Flow

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

When working with workshop facilitation it can be meaningful to use the flow experience as a goal for both the workshop process and the larp experience itself. According to the danish chaos pilots Andreas Breiler and Jonas Michanek, four central factors should be addressed when trying to achieve flow. In my experience it is productive to translate these into the design of workshops and larps.

Information
Providing the information players need to be able to co-develop and play the larp is crucial for a collective experience of flow. In other words, the players need to understand what the purpose of the larp is and what they are supposed to experience, if not necessarily the purpose of every exercise. The reason for this is, that workshops can productively be seen as rehearsals of the larp experience, and it thus becomes important that the rehearsals are aimed towards improving a specific larp experience.

Physical environment
Creating a comfortable physical environment is important for the players to feel that they can express themselves and for them to be active during your workshop. Some aspects to think about is to have lots of breaks, to use large and well-lit rooms, to ensure fresh air and to have some sort of catering (fruit and water will often suffice) during your workshop.

Mental environment
It is important that the workshop feels like a safe space for the players and as an organizer you need to be attentive to the needs of both the group as a whole and specific players. Use group building exercises to make your players get to know one another and feel that they can express themselves in the ensemble and work with active participation (co-design) when developing the larp to give the players a sense of ownership.

Methods
The methods you use at your workshop is vital to the result and your workshop methods should be planned from the offset of the larp experience that you want to create. Depending on the kind of workshop you are designing you can apply many different methods. See the methods page for further description of the different aspects of a workshop.

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