Flow Fun! (Games)
Psychologist and anthropologist – divided all games into 4 categories:
Games that are competitive in nature, like most sports and athletic events, participants pit skills against skills.
Chance is the defining feature; Aleatory games are enjoyable because they give the illusion of controlling the future.
Consciousness altering experiences via by scrambled perception – Any activity that transforms the way we perceive reality is enjoyable.
Activities in which alternative realities are created; dance, theater, the arts etc – make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves.
All games provide a sense of transporting one’s self into a new reality, much like how Flow has been described.
THE AUTOTELIC PERSONALITY
The question at hand is this;
Do all people have the same potential to control their consciousness?
And if not, what distinguishes those who can achieve Flow easily from those who cannot?
Here are a few things to think about-
- Attentional disorders:
– when a person cannot control their attention they cannot attain flow
– Schizophrenic individuals have ‘over inclusion’ of stimuli due to a neurological pathology.
- Chronic Stress:
– attention is too erratic to get involved and enjoy a moment.
– attention is too tightly controlled around the image of the self.
- Individuals who can enjoy themselves anywhere have the ability to focus on what is important at the time.
- These people pay close attention to minute details of their daily lie and environment, and in this way they are able to discover new and unique opportunities for enjoyment, or Flow.
- The actions these individuals choose are ones suitably challenging for whatever situation they find themselves in,
- These individuals constantly monitor their progress through some sort of feedback.
- When adversity strikes, these people invest their attention in areas that are positive and constructive -they are not motivated by external factors, but internal ones.
“The most important trait of survivors is a “non-selfconscious individualism,” or a strongly directed purpose that is not self-seeking.”
– Bruno Bettelheim
THE AUTOTELIC FAMILY
Optimal experience in a family setting is not impossible, try to incorporate these five characteristics and you will be well on your way to Family Fun!
- Children need to know what is expect from them—goals and feedback in the family interaction are important
- Children need to think that their parents are interested in what they are doing, in their feelings and experiences.
- Children need to feel they have a variety of possibilities to choose from – this includes breaking rules (as long as they can also accept that their actions have consequences).
- Children need to build trust in others, which allows them to feel comfortable enough in a given situation to become totally involved in whatever they are interested in.
- Parents need to be dedicated enough to provide increasingly complex opportunities for their children. Just like how a good coach adjusts the challenge for their athlete day by day.
> These five characteristics parallel the dimensions of the Flow Experience <
The child who grows up with clear goals and good communication / feedback will also have a feeling of control over their lives.
Setting up an Autotelic family life will encourage focus and increase intrinsic motivation, over and above their increased access to the Flow Experience.
Furthermore these families conserve a great deal of energy by making it possible to increase enjoyment in all aspects of life. (i.e. less fighting!)
“Children who know what they can and cannot do, who do not have to constantly argue about rules and controls, who are not worried about their parents’ expectations for future success always hanging over their heads, are released from many of the attentional demands that more chaotic households generate.”
– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
You are now armed with some valuable knowledge.
With the basics of what makes games fun you can turn LIFE into any game of your choosing.
More than that, you can choose to set up your life such that it positively affects the ‘Flow chances’ of those closest to you.
What more could you want?
Martin Colangelo : “The Better Movement Specialist”
– Blog Author
Owner / Instructor @
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