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Game changer : structural folds with cognitive distance in video game development david stark columbia university.

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Presentation on theme: "Game changer : structural folds with cognitive distance in video game development david stark columbia university."— Presentation transcript:

1 game changer : structural folds with cognitive distance in video game development david stark columbia university

2 My research collaborators: Balazs Vedres Co-PI, Central European University Mathijs de Vaan PhD candidate, Columbia University This project supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

3 Innovation is recombination produced by the collision of evaluative principles.

4 Innovation at the overlap

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6 Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups Vedres and Stark Am J Soc 2010

7 Innovation at the overlap Brokerage at the gap Structural fold Structural hole

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13 This project brings these analytic moments together, combining attention to structural features

14 AB This project brings these analytic moments together, combining attention to structural features and attention to cultural practices.

15 Network analysts have tended to assume that cognitive distance mirrors social distance. We relax that assumption.

16 What matters in explaining creative success? The diversity of the cognitive/cultural elements or the structural folding of group membership?

17 Russian semiotician Yuri Lotman Semiosphere not as a code But as multiplicity of codes

18 AB Russian semiotician Yuri Lotman Semiosphere not as a code But as multiplicity of codes

19 AB Russian semiotician Yuri Lotman Semiosphere not as a code But as multiplicity of codes The more difficult the translation of the non-intersecting, the more valuable this paradoxical communication becomes. The tension of two tendencies.

20 AB

21 Data

22 16,507 video games 139,727 individuals Global video game production,

23 We operationalize cognitive distance and group structure by studying team formation. How does the history of a teams makeup shape its creative success?

24 How to do historical network analysis when the units of analysis are fleeting episodic projects?

25 It is not the history of the team per se that is of interest. Instead, we gather very detailed data on the histories of the team members. With these we can reconstruct the cognitive distance and the community memberships for every project team.

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31 For 139,727 individuals in 16,507 production teams across 30 years …

32 Analysis

33 Cognitive diversity Videos games differ in their stylistic elements. Each game has been coded for the presence or absence of 105 different stylistic (cognitive) elements.

34 As they move through the project space, individuals are exposed to various cognitive elements…

35 … allowing us to construct a cognitive profile for every individual and from these to compute for every team and for all communities within a team a measure of cognitive distance.

36 Group structure Videos games differ in their group structure depending on the cohesive ties that are formed as members worked with each other in the past. Through these cohesive structures members acquire informal codes of work and tacit knowledge of each other.

37 As they move through the project space, individuals have opportunities to work together with others…

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39 … allowing us to reconstruct for every team the distinctive cohesive groups; to identify the cognitive distance across these groups; and to identify, in particular, whether these groups are isolated, brokered, or structurally folded.

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41 We then test whether cognitive distance and structural folding contribute to creative success. We expect to find significant positive effects for cognitive folding, i.e., when cognitively distant groups are structurally folded.

42 Dependent variables Our dependent variables recognize that cultural products can be innovative without being successful (and vice versa). Therefore...

43 Three dependent variables: 1) A project can be innovative; it can be stylistically distinctive. 2) A project can be critically successful. 3) But a project will be a game changer only when it is innovative and critically successful.

44 Findings

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51 The effects of structural folding are compounded when cohesive groups are not only overlapping but also cognitively distant. Such cognitive folding mobilizes a productive tension of rules, roles, and categories that promotes successful innovation.


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