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The limits of pretending

Turner, Phil; Hetherington, Richard; Turner, Susan; Kosek, Maggie


Phil Turner

Richard Hetherington

Susan Turner

Maggie Kosek


We propose that pretending is a cognitive faculty which enables us to create and immerse ourselves in possible worlds. These worlds range from the veridical to the fantastic and are frequently realised as stories varying from the fictional to the scientific. This same ability enables us to become immersed and engaged in such stories (which we may have created) too. Whether we are shooting “aliens” or are engaged in a passionate romance, these experiences are facilitated by our ability to pretend. While it might seem that we can imagine or make-believe anything, in practice there are limits to what we can pretend. We draw upon both theoretical perspectives and from the work practice of animators. By identifying these limits, we are, of course, also defining the nature of pretending.


Turner, P., Hetherington, R., Turner, S., & Kosek, M. (2015). The limits of pretending. Digital Creativity, 26(3-4), 304-317.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Oct 19, 2015
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2017
Journal Digital Creativity
Print ISSN 1462-6268
Electronic ISSN 1744-3806
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 3-4
Pages 304-317
Keywords Pretending; animation; embodiment; schemata;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Oct 26, 2015


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