As usual I’m bunching up a load of blog updates at once because I’ve not been keeping things up to date (again!). So anyway…. In conclusion, my essay turned out ok. The main focus became about exploring how creativity can be encouraged using computer games. I had a complete revision of what my idea of creativity was… going from it being about expressing yourself in a visual or audio way to entering a state of mind where you can challenge the accepted norms and find new solutions to problems you find. This is a much more interesting definition of creativity as it allows for self expression but doesn’t exclude other kinds of innovative thinking. I think that perhaps the creative thinking in a broader sense can perhaps lead on to the more expressive stuff.
One of the other interesting elements of research I found was the connection between the methods games use to engage players and the concept of Flow, which is a state of mind where concentration is focused on one task and distractions fade into the background. It has some connections with the state of meditation and can sometimes be experienced by gamers even when they are playing games that are simulating highly stressful situations. I have personal experience of this strange experience, one of the best examples is a game called Burnout 3 where you race aggressively against other drivers at incredible speeds through streets of oncoming traffic. The experience is a bombastic as it sounds and yet it can be strangely relaxing. It wasn’t until I had a better understanding of how you enter the state of flow and how games have come to tap into that state that I really understood why such a seeming contradiction could exist. Anyways, here’s the link to it if you feel like having a wee gander: Garry_Whitton_R_O_P_Report