Author Affiliations: Alloy Ventures and Seriosity Inc, Palo Alto, California (Dr Read); and School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (Dr Shortell).
Anyone who has observed someone deeply absorbed in a video game can appreciate that use of these games is a uniquely powerful interaction. For the player, time stands still and self-consciousness disappears. Csikszentmihalyi described this state as “flow.”1 His concept was exemplified by mountain climbers living in the moment of ascent or surgeons lost in a delicate and demanding task. He could just as well have been describing what happens when individuals engage with some of today's interactive games.
Read JL, Shortell SM. Interactive Games to Promote Behavior Change in Prevention and Treatment. JAMA. 2011;305(16):1704-1705. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.408