Sunday, June 18, 2006


There's a fun game on the interweb called, quite elegantly, Flow. It's based around the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (yeah, you just try and pronounce that name!!!). Flow has eight basic tenets:

  1. A challenge activity that requires skills
  2. The merging of action and awareness
  3. Clear goals
  4. Direct feedback
  5. Concentration on the task at hand
  6. The sense of control
  7. The loss of self-consciousness
  8. The transformation of time

When most of these criteria are met, a person experiences "flow."

Implementing more flow in ones life is probably the best way to get things done AND to enjoy life. I'm going to try and apply some of these principles creatively to areas of my life and see how that turns out.

For a great example of how flow might have made school more fun, here's an excerpt of how the GRE's have been made more interesting and fun:

The concept of player-oriented DDA also known as active DDA is a powerful design tool applicable not only in video games.

It can be applied to nearly any fields where there are human interactions. For example, if active DDA is applied to GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test rather than its original passive DDA, here will be the changes.

  1. There is no cap for the total score. Students can gain as much score as possible during the test period. Therefore, even top students can still challenge themselves every time they take test.
  2. Students should be able to see scores gained through each questions and feel the joy of answering them correctly, which encourages them to do more.
  3. The difficulty and the score of each question should be related. More challenge equals more reward.
  4. Student should be able to sense the difficulty of each question and have the control to skip hard questions.

And you can imagine how the overall experience will change from a passive question after question based test into an active free roaming score collecting contest.

Imagine how much more fun school would be for the "gifted" (read slightly faster at picking things up) crowd if these ideas were implemented in school. I suppose that's years of, but maybe someday.

Just thought I'd share this little gem. Good luck flowing through life.

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