Although Burnout Paradise has been around for quite a while now, it remains one of the best racing games that enable the player to enter a state of flow. This is due to it throwing the player strait in to game environment without the need for a menu or an options screen, and if you want to join an online event you can do so seamlessly.
Being in control of a car or motorcycle and participating in racing events puts Burnout Paradise in to the mimicry and Agon categories and with the added on screen sensation of speed, jumps and stunts there is the added element of Illinx (disorientation).
Paper Toss is a fun casual game in which you throw crumpled up pieces of paper in to a waste paper bin, this is visualized from a first person view giving the impression that you are at work or at an airport etc. and are you are bored, so you play a game to pass the time, demonstrating the category of mimicry.
There is a reward system based upon achieving a higher score than your previous attempt, this is indicated by a visual score board and by an audible ‘crowd cheer’. To hamper your efforts of gaining a high score the waste paper bin is situated at different degrees of distance, depending on the difficulty level the player chose, an electric fan is also placed in various locations which has a varying wind speed designed to blow your paper projectile off course. These two elements place Paper Toss in to the Illinx and Agon game categories, as theorized by Roger Caillois.
Super hexagon is a maze type game that is very challenging (Agon) and short in playing length per level. The maze’s pathway emits from the outside edges of the screen towards the centre whilst rotating, flashing, changing colour, pulsating and changing speed, this makes the game very disorientating (Illinx) and adds an element of chance (Alea) to the gameplay too.
Because the game life span is so short, the levels are difficult and disorientating I failed to enter a state of flow. I found myself just turning the game off through frustration.
In Nightmare: Malaria you play the part of Anna, a little girl who is trapped within the nightmare of being within her own bloodstream that is infected with malaria, your objective is to rescue the teddy bears in each level in order to progress to other levels whilst avoiding mosquito’s and infected pools.
As you are playing the role of a little girl in a nightmare world, Nightmare can be placed in to the mimicry and Ilinx (disorientation) categories of Caillois’ theory of games.
The mechanics of player movement have an aspect of disorientation too; Anna is within her own blood stream so her movements represent this, she floats slightly when jumping this makes adds a further element of competitiveness (Agon) to the game.
Nightmare: Malaria was created by Psyop and Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), and acts as a platform to raise awareness of the work done by AMF to help preventing malaria related deaths.
Super Mario World
To me Super Mario World is the standard that all platform games are measured against, it offers all of the elements that make a classic platform game which include a vast and varied design and layout of levels, different antagonist’s with varying defence and offence characteristics and the ability to add and change the players attacking powers.
Super Mario World fits into several of Rodger Caillois’ categories of games, mimicry is evident in this game, as you play the part of Mario or Luigi working their way through many challenging and sometimes disorientating levels in order to rescue Princess Toadstool.
Gravity is based around carrying out missions in space on the international space station. Because you are an astronaut in space the controls are quite disorientating (Illinx) due to the effects of zero gravity, because of this it is also quite challenging (Agon). The makers of this game have worked to make it look like the movie and is therefore fairly realistic looking, the game physics and controls work well making it a very mimicry orientated game.
Console Game: Far Cry 3.
Far Cry 3 is a great open world adventure game that also brings RPG elements usually found in games such as Skyrim.
Mimicry is the main category for this game, your character is on holiday with friends on a remote tropical island when they are kidnapped by a criminal gang, you find yourself being held captive and then have to escape and eventually rescue your surviving friends. The makers of this game have gone a very long way to add the sort of things that may be found on a tropical island, from being attacked by the native animals that in habit the islands to learning to hunt these animals for their skins to make equipment. You also befriend people along the way in order to aid your rescue effort. I think with the game view being first person, it makes it feel more realistic and easily draws you into a state of flow.
Agon is also a major category because the main objective of this game is that you are trying to find and rescue your friends from criminals there are a lot of competitive shoot outs between you and the enemy, as well as hand to hand combat and the added challenge of getting around the islands without being eaten by the wildlife; this is also where Alea (chance) is present.
Far Cry 3 also features lots of side missions and quests to give a more varied game play structure, you can even take part in poker games in various locations around the islands this adds an even higher level of Mimicry and Alea to the game.
Illinx (disorientation) is the final of Caillois theory of game category that Far Cry 3 fits into, apart from being on jet skis, hang gliding and parachuting and the disorientation that comes with those, your character is also often under the influence of mind altering drugs, some of these episodes lead to flashbacks that explain how you came to be in the situation that you are in and others are designed to make fighting an enemy or navigating through an environment more difficult.
Superheroes is a game that me and my 4 year old son play almost every day, it mostly involves me being the ‘baddie guy’ or a zombie and my son being a superhero. Children see superheroes in games and movies, and so they role-play based upon what they have seen and heard and make a game from this.
This sort play falls into the Mimicry category of games, and although I don’t really enter a state of flow whist playing it is obvious that my son does.
Young children in particular mimic what they see and experience both in real life and what they see on television and in video games. Role-playing is fundamental for both cognition and social skill development within a young child.
Can You Escape 2.
Can you Escape 2 is a puzzle game for mobile devices which falls in to the Agon and Mimicry categories of games.
Mimicry is the first obvious category here because you start each level trapped within a room and have to search the room for items in order to solve clues which in turn help you escape the room.
As you search the room for clues Agon (competitive) becomes more obvious as puzzles need to be solved in order to receive items to store in you inventory.
Although this game is not particularly difficult it does require you to use your brain in various ways; i.e. maths and memory.
A certain amount of Alea (chance) is also present here too, as some of the puzzles and items are and need to be literary stumbled upon.
You can fall in to a state of flow quite easily in this game (you want to escape) but with only ten levels it is too short at the moment.
Badland is a beautiful looking side scrolling game made by Frogmind that I have been playing for a couple of days on my mobile phone. The aim of this game is to guide a small creature through the forest which is littered with dangerous obstacles such as saw blades and falling rocks in order to reach a transportation tube that takes you to the next level. Along the way your creature gathers ‘power ups’ which aid and hamper your progression through the level. The controls are as basic as they possibly could be, it is self scrolling and simply touching anywhere on the screen ascends the creature and to descend just stop touching the screen. With the controls being so simple you can just concentrate upon navigating through the forest and thus allows a decent amount of time to pass by without realizing it. The obstacles that obstruct you provide a competitive element to the game, whilst the various collected power ups disorientate the game play in several ways. The free version gives 40 levels to conquer, I like it.