vision.
Mapping our spatial orientation with our spatial knowledge (or cognitive map),
lets us identify where we are in the environment. This mapping is called knowledge of
the situation . Knowledge of the situation is a term generally used in aviation, where
pilots have to locate themselves on the card depending on the elements they may
perceive. Knowledge of the situation leads us to a process of decision-making for the
movement to be performed.