Jenova Chen, Nick Clark & Austin Wintory

11 August 2007

Jenova Chen, Nick Clark, Austin Wintory / thatgamecompany / 2007 / USA For Sony PlayStation 3 Console Systems

flOw is the result of Jenova Chen’s 2006 masters thesis at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Department of Interactive Media. Chen had been studying psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow theory, which describes a state people are thought to achieve when skill set and challenge are perfectly matched, thus inducing a sense of timelessness and an ability to perform at peak levels. flOw seeks to bring players to this state. Despite its classic Pac-Man eat-or-be-eaten scenario, flOw is supremely tranquil. It accomplishes this in part by allowing the level of difficulty to be adjusted automatically and continuously through the gameplay. Originally developed on a small budget using Adobe Flash technology, a new version of flOw was commissioned and co-produced by Sony Computer Entertainment for download to its PlayStation 3 console system.