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Teaching ChatGPT To Use Metaphors Effectively

I was playing around with ChatGPT this morning and I think I finally figured out how to get it to express things in a similar metaphorical mindset as my own. The trick it seems is to be very specific about the metaphor you want it to use, breaking down the parts of it, so it understands it in a greater scope, rather than just describing the metaphor vaguely.

For example, before I may have just said “use a roleplaying game as a metaphor to better understand what vertical development is.” While it provided interesting replies, they weren’t going in the direction I wanted it to go. When I started getting more specific about the roleplaying metaphor I want used though, that’s when things really got interesting and I started getting really surprisingly good results back, because they were much closer to what I wanted to see.

Also note that I didn’t need to reinforce the specificity of the metaphor on the follow-up questions. It understood that I wanted it to continue to use this metaphor when it replied to me, which is amazing. In doing so, my continued querying of “when you say this, do you mean this?” to it, providing the further specificity that I wanted. The end result was close to what I was querying, that being that I know each level of consciousness perceptually feels like a whole new reality and it closely confirmed it using the roleplaying metaphor that the game changes dynamically, so each level (of consciousness) is like a new type of gameplay within the larger game.


In a roleplaying game, you travel through different stages of the game world doing quests which involve going into dungeons, slaying monsters, and gaining experience and treasure which help you to level up. Explain how this could be used as a metaphor to better understand the process of vertical development?

In a roleplaying game, the process of “leveling up” through gaining experience and treasure can be seen as a metaphor for the process of vertical development in real life. Just as the player character in a game progresses through different stages and becomes more powerful and capable, individuals in real life can also undergo a process of personal growth and development, becoming more self-aware, skilled, and capable in their personal and professional lives. The “quests” and “dungeons” in the game can represent the challenges and obstacles that individuals must overcome in order to progress in their personal and professional development. The “monsters” in the game can be seen as metaphorical representations of the internal and external obstacles that individuals must overcome in order to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

More specifically, how are quests in roleplaying games metaphors for questions in life that help us with our vertical development?

Quests in roleplaying games can be seen as metaphors for the questions and challenges that individuals face in their lives that help with their vertical development. Just as a quest in a game presents the player with a specific task or objective to complete, individuals in real life are presented with questions and challenges that they must navigate and overcome in order to progress and develop. These challenges can come in many forms, such as personal, professional, and societal issues that individuals must grapple with in order to understand themselves and the world better.

As players in a game complete quests, they gain experience and resources that help them to level up and become more powerful, similarly when individuals in real life navigate and overcome the questions and challenges they face, they gain new knowledge, skills, and perspective that help them to grow and develop as individuals.

Furthermore, in a game, quests can also be seen as opportunities for players to explore and understand different aspects of the game’s world, similarly in real life, questions and challenges provide individuals with opportunities to explore and understand different aspects of themselves and the world around them.

So the unexplored areas of the game world in the roleplaying game is a metaphor for unexplored areas of our inner selves?

Yes, the unexplored areas of the game world in a roleplaying game can be seen as a metaphor for the unexplored areas of our inner selves. Just as a player in a game may venture into unknown territories to discover new places and gain new experiences, individuals in real life can also explore and discover new aspects of themselves through self-reflection and introspection.

In roleplaying games, there could be many different areas of the game world that players have yet to discover, similarly, there are many different aspects of our inner selves that we may not be aware of or have yet to fully explore. These unexplored areas can include things like our own thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs, which can be difficult to access or understand without taking the time to reflect on them.

Therefore, the process of exploring the game world in a roleplaying game can be seen as a metaphor for the process of self-discovery and self-exploration in real life, where individuals can gain new understanding and insight into themselves through taking the time to reflect on their inner selves and the world around them.

Would you say that the challenges we face in roleplaying games, like monsters, are metaphors for challenges we face in real life that make us question our reality and ourselves? In effect, it is the challenge itself that makes us question something and thus undergo a quest to understand it better.

Yes, the challenges faced in roleplaying games, such as monsters, can be seen as metaphors for the challenges faced in real life that make us question our reality and ourselves. These challenges can take many forms, such as personal, professional, and societal issues that we must grapple with in order to understand ourselves and the world better.

Just as monsters in roleplaying games represent obstacles that players must overcome in order to progress and complete their quest, the challenges we face in real life can also serve as obstacles that we must navigate and overcome in order to understand ourselves better, develop new skills and knowledge, and achieve our goals and aspirations.

The process of overcoming these challenges can involve questioning our reality and ourselves, as well as taking the time to reflect on our thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. It is through these challenges that we are forced to question our assumptions and beliefs, which can lead to personal growth and development.

Therefore, the challenges faced in roleplaying games can be seen as a metaphor for the challenges faced in real life, representing opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.

Ah, so when we begin to “question our assumptions and beliefs” that’s what begins a “quest” which can transform the way we look at ourselves and our world?

Yes, that is a good way to think about it. When we begin to question our assumptions and beliefs, it can be seen as the beginning of a “quest” for understanding and personal growth. This process of questioning and self-reflection can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves, our values, and the world around us. It can also lead to a shift in perspective and a change in the way we view ourselves and the world.

In roleplaying games, the player’s character embarks on a quest to complete a specific task, but along the way, they may discover new things about the game world and themselves. Similarly, when we question our assumptions and beliefs, we embark on a “quest” of self-discovery and self-exploration, which can lead to new insights, perspectives, and a greater understanding of ourselves and the world.

It’s important to note, that this quest is not necessarily a one-time thing, but rather a continuous journey through which we will encounter new challenges and questions that will lead to further self-discovery and growth.

When you say that “they may discover new things about the game world and themselves”, are you saying that the dynamics of the game itself may change in the process?

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. When players in a roleplaying game begin to discover new things about the game world and themselves, it can change their understanding of the game and their character’s place in it. They may find new paths to explore, new ways to interact with the game world, and new ways to approach challenges. Similarly, when individuals in real life begin to question their assumptions and beliefs, it can change their understanding of themselves and the world around them. They may find new perspectives, new ways to interact with others, and new ways to approach challenges.

In a game, this can also change the dynamics of the game, as the player’s new understanding and abilities may open up new opportunities and possibilities within the game world. Similarly, in real life, when an individual gains a new understanding or ability, it can open up new opportunities and possibilities in their personal and professional life.

It’s important to note that, as the player continues to progress through the game, the game world will also change, and the player’s character will be able to access new areas and levels that were previously unavailable. Similarly, as individuals continue to grow and develop, their understanding of themselves and the world around them will also change, and they will be able to access new opportunities and possibilities that were previously unavailable.

By Nollind Whachell

From playing within imaginary worlds to imagining a world of play.

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