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Gamasutra - Features - Cognitive Flow: The Psychology of Great Game Design

Stashed in: Flow

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While in these states, people experience:

Extreme focus on a task.

A sense of active control.

Merging of action and awareness.

Loss of self-awareness.

Distortion of the experience of time.

The experience of the task being the only necessary justification for continuing it.

Csikszentmihalyi also outlined four characteristics found in tasks that drive an equilibrium between skill and difficulty, thus increasing the probability of Flow states. Specifically, these are tasks that:

Have concrete goals with manageable rules.

Demand actions to achieve goals that fit within the person's capabilities.

Have clear and timely feedback on performance and goal accomplishment.

Diminish extraneous distraction, thus facilitating concentration.

For more about Flow, see my Flow stash:

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