Ever just get “in the zone” with a video game? Like it just clicks with you and it’s challenging enough to hold your interest but not too difficult as to get frustrating? This is a mental state called psychological flow, and it’s been studied in work, sports, and all kinds of play including video games.
Game developers often design with flow in mind, and getting players to that state is usually seen as the halmark of good game design. It involves dialing in just the right amount of challenge, making sure players know what they need to do, giving them clear feedback, and a few other things. But recently some researchers have begun to take an interest in how group dynamics and collaborative (or competitive) situations within groups affects flow. Do the rules change when groups are involved? This, along with psychological flow in general, will be the topic of this podcast episode. To help us I have Dr. Linda Kaye, a Senior Lecturer in the department of Psychology at Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom. She has studied flow in games and started probing into the topic of group flow.
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