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Monday, July 10, 2006
Flow in Games - A Thesis
1:34 PM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

An interesting project recently brought to our attention centers around an MFA thesis that seeks to apply Flow Theory to game design. Currently displayed in a site named Flow in Games by researcher Jenova Chen, the thesis attempts to, among other things, demonstrate that Flow Theory can be applied to games to create experiences for a wide range of gamers as well as non-gamers.

The goal for this site and Jenova Chen's MFA thesis research is to explore and develop different design techniques to enhance the Flow experience in video games. It includes genetic Flow design theories & processes, analysis of the existing games' Flow system and examples of how to implement Flow with these techniques.
Along with an explanation on Flow Theory as well as exposition on the thesis, the Flow in Games site features a web-based game titled flOw that implements Flow Theory, giving players an interesting experience:
As part of Jenova Chen's thesis research, flOw inherits an embedded design of active DDA (dynamic difficulty adjustment), players with differing skill levels can intuitively customize their experiences in the zone and enjoy the game at their own pace. "Addicting" is the most common word its fans use to describe it.
flOw has already won a few accolades, including Edge magazine's Internet Game of the Month for May 06 as well as a spot in the Experimental Gameplay Workshop at this year's Game Developer's Conference. Readers are highly encouraged to check out the unique experience it offers.

Flow in Games

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