ONE level of exaggeration

I’ve argued before that we should be thinking about exaggeration in our learning design. And I’ve noticed that it’s a dramatic trick in popular media. But you can easily think of ways it can go wrong. So what would be appropriate exaggeration?

When I look at movies and other story-telling media (comics), the exaggeration usually is one level.  You know, it’s like real life but some aspect is taken beyond what’s typical. So, more extreme events happen: the whacky neighbor is maniacal, or the money problems are potentially fatal, or the unlikely events on a trip are just more extreme.  And this works; real life is mundane, but you go too far and it treads past the line of believability. So there’s a fine line there.

Now, when we’re actually performing, whether with customers or developing a solution, it matters. It’s our job after all, and people are counting on us.  There’s plenty of stress, because there are probably not enough time, and too much work, and…

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