Serenity in Games

I found this post on Slashdot a few days ago. In essence, Jenova Chen a USC grad created a neat little game called Flow . Jenova wrote the Flash game for his thesis on “flow” or total immersion in games. A great game immerse a player so that the person does not feel like he is playing. From personal experience, if I play a favourite game like say Half-Life 2, I am not playing a game. I feel like I am the protagonist, trying to survive and shoot my way out of alien infested environments. Anyways try out Flow. Mr. Chen decided to build immersive games for non-gamers. I find Flow does exactly that. The ambient music, the glowing translucent graphics and ebbing movements, makes me feel like a bit of zooplankton floating in the sea. Eat, grow, survive and reproduce finally. Just the things an organism would do. More games should be this immersive, addictive, simple, challenging, fun and easy to pick up. Even Sony liked Flow, and asked Mr. Chen’s company to make a 3D version for download on the PS3. Impressive. Then again, I find myself gravitating towards more unique, abstract and non-genre games. Judging by the success of Introversion’s Uplink, Darwinia and Defcon games, I believe other gamers feel the same way.