Simulation and the Evolution of Thought

  • Joanna J. Bryson


Our culture often describes memory as if it were all pastoral reverie—a safe and quiet form of entertainment allowing us to revisit events and places, lovers, families, and friends. Memory acts as a low-tech alternative to novels and video games, used to keep spirits up. In traditional narrative, memory serves to remind characters of their devotion to each other, or other obligations. Like other forms of entertainment, reverie might occasionally by chance lead to reflection, insight or self-knowledge. Sometimes this is facilitated by technology, such as film, or the memories of others casting a new light on previous events. In more contemporary writing, some authors dwell on a more traumatic form of this reverie that psychotherapists call ‘negative rehearsal’—the self-castigating narrative revisitation of past mortification—or worse, of own wrong-doing—that accompanies depression and leads to a spiralling devaluation of self-worth.


Video Game Mental Time Travel Motivate Reader Narrative Fiction Evolutionary Niche 
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© Joanna J. Bryson 2016

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  • Joanna J. Bryson

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