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Video Games Achieving a Higher Level of Flow

The Turtle

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My English Composition 2 class is based on arguments and there are many arguments in the real world about gaming. I will be posting this essay and my other 3 essays in my blogs for those people who would want/care to read them. For this essay, I was supposed to analyze the argument made by a certain author.

Video Games Achieving a Higher Level of Flow

“Flow is the integration of a clear goal, feedback, a match between challenge and skill, concentration, focus, control, loss of self-consciousness, transformation of time, and the activity’s autotelic nature,” (169). In simpler terms, flow is the feeling of success one receives when a certain goal is met or succeeded. Flow is most commonly found in artists, athletes, and surgeons. When an artist finishes a masterpiece for others to see, a high level of flow is achieved. When an athlete wins a game or surpasses a certain challenge, flow is also found. While performing surgery on a patient, a surgeon is experiencing a gratifying feeling of flow. In her article ‘‘‘Toward Integrative Models of Flow’:

Effects of Performance, Skill, Challenge, Playfulness, and Presence on Flow in Video Games,” Seung-A Annie Jin writes about flow also being found in video games. Jin main goal is to convince readers to include playing video games as an activity that produces higher levels of flow.

Jin’s article was arranged very well in all aspects. In my opinion, her supporting evidence of her article was the most crucial part of her whole article. She showed many studies and examples of how high levels of flow are achieved through video games. Statistics and graphical data we’re also excellently used in the explanation of her argument. Some of the most difficult parts of the text to understand were some of the data in her graphs. The explanation of the way she measured flow was very complex and confusing at some points. Despite the somewhat confusing graphs, the explanations of the steps of her experiments were clear and concise. The parts that specifically appealed to me were her data on medical-simulation and music games. Most of the time, those two genres of video games aren’t even included in other arguments. This data really helped show how all types of video games help players achieve the highest levels of flow.

The author of the article seems to have a very high level of education. Her vocabulary is full of words that would only be found in those who are considered masters in their professions. The author also writes like she, herself, is a fellow gamer. “The time spent on playing ‘Call of Duty: World at War™’ and ‘James Bond 007™’ is much longer for players who survive (succeed) than those who die soon into the game (fail),” (171). This quote includes some real game-related examples that appeal to fellow gamers. “Electronic games allow users to engage in artistic creation and medical simulation, play musical instruments and sports, and participate in other engrossing enterprises,” (170). This quote shows how she is also speaking to those who do not necessarily play video games. The fact that she is arguing for this cause gives readers a sense of connection to her. She may write like she is a gamer, but to those who do not know a lot about games, it may just seem like she is speaking with a higher level of vocabulary. The fact that she is a gamer gives her readers a sense of comfort in the fact that she not only includes hardcore facts but also includes examples of real in-game situations. The fact that she is both a gamer and a renowned researcher improves her argument greatly.

The fact that the author is also a gamer could possibly be limiting her argument. Jin may be blinded to the other side of the argument and could potentially mislead the audience on some parts of the argument. In some instances, the author’s use of vocabulary limits her message. There are many points in the article where a clearer word-choice could have been used. She refers to videogames having “abundant multimodal (visual, aural, and haptic) information that screens out distractions and facilitates concentration,” (170). In this quote she could have just said that the senses of sight, hearing, and touch contribute to the sense of “getting away” that players experience when playing video games. I feel that if she could’ve explained some of her points and taken into account a less-educated reader, her audience for the article could have been much broader. The fact that video games are looked down upon in society also limits her argument. Some potential readers may not even glance at her article after they read the words video games. She should’ve just used a title with flow. Then the potential readers could have been interested in flow in the topics of athletics, art, and surgery and then have been inclined to read more into her article. There may have been quite a few things that limited her argument but overall she did a very good job in justifying her point.

The author seems to have been personally interested in the topic before writing the argument. Jin seems to have previously done multiple experiments and articles on the subjects of video games and flow. I think the acts of society and the outcast of gamers caused Jin to write about this topic. In part of her argument, I almost feel the anger and the persistence of the author in her writing. As a reader, I felt the passion behind her argument. This passion helped me relate to her and to better understand her argument. I feel better educated about the topic than I was before reading the article. Jin did a phenomenal job in not only informing her readers but also in keeping them entertained throughout the article. The article had an even balance between qualitative and quantitative data. In her article, Jin is mostly writing to those with higher levels of education. Also, her audience is assumed to already have some knowledge on the topic of video games. She is most likely writing to other professors in her field or to those who research levels of flow in activities other than video games. Jin is showing her readers (assumed fellow players of video games) that playing video games is not just an activity to feel bad about doing. Some readers might view Jin’s article as not worth reading because of the words “video games” in the title. Many people in today’s society look down upon those who play video games and those who consider themselves “gamers.” I took personal interest in this article because it applied to me. I, being a gamer myself, understood most of the points made in her argument. She described games as giving the players concrete goals with rules, actions and opportunities that deal with users’ skill and capabilities and with a feedback system with multiple stimuli that cause concentration. These attributes of games are also found in other activities such as sports. As I previously stated, society looks down upon gamers but really, we’re just doing the same activities that athletes perform. Hopefully through this article and other ones like it, society will begin to understand why video games are so crucial to everyday life.

Jin’s argument about video games being a higher level of flow was overall very well done. She did have a few minor bumps that probably have lost her a few groups of readers. Over time, as more articles are published on a national scale, society will begin to understand the importance of her article and her research. This article is just one of many that I have personally read on the topic of video games and relating them the improvement of everyday life. Maybe one day soon, society will begin to accept video games as the norm and respect those who play them.

Works Cited

Jin, Seung-A Annie. "“Toward Integrative Models Of Flow”: Effects Of Performance, Skill,Challenge, Playfulness, And Presence On Flow In Video Games." Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 56.2 (2012): 169-186. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Sept. 2012.



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