aBeardOfBees t1_j7kv637 wrote

Yeah, there is a certain magical mix of qualities that an activity has to have to achieve flow. The examples always mention athletes and musicians as discussed above in this thread but video games have it too, but only in some situations. The game has to:

  • Be sufficiently difficult that it demands expertise and mastery to perform well

  • Be fast paced enough that it occupies your entire mind when playing (no room for your mind to wander)

  • Have a continual feedback loop of mastery and focus = reward, from moment to moment. So you are always occupied with doing well right now.

  • Be something you are an 'expert' at, in other words that you can perform the actual mechanics of the game (say, going from intending to cast a spell to casting that spell) without ANY conscious thought, leaving your mind to focus on the higher order mastery of decision making.

The only things that have ever given me this are Dota and Street Fighter!


aBeardOfBees t1_j7jpqgc wrote

I haven't played for a long time but I used to experience flow with the game Dota 2. It is so difficult and all consuming that after a match which could have been anywhere from 30-60 minutes, I'd emerge and realise I'd had almost zero thoughts about anything other than the game in that whole time. It's so deeply relaxing and refreshing.