“Flow” down the mountain

Friend of the class Chris Gerben (founder of the “How I Write” series at UM) sends along this extremely timely link to a Huffington post article that contains what he calls “a hippy-dippy” take on Flow, one of the motivational theories we are reading about for class. Enjoy!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. jrubel
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 20:29:20

    Csikszentmihalyi (1997) theorized that the experience of flow occurs when there is a balance between an individual’s skill and the difficulty of the task at hand. If the balance does not exist, flow (or enjoyment) will not occur. However, the concept of the media, specifically television, has brought a lot of controversy to the idea of flow. Researcher and positive psychologist at the University of Michigan, Chris Peterson, suggests that activities such as viewing TV are routine and typical. Thus, such activities do not create flow, since it does not present moderately high levels of challenges and skill.

    However, video games have certain conditions that facilitate the flow experience, such as a balance between challenge and skill, goal clarity, and progress feedback. This article discusses how it is a balance between individual differences in cognitive abilities and media message challenges that explain the enjoyment of media use. The author specifically presents the case of video game usage as an example.

    Do you think that video games produce the same levels of flow as other activities, such as focused concentration, intrinsic rewards, a loss of time, a loss of self-consciousness, etc.?

    Here if the full article: http://icagames.comm.msu.edu/flow.pdf


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