…go with the flow

I have got to say, this is by far my favorite article that we have read for this class.  Although I agree with Dani that some parts were a bit confusing, I found myself agreeing with the majority of Whalen’s claims.  As always though, I particularly enjoyed the parts of this article that described aspects of videogames by referencing things that I find easier to relate to and understand.  For example, my favorite part of this article was his description of “flow.”  It is through this “distorted sense of time, or sense of freedom or abstraction” that scholars are able to analyze the communication involved in videogame music.  At first this was difficult for me to wrap my head around, even with his explanation referencing reading.  However, even though I am no star athlete, when he hinted that this concept of flow could be experienced through athletics, I began to understand it.  When I am playing an (what I believe to be) intense volleyball or basketball game, or even during a long run, I get so caught up in it that nothing else matters-my surroundings and physical sensations almost cease to exist.  I think this is why I end up finding scrapes and bruises the day after a basketball game without having any idea as to when they were created.  If Whalen is correct, as I believe him to be, and people get this same sensation when playing videogames, I feel that I owe “intense-gamers” some sort of apology for judging their extreme gaming habits.  For, if the “flow” they experience is anything like what I’m relating it to, I understand lacking the desire to ever stop.  As far as Whalen attributing the “flow” sensation largely to the music of the game, I am embarrassed to say that although I have played all the games we have been required to play, I have done so to the track of my ipod with the game sound on mute.  Perhaps this explains my lack of love of videogames? Who knows?… I promise to play all further games with the sound on and see where that leads me..

1 thought on “…go with the flow

  1. Professor Sample

    Yes, Whalen gives a nice overview of flow, which is a concept I’ve been wanting to get to this entire semester. I’d agree that flow is something both athletes and gamers (and those aren’t mutually exclusive categories!) experience. People can even experience flow in their work, if they’re doing something that’s thoroughly engaging with just the right amount of challenge.

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