This chapter discusses cognitive abilities that can be developed by means of the metaverse. We are concerned with developing virtual environments capable of providing, in a world full of challenges, more than adventures and excitement meant to push the narrative forward. In the search for recovering classical concepts and integrating them into the metaverse we also seek their episteme so that experience construction can be contemplated by means of lateral thinking, that is “thinking about thinking” in a way similar to the Greek concept of mathema. Can we develop creative thinking? What is the role of games? Which characteristics of games can open up paths to creative thinking? The classical culture and the classical puzzles can give us an opportunity to answer these questions.
Since ancient times, puzzles have been used by people to reconstruct knowledge for new generations. In other words, the knowledge developed and accumulated throughout generations has been transmitted to new generations by means of thought-provoking puzzles, which have been making possible the reconstruction of past knowledge. Creative thinking and some abilities such as imagination and abstraction have been associated to the process of reconstructing the knowledge developed by our ancestors.
The “living world” – lebenswelt– also encompasses what is known as metaverse and therefore this dimension of our experience is in constant metamorphosis. We can try a ride in a new world or we can even take advantage of this experience in the metaverses to create relevant cognitive structures, venturing ourselves beyond the mere “being together” to accomplish the “being with” (mitsein) in the metaverses world, and in this way, develop abilities as logical-mathematical reasoning, imagination, and abstraction in a creative manner.
In the following parts of this article, we are going to resort to two examples of games to consider the world of metaverses. One of them - Myst Uru-live - opens up ways for the collective construction of knowledge and the other, the academic game Ilha Cabu, poses a paradigm of transposition of puzzles into metaverses. These two examples will help us grasp the epistemological possibilities displayed by puzzles as a means for broadening horizons and enabling several forms of thinking (lateral thinking) in metaverses.