Friday, January 19, 2007

Chick-sent-me-high-ee: Playing flOw theory

In doing my background research a couple of weeks ago on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "Chick-sent-me-high-ee") (see Comps Part I for details) and his increasingly famous "flow" theory (of play and everyday life), I came across an MFA project that had seemingly quite successfully articulated the theory in game-form, resulting in a widely acclaimed online game entitled flOw. It was among the nominees who pulled out of the Slamdance Geurilla Gamemaker Competition in solidarity with Super Columbine Massacre (who were dropped from the running due to controversy). The game (flOw that is) has since been picked up for expansion and distribution on the PS3, which is pretty awesome for an MFA project AND still quite rare for an online game. Congrats to Jenova Chen (the game's creator) for rocking my worldview of grad school and making my comps preparations that much more enjoyable. For what better way to explore theories of play than to see them applied in the creation of a gameplay experience!

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