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Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following nine factors as accompanying an experience of flow:and then this:
1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.
2. Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
9. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.
Not all are needed for flow to be experienced.
Csíkszentmihályi suggests several ways in which a group could work together so that each individual member could achieve flow. The characteristics of such a group include:How does this apply to roleplaying? How can we achieve flow when gaming? Gimme some thoughts!
Creative spatial arrangements: Chairs, pin walls, charts, but no tables; thus work primarily standing and moving.
Playground design: Charts for information inputs, flow graphs, project summary, craziness (here also craziness has a place), safe place (here all may say what is otherwise only thought), result wall, open topics
Parallel, organized working
Target group focus
Advancement of existing one (prototyping)
Increase in efficiency through visualization
Existence of differences among participants represents an opportunity, rather than an obstacle.