Against Flow: Video Games and the Flowing Subject

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Against Flow: Video Games and the Flowing Subject

English | ISBN: 0262045508 | 2021 | 328 Pages | PDF | 5 MB

A critical discussion of the experience and theory of flow (as conceptualized by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) in video games.

Flow-as conceptualized by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi-describes an experience of “being in the zone,” of intense absorption in an activity. It is a central concept in the study of video games, although often applied somewhat uncritically. In Against Flow, Braxton Soderman takes a step back and offers a critical assessment of flow’s historical, theoretical, political, and ideological contexts in relation to video games. With close readings of games that implement and represent flow, Soderman not only evaluates the concept of flow in terms of video games but also presents a general critique of flow and its sibling, play.


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