Another tactic for inducing flow in games

In Gamasutra's latest feature, Badgeville's Tony Ventrice cites research which suggests that flow only comes with mastery, and posits two techniques for bringing players into the state.
In Gamasutra's latest feature, Tony Ventrice with gamification platform developer Badgeville cites research which suggests that flow only comes with mastery, and posits two techniques for bringing players into the state. "Flow" is the psychological concept of being fully immersed and engaged in an activity. Ventrice writes that for those who have mastery over a task, their performance is automatic -- and that allows them to slip into a flow state. When researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi originally devised the concept, his "early subjects were artists performing tasks that would certainly seem difficult to an observer with no advanced talent in the field of painting." But they had mastered the actual skills involved and were able to engage in the task of painting as an automatic learned process. So how can we get gamers into this state? Ventrice posits two methods: "Previous games. In this case, the game implicitly requires a sophisticated set of skills learned from past games, such as a new FPS that assumes hundreds of hours spent playing previous shooters." "Innate human skills. In this case, the game relies on skills most humans have acquired unknowingly through thousands of hours of simply being alive. Anyone who's played Where's Waldo was probably, even at a young age, immediately engrossed in spotting that little striped hat and jacket like a pro." He goes into further details on this, more research on flow, and also into what games and art appreciation have in common in the new feature, which is live now on Gamasutra.

Latest Jobs


Vancouver, BC, Canada

Bladework games

Remote (United States)
Senior Gameplay Engineer

University of Canterbury

Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Academic in Game Arts and Animation

Fred Rogers Productions

Hybrid (424 South 27th Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Producer - Games & Websites
More Jobs   


Explore the
Advertise with
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Advertise with

Game Developer

Engage game professionals and drive sales using an array of Game Developer media solutions to meet your objectives.

Learn More
Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more