As you may know, the concept of play is very important to me. I feel that it is one of the true keys to engagement in adults, but as I was speaking about recently, adults often have no idea how to play. They have the intrinsic desire to play battered out of them by the “real” world. Unlike children, they don’t see the potential for play in the world around them. Some blame work for this – they often say that the opposite of play is work. However, I prefer to go with Dr. Stuart Brown’s (founder of the National Institute of Play) analysis in this case, that the opposite of play is actually depression.
Flow. A popular concept in gamification, goodness knows I have spoken about it often enough – just last week in fact. It was that article that actually made me realise that there is a distinct misunderstanding of flow as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi describes it.
The image below is how we in gamification tend to view it, our simplified version.
We talk about the Flow Channel, the point where skill level and challenge level are in a good balance. So this would mean that Flow could be achieved when you have a balanced low skill and low chalenge. However, when we look at how Mihály Csíkszentmihályi originally described it, that would actually be apathy – not a state we want for our users!