Narrative design and contextual knowledge creation as a MMP knowledge graph.


A Game of Purpose, Context, and Coherence

A bit of Aristotle's Four Causes, the Charrette Design Method, and inspired by “Purpose Engineering” : An Essay on “Practical Wisdom” and Innovation by Noboru Konno, and “The Glass Bead Game” by Hermann Hesse


  1. Introduction
  2. The Game
  3. Playing the Game
  4. Leveraging the Games


The Interface:

3x3 is an abductive narrative design tool that also has great potential to bridge the realms of design, knowledge creation, knowledge management,  sense-making, meaning-making, taxonomies, ontologies, epistemologies, machine learning, contextual decision support, opportunity design, education, data science, and more.

The interface is a three by three matrix for single and multiplayer use. It uses (hyper)media, incorporating all the necessary distinctions and functionality needed for the full expression, development and deployment of ideas towards coherence and context.

3X3 presents an opportunity to do all this while maintaining a high level of simplicity and usability on the interface level, yet with a comprehensive capacity for managing complexity at the architecture level (see Back End). It bridges analog and digital in an intelligent system, providing scalable interactive knowledge design and delivery.

The Back End: (in progress)

Behind the interface is a machine, MetaBrain, which connects and layers in-person (f2f or online) gameplay with programmable hypermedia in the form of cards, including knowledge artifacts. The combination of cards and artifacts, together with accompanying knowledge, information, data, and metadata, patterning, ontology design, and code, forms a dynamic knowledge repository in the spirit of Douglas Engelbart. This allows for games to be machine-readable and leverageable, building and evolving a collective intelligence resource powering a contextual decision support system.


Fig1.  Basic blank game board
Fig1.  Basic blank game board

The overall meta-narrative includes purpose, group genius (or identity) and lever, essentially, why, who and what.

From there the knowledge journey splits towards both outcome (any desired result) and utility (or service). Utility/Service can be seen as something that the participants may or may not be aware of; for example “society” might be considered a utility.By having purpose always converging on both outcome and service, the unfolding narrative both maintains coherence and creates context. The fields in between the corners: 2, 4, 6 & 8, represent methods: any transitions, operations, and actions that connect and compute.


You play the game by populating the fields. It is usually a good idea to connect field 3, purpose, with field 7, lever. However, 3x3 fields can be played, connected and combined in any particular order.

Fig2. Using the game to explain TOTEM Protocol
Fig2. Using the game to explain TOTEM Protocol


From 3x3 to narratives via pattern language to code and back again (see diagram below). A semantic web application design studio that takes identity, narratives, purpose, outcomes, transitions, and collective intelligence, knowledge ecosystems, and market information into consideration at every step.

Fig3. From natural language to patterns, to code and back.
Fig3. From natural language to patterns, to code and back.

For example: Think of an application for organizing personal digital identity that goes beyond just lists of attributes, preferences and specifications.

In order to make personal contextual decision support work in a collective intelligence matrix, as a natural language accessible tool, we need to move profiling from lists of attributes to narratives. As in nature, from my perspective, I am not a collection of events. I am the story that I extract from those events. My interpretation of those events is me. XAI, explainable AI, with AI in the form of decision support, will work better in this context.

Patterning including turning language into patterns of interaction and patterns of play, can be used for domain translation. This is how we get from play to pattern to code and back again.

Successful "Games" can be marketed or made available as open-source products, and gathered together in curated lists of completed, contextually relevant games.

New and/or incomplete “Games” can be posted on a board, both inviting new participants to play, and soliciting further design work from a selection of vetted experts. A marketplace for expertise to further expand functionalities and value.

We see tremendous potential for this tool in many different fields and environments. Including communication, education and knowledge management, as well as in data science, research, and academia.