*notcot in tech , 23:20

Flow PS3- 03.24.07

I’m sure you’ve heard about flOw. It’s been hard to miss… as that $7.99 download game on the PS3, i thought the trailer (see below) looked impressive, and the concept incredible, but in all honesty, it alone made purchasing the PS3 and HDMI cable totally worth it. It is the most mesmerizingly beautiful game i’ve ever played. There is something visually inspiring about the simplicity and fluidity of the game play… particularly using the ps3 controller over the flash version. Playing it on a 42” in HD and surround sound is stunning, and you really can lose yourself in the space for hours… it would make the ultimate interactive projection wall in the future studio.

More on the history below… but here’s the short version ~ it has come a long way from the USC MFA project it started as…


(excerpts from the flOw site)
flOw is based on a Flash game developed by Jenova Chen, Nick Clark, and Austin Wintory in completion for Chen’s master’s thesis project at USC, School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media Division.

Based on the psychology theory, Flow, the goal for Jenova Chen’s MFA thesis research was to explore and develop different design techniques to enhance the Flow experience in video games. Originating as a practice and testbed for the Embedded Difficulty Adjustment theory formulated in Jenova Chen’s game design thesis, flOw was a web based game designed to attract a wider audience, allowing players with different tastes to enjoy the experience in their own way.

View Jenova Chen’s Thesis.

What is Flow Theory?
(From Wikipedia)

With Flow the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi names the feeling of complete and energized focus in an activity, with a high level of enjoyment and fulfillment.As Csikszentmihalyi sees it, the components of a Flow producing activity are:

* We are up to the activity.
* We are able to concentrate on the activity.
* The activity has clear goals.
* The activity has direct feedback.
* We feel that we control the activity.
* Our worries and concerns disappear.
* Our subjective experience of time is altered.

Not all of these components need to be present together for Flow to be experienced.

I love this definition of the Flow zone: “In order to maintain the Flow experience, people need to adjust their experience, balance the challenges to their abilities, keep themselves in a safe zone where pyschic entropies like anxiety and boredom would not occur.”

Anyhow, i’m smitten with the game visually and conceptually ~ and am off to finish reading the thesis and more on flow theory ~ some fascinating applications to be applied to user experiences beyond gaming, tutoring, sports, etc…

Also, as a quick experiment of the isight on my mac book pro, testing how well it can record the hd tv ~ and my first youtube upload… here’s a quick clip of one of my favorit parts of flOw so far…

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3 Notes

the good folks @ thatgamecompany are actually working on releasing the soundtrack: http://www.thatgamecompany.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=600
if you like to toggle between aggression and flow also try army of two:

----- Maria 22.03.08 13:28

whats the song in the top trailer? ive trying to get for a long time .

----- espi 22.09.07 20:34

the song in that is amazing, i want the soundtrack :)

----- Anonymous 10.04.07 16:05

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