The text or story
A story connected to a doll or figure can be borrowed from all sorts of sources: fairy tales, myths, books, PC games, films, TV series, everyday events, etc.
For the doll to become interesting for the user as a figure, the story must have a clear message and an intelligible story line communicated via simple imagery. The main characters in the story are the index. The imagery communicates the main characters as icons which are in turn symbolised in material terms by the identical mass-produced dolls.
The individual protagonist is also a semiotic phenomenon, a primary sign for positive or negative personal characteristics associated with his or her personality.
As an object the protagonist is identical with the case or the problem presented by the story, dependent on the interpretation of the situation - or space for interpretation - which the interpretant attributes to the relationship between sign and object.
The story includes (simple) social rituals which are characteristically based on any chosen culture’s visible and central codes and conventions (sometimes on the prejudices shouldering historical conflicts). All stories and narratives seek to test out reality through fantasy, weighing them up against “real life”, facts, Natural laws and demonstrable perspectives on the one hand and dreams, illusions, fantasies and play on the other.
The narrative flow of the story “mimics” episodes from real life but simultaneously facilitates fiction. The fictional narrative can be enriched with scenes from one’s own life and thus reality can be observed from a distance in a playful dialogue with fiction.
The story always starts by outlining clear starting points and then paves the way for the unpredictable, chaos, dissolution and finally reconstruction. Playing out the story later, the person-at-play tests the boundaries between familiar and unfamiliar, between reality and fantasy and he reconstructs or repeats the familiar, stable cultural norms and regulations. By doing this, the person-at-play or user of the dolls is able to confirm the codes which are preconditions for the story.
A good story which is selected in order to text play has a natural emotional appeal to the person-at-play. The special appeal of a good story is, however, that it enables the person-at-play to master or control something on the border to not being able to master or control it, to be close to catastrophe or chaos without really being close to either. As mentioned, many stories contain a myriad of primary signs which - in pedagogical terms - mean that the person who plays with the objects (the dolls) is forced to interpret the dolls’ (the objects’) situation. And this means that the person-at-play is tempted to imagine himself in others’ situations.