A game engine is a software-development environment designed for people to build video games. Developers use game engines to construct games for consoles, mobile devices, personal computers; the core functionality provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection, scripting, artificial intelligence, streaming, memory management, localization support, scene graph, may include video support for cinematics. Implementers economize on the process of game development by reusing/adapting, in large part, the same game engine to produce different games or to aid in porting games to multiple platforms. In many cases game engines provide a suite of visual development tools in addition to reusable software components; these tools are provided in an integrated development environment to enable simplified, rapid development of games in a data-driven manner. Game engine developers attempt to "pre-invent the wheel" by developing robust software suites which include many elements a game developer may need to build a game.
Most game engine suites provide facilities that ease development, such as graphics, physics and AI functions. These game engines are sometimes called "middleware" because, as with the business sense of the term, they provide a flexible and reusable software platform which provides all the core functionality needed, right out of the box, to develop a game application while reducing costs and time-to-market — all critical factors in the competitive video game industry; as of 2001, Gamebryo, JMonkeyEngine and RenderWare were such used middleware programs. Like other types of middleware, game engines provide platform abstraction, allowing the same game to be run on various platforms including game consoles and personal computers with few, if any, changes made to the game source code. Game engines are designed with a component-based architecture that allows specific systems in the engine to be replaced or extended with more specialized game middleware components; some game engines are designed as a series of loosely connected game middleware components that can be selectively combined to create a custom engine, instead of the more common approach of extending or customizing a flexible integrated product.
However extensibility is achieved, it remains a high priority for game engines due to the wide variety of uses for which they are applied. Despite the specificity of the name, game engines are used for other kinds of interactive applications with real-time graphical needs such as marketing demos, architectural visualizations, training simulations, modeling environments; some game engines only provide real-time 3D rendering capabilities instead of the wide range of functionality needed by games. These engines rely upon the game developer to implement the rest of this functionality or assemble it from other game middleware components; these types of engines are referred to as a "graphics engine", "rendering engine", or "3D engine" instead of the more encompassing term "game engine". This terminology is inconsistently used as many full-featured 3D game engines are referred to as "3D engines". A few examples of graphics engines are: Crystal Space, Genesis3D, Irrlicht, OGRE, RealmForge, Truevision3D, Vision Engine.
Modern game or graphics engines provide a scene graph, an object-oriented representation of the 3D game world which simplifies game design and can be used for more efficient rendering of vast virtual worlds. As technology ages, the components of an engine may become outdated or insufficient for the requirements of a given project. Since the complexity of programming an new engine may result in unwanted delays, a development team may elect to update their existing engine with newer functionality or components; such a framework is composed of a multitude of different components. The actual game logic has to be implemented by some algorithms, it is distinct from sound or input work. The rendering engine generates animated 3D graphics by any of a number of methods. Instead of being programmed and compiled to be executed on the CPU or GPU directly, most rendering engines are built upon one or multiple rendering application programming interfaces, such as Direct3D, OpenGL, or Vulkan which provide a software abstraction of the graphics processing unit.
Low-level libraries such as DirectX, Simple DirectMedia Layer, OpenGL are commonly used in games as they provide hardware-independent access to other computer hardware such as input devices, network cards, sound cards. Before hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, software renderers had been used. Software rendering is still used in some modeling tools or for still-rendered images when visual accuracy is valued over real-time performance or when the computer hardware does not meet needs such as shader support. With the advent of hardware accelerated physics processing, various physics APIs such as PAL and the physics extensions of COLLADA became available to provide a software abstraction of the physics processing unit of different middleware providers and console platforms. Game engines can be written in any programming language like C++, C or Java, though each language is structurally different and may provide different levels of access to specific functions; the audio engine is the component which consists of algorithms related to the loading and output of sound through the client's speaker system.
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The PlayStation 3 is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles, it was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles; the console was first announced at E3 2005, was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium; the console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released, it no longer provided the hardware ability to run PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original version, featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software.
A Super Slim variation was released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console. During its early years, the system had a critically negative reception, due to its high price, a complex processor architecture and a lack of quality games, but was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and "untapped potential"; the reception would get more positive over time. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover after the introduction of the Slim model, its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released in November 2013. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed that sales of the PlayStation 3 were to be discontinued in New Zealand, but the system remained in production in other markets. Shipments of new units to Europe and Australia ended in March 2016, followed by North America which ended in October 2016. Heading into 2017, Japan was the last territory where new units were still being produced until May 29, 2017, when Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 was discontinued in Japan.
The PlayStation 3 began development in 2001 when Ken Kutaragi the President of Sony Computer Entertainment, announced that Sony, IBM would collaborate on developing the Cell microprocessor. At the time, Shuhei Yoshida led a group of programmers within this hardware team to explore next-generation game creation. By early 2005, focus within Sony shifted towards developing PS3 launch titles. Sony unveiled PlayStation 3 to the public on May 16, 2005, at E3 2005, along with a boomerang-shaped prototype design of the Sixaxis controller. A functional version of the system was not present there, nor at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005, although demonstrations were held at both events on software development kits and comparable personal computer hardware. Video footage based on the predicted PlayStation 3 specifications was shown; the initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports. Two hardware configurations were announced for the console: a 20 GB model and a 60 GB model, priced at US$499 and US$599, respectively.
The 60 GB model was to be the only configuration to feature an HDMI port, Wi-Fi internet, flash card readers and a chrome trim with the logo in silver. Both models were announced for a simultaneous worldwide release: November 11, 2006, for Japan and November 17, 2006, for North America and Europe. On September 6, 2006, Sony announced that PAL region PlayStation 3 launch would be delayed until March 2007, because of a shortage of materials used in the Blu-ray drive. At the Tokyo Game Show on September 22, 2006, Sony announced that it would include an HDMI port on the 20 GB system, but a chrome trim, flash card readers, silver logo and Wi-Fi would not be included; the launch price of the Japanese 20 GB model was reduced by over 20%, the 60 GB model was announced for an open pricing scheme in Japan. During the event, Sony showed 27 playable PS3 games running on final hardware. PlayStation 3 was first released in Japan on November 11, 2006, at 07:00. According to Media Create, 81,639 PS3 systems were sold within 24 hours of its introduction in Japan.
Soon after its release in Japan, PS3 was released in North America on November 17, 2006. Reports of violence surrounded the release of PS3. A customer was shot, campers were robbed at gunpoint, customers were shot in a drive-by shooting with BB guns, 60 campers fought over 10 systems; the console was planned for a global release through November, but at the start of September the release in Europe and the rest of the world was delayed until March. With it being a somewhat last-minute delay, some companies had taken deposits for pre-orders, at which Sony informed customers that they were eligible for full refunds or could continue the pre-order. On January 24, 2007, Sony announced that PlayStation 3 would go on sale on March 23, 2007, in Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand; the system sold about 600,000 units in its first two days. On March 7, 2007, the 60 GB PlayStation 3 launched in Singapore with a price of S$799; the console was launched in South Korea on June 16, 2007, as a single version equipped with an 80 GB hard drive and IPTV.
Following speculation that Sony was working on a'slim' model, Sony announced the PS3 CECH-2000 model on August 18, 2009, at the Sony Gamescom press conference
Xinghan Chen, known professionally as Jenova Chen, is a Chinese video game designer. He is the designer of the award-winning games Cloud, Flow and Journey, is co-founder of Thatgamecompany. Chen is from Shanghai, where he earned a bachelor's degree in computer science with a minor in digital art and design, he moved to the United States, where he earned a master's degree from the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division. While there he created Cloud and Flow, met fellow student Kellee Santiago. After a brief period at Maxis working on Spore, he founded Thatgamecompany with Santiago and became the company's creative director; the company signed a three-game deal with Sony Computer Entertainment, has sold Flow and Journey through the PlayStation Network. As Chen was born in a culture other than the culture he now lives in, he tries to make games that appeal universally to all people, his goal with his games is to help video games mature as a medium by making games that inspire emotional responses in the player that other games are lacking.
Although he and Thatgamecompany can and have made more traditional games, he does not plan on commercially developing any of them, as he does not think that it fits with their goals as an independent video game developer. Chen was born in Shanghai on October 8, 1981, lived there until 2003, his parents were "a middle-class family", his father worked in the software development industry, having worked on "one of the earliest giant computers in China". Although Chen was interested in art and drawing as a young child, his father influenced him towards computers, entering him in programming contests from when he was 10 years old, he found himself interested in video games that he saw there, but was not as enthusiastic about programming. While a teenager, he had deep emotional experiences with games that he played, including The Legend of Sword and Fairy, which he ascribes to the fact that he was not as exposed to books, films, or life events that other people would have had those experiences with.
These experiences drove him to try to create those types of feelings in games as an adult, when more emotional maturity had caused his "standards to rise" in what would move him in a game. It was during high school that he chose the English name Jenova after a character in Final Fantasy VII, wanting a name that would be unique anywhere he used it as there were "thousands of Jason Chens", he earned a degree in Computer Science & Engineering in Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which due to his background in computers he found "quite easy", but describes himself as spending much of his time there teaching himself digital art and animation, did a minor in digital art and design at Donghua University. Still interested in video games, he was involved in making three video games as part of a student group while in school. Upon graduating, he had trouble finding a job in the Chinese video game industry that combined his interests of "engineering and design", additionally felt that "very few games achieved those qualities that would be interesting to an adult".
He considered working in digital animation for films. He went to the United States to earn a master's degree in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Chen studied in a new division of the School of Cinematic Arts, his intention at the time was to use the degree to get the kind of job. At USC, he became inspired when he went to the Game Developers Conference, where he positively compared the games he had made in college with the student work present at the Independent Games Festival portion of the conference. While at USC he met Kellee Santiago, another student in the same program, the two decided to work together on games that would be outside of the mainstream, their first game, which won a grant of twenty thousand dollars from USC to produce, was Cloud, released in 2005, which "focuses on a young hospital patient who soars in his mind despite being trapped indoors". The idea was based on himself, as when he was a child he was hospitalized for asthma, it was designed as an attempt to "expand the spectrum of emotions video games evoke".
At a student showcase at the Game Developers Conference and Santiago showed the game to a representative from Sony, John Hight, saying that it was the first game in the "Zen" genre. Hight was interested; the game won the Best Student Philosophy award at the Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition and a Student Showcase award at the Independent Games Festival, was showcased on Spike TV, G4TV, CBS Sunday. Chen felt that the reason that Cloud had been so warmly received was because the emotions it sparked in players were different than any other game available at the time, believed that it was his "calling" to make more games that changed what people saw video games as. Chen went on to do his master's thesis the following year in the concept of dynamic difficulty adjustment, where the game adjusts how it reacts to the player based on the past and present actions of that player. Chen illustrated his ideas with Flow, a Flash game made with Nicholas Clark; the game involves the player guiding an aquatic microorganism through various depths of the ocean, consuming other organisms and evolving in the process.
It was released in March 2006. A PlayStation 3 version was announced in May 2006 as a downloadable game via the PlayStation Store, was released in February 2007. A version for the PlayStation Portable, developed by SuperV
An art game is a work of interactive new media digital software art as well as a member of the "art game" subgenre of the serious video game. The term "art game" was first used academically in 2002 and it has come to be understood as describing a video game designed to emphasize art or whose structure is intended to produce some kind of reaction in its audience. Art games are interactive and the result of artistic intent by the party offering the piece for consideration, they typically go out of their way to have a unique, unconventional look standing out for aesthetic beauty or complexity in design. The concept has been extended by some art theorists to the realm of modified gaming when modifications have been made to existing non-art games to produce graphic results intended to be viewed as an artistic display, as opposed to modifications intended to change game play scenarios or for storytelling. Modified games created for artistic purposes are sometimes referred to as "video game art". Art games are considered a means of demonstrating video games as works of art.
A definition of the art game was first proposed by Professor Tiffany Holmes in her 2003 paper for the Melbourne DAC Conference, "Arcade Classics Span Art? Current Trends in the Art Game Genre". Holmes defined the art game as "an interactive work humorous, by a visual artist that does one or more of the following: challenges cultural stereotypes, offers meaningful social or historical critique, or tells a story in a novel manner." The paper stated that an art game must contain at least two of the following: " a defined way to win or experience success in a mental challenge, passage through a series of levels, a central character or icon that represents the player." This definition was narrowed by Rebecca Cannon in an October 2003 paper where she highlighted the competitive, goal-oriented nature of the genre in defining art games as "compris an entire, playable game... Art games are always interactive—and that interactivity is based on the needs of competing Art games explore the game format as a new mode for structuring narrative, cultural critique."
In a 2015 article, Colombian video game theorist Carlos Díaz placed importance on the "reflection experience" as an integral aspect of the art game. This experience can pertain to a variety of cultural avenues, but it transcends the medium and its structure. Within the topic of the art game, further subdivisions have been proposed. In her 2003 paper, Holmes identified two common art game types as the "feminist art game", the "retro-styled art game". In 2005, art theorist Pippa Tshabalala née Stalker broadly defined the art game as "a video game PC as opposed to console based, that but not explores social or political issues through the medium of video games." She proposed two different categorical schemes to further subdivide the genre by type. Subdividing by theme, Stalker defined "aesthetic art games" to include "games that deal with using the game medium to express an artistic purpose," and she defined "political" or "agenda-based art games" as art games that "have some sort of ulterior motive other than aesthetics" and whose basis is in "using the medium of the computer games to bring an issue to the public's, or at least the art world's, attention in order to attract support and understanding for a cause."
Subdividing by type, Stalker identified the "art mod", the "physical manifestation art game", "machinima", "3D real-time game". The identification of art mods and machinima as forms of the art game conflicts with Cannon's definition of the art mod that highlights the non-interactive and non-competitive nature of these forms of media. Distinctions are drawn in describing the art game as a genre compared to traditional video game genres. Rather than describing the game on a surface level, descriptions focus on the artistic intent, as well as the execution and implementation of the gameplay. For instance, Bethesda's 2008 release Fallout 3 is considered to be a role-playing game with first-person shooter elements, but it could be considered to have elements consistent with art games—it implements moral player choices for the sole purpose of provoking emotion or thought in the player. There are several recent instances of video games that involve the characteristics of art games, such as Braid and Undertale.
Games like these aren't created or marketed under the classification of "art game", but are still created for artistic purposes that transcend their respective structures. The potentials and limitations of the medium are discovered as the video game industry develops, therefore resulting in the recent popularity of art game elements. If nothing else, the genre can be seen as a means to push the medium to its conceptual limit. Since the development of these early definitions, art theorists have emphasized the role of artistic intent and further definitions have emerged from both the art world and the video game world that draw a clear distinction be
The cell is the basic structural and biological unit of all known living organisms. A cell is the smallest unit of life. Cells are called the "building blocks of life"; the study of cells is called cellular biology. Cells consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane, which contains many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Organisms can be classified as multicellular; the number of cells in plants and animals varies from species to species, it has been estimated that humans contain somewhere around 40 trillion cells. Most plant and animal cells are visible only under a microscope, with dimensions between 1 and 100 micrometres. Cells were discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, who named them for their resemblance to cells inhabited by Christian monks in a monastery. Cell theory, first developed in 1839 by Matthias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, states that all organisms are composed of one or more cells, that cells are the fundamental unit of structure and function in all living organisms, that all cells come from pre-existing cells.
Cells emerged on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago. Cells are of two types: eukaryotic, which contain a nucleus, prokaryotic, which do not. Prokaryotes are single-celled organisms, while eukaryotes can be either single-celled or multicellular. Prokaryotes include two of the three domains of life. Prokaryotic cells were the first form of life on Earth, characterised by having vital biological processes including cell signaling, they are simpler and smaller than eukaryotic cells, lack membrane-bound organelles such as a nucleus. The DNA of a prokaryotic cell consists of a single chromosome, in direct contact with the cytoplasm; the nuclear region in the cytoplasm is called the nucleoid. Most prokaryotes are the smallest of all organisms ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 µm in diameter. A prokaryotic cell has three architectural regions: Enclosing the cell is the cell envelope – consisting of a plasma membrane covered by a cell wall which, for some bacteria, may be further covered by a third layer called a capsule.
Though most prokaryotes have both a cell membrane and a cell wall, there are exceptions such as Mycoplasma and Thermoplasma which only possess the cell membrane layer. The envelope gives rigidity to the cell and separates the interior of the cell from its environment, serving as a protective filter; the cell wall consists of peptidoglycan in bacteria, acts as an additional barrier against exterior forces. It prevents the cell from expanding and bursting from osmotic pressure due to a hypotonic environment; some eukaryotic cells have a cell wall. Inside the cell is the cytoplasmic region that contains the genome and various sorts of inclusions; the genetic material is found in the cytoplasm. Prokaryotes can carry extrachromosomal DNA elements called plasmids, which are circular. Linear bacterial plasmids have been identified in several species of spirochete bacteria, including members of the genus Borrelia notably Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease. Though not forming a nucleus, the DNA is condensed in a nucleoid.
Plasmids encode additional genes, such as antibiotic resistance genes. On the outside and pili project from the cell's surface; these are structures made of proteins that facilitate communication between cells. Plants, fungi, slime moulds and algae are all eukaryotic; these cells are about fifteen times wider than a typical prokaryote and can be as much as a thousand times greater in volume. The main distinguishing feature of eukaryotes as compared to prokaryotes is compartmentalization: the presence of membrane-bound organelles in which specific activities take place. Most important among these is a cell nucleus, an organelle that houses the cell's DNA; this nucleus gives the eukaryote its name, which means "true kernel". Other differences include: The plasma membrane resembles that of prokaryotes in function, with minor differences in the setup. Cell walls may not be present; the eukaryotic DNA is organized in one or more linear molecules, called chromosomes, which are associated with histone proteins.
All chromosomal DNA is stored in the cell nucleus, separated from the cytoplasm by a membrane. Some eukaryotic organelles such as mitochondria contain some DNA. Many eukaryotic cells are ciliated with primary cilia. Primary cilia play important roles in chemosensation and thermosensation. Cilia may thus be "viewed as a sensory cellular antennae that coordinates a large number of cellular signaling pathways, sometimes coupling the signaling to ciliary motility or alternatively to cell division and differentiation." Motile eukaryotes can move using motile flagella. Motile cells are absent in flowering plants. Eukaryotic flagella are more complex than those of prokaryotes. All cells, whether prokaryotic or eukaryotic, have a membrane that envelops the cell, regulates what moves in and out, maintains the electric potential of the cell. Inside the membrane, the cytoplasm takes up most of the cell's volume. All cells possess DNA, the hereditary material of genes, RNA, containing the information necessary to build various proteins such as enzymes, the cell's primary machinery.
There are other kinds of biomolecules in cells. This article lists these primary cellular components briefly
Video game music
Video game music is the soundtrack that accompanies video games. Early video game music was once limited to simple melodies of early sound synthesizer technology; these limitations inspired the style of music known as chiptunes, which combines simple melodic styles with more complex patterns or traditional music styles, became the most popular sound of the first video games. With advances in technology, video game music has grown to include the same breadth and complexity associated with television and film scores, allowing for much more creative freedom. While simple synthesizer pieces are still common, game music now includes full orchestral pieces and popular music. Music in video games can be heard over a game’s title screen, options menu, bonus content, as well as during the entire gameplay. Modern soundtracks can change depending on a player's actions or situation, such as indicating missed actions in rhythm games. Video game music can be one of two options: original or licensed. In order to create or collect this music, teams of composers, music directors, music supervisors must work with the game developers and game publishers.
Many of the most notable original sophie game composers have been from Japan, including Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Yuzo Koshiro, Yoko Shimomura, Junichi Masuda, Hip Tanaka, Masato Nakamura, Koichi Sugiyama, Yasunori Mitsuda, Michiru Yamane, Yuu Miyake, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Manabu Namiki, Shinji Hosoe, Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Notable Western game composers working today include Jeremy Soule, Jesper Kyd, Marty O' Donnell, Jason Graves, Austin Wintory, James Hannigan, Garry Schyman, Peter McConnell, some of whom work in film and television alongside video games. Today, original composition has included the work of film composers Harry Gregson-Williams, Trent Reznor, Hans Zimmer, Mark Rutherford, Josh Mancell, Steve Jablonsky, Michael Giacchino; the popularity of video game music has expanded education and job opportunities, generated awards, allowed video game soundtracks to be commercially sold and performed in concert's. At the time video games had emerged as a popular form of entertainment in the late 1970s, music was stored on physical medium in analog waveforms such as compact cassettes and phonograph records.
Such components were expensive and prone to breakage under heavy use making them less than ideal for use in an arcade cabinet, though in rare cases, they were used. A more affordable method of having music in a video game was to use digital means, where a specific computer chip would change electrical impulses from computer code into analog sound waves on the fly for output on a speaker. Sound effects for the games were generated in this fashion. An early example of such an approach to video game music was the opening chiptune in Tomohiro Nishikado's Gun Fight. While this allowed for inclusion of music in early arcade video games, it was monophonic, looped or used sparingly between stages or at the start of a new game, such as the Namco titles Pac-Man composed by Toshio Kai or Pole Position composed by Nobuyuki Ohnogi; the first game to use a continuous background soundtrack was Tomohiro Nishikado's Space Invaders, released by Taito in 1978. It had four descending chromatic bass notes repeating in a loop, though it was dynamic and interacted with the player, increasing pace as the enemies descended on the player.
The first video game to feature continuous, melodic background music was Rally-X, released by Namco in 1980, featuring a simple tune that repeats continuously during gameplay. The decision to include any music into a video game meant that at some point it would have to be transcribed into computer code by a programmer, whether or not the programmer had musical experience; some music was original, some was public domain music such as folk songs. Sound capabilities were limited; as advances were made in silicon technology and costs fell, a definitively new generation of arcade machines and home consoles allowed for great changes in accompanying music. In arcades, machines based on the Motorola 68000 CPU and accompanying various Yamaha YM programmable sound generator sound chips allowed for several more tones or "channels" of sound, sometimes eight or more; the earliest known example of this was Sega's 1980 arcade game Carnival, which used an AY-3-8910 chip to create an electronic rendition of the classical 1889 composition "Over The Waves" by Juventino Rosas.
Konami's 1981 arcade game Frogger introduced a dynamic approach to video game music, using at least eleven different gameplay tracks, in addition to level-starting and game over themes, which change according to the player's actions. This was further improved upon by Namco's 1982 arcade game Dig Dug, where the music stopped when the player stopped moving. Dig Dug was composed by Yuriko Keino, who composed the music for other Namco games such as Xevious and Phozon. Sega's 1982 arcade game Super Locomotive featured a chiptune rendition of Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Rydeen". Home console systems had a comparable upgrade in sound ability beginning with the ColecoVision in 1982 capable of four channels. However, more notable was the Japanese release of the Famicom in 1983, released in the US as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, it was capable of one being capable of simple PCM sampled sound. The home computer Commodore 64 released in 1982 was capable of early forms of filtering effects, different types of waveforms and the undocumented abilit
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian-American psychologist. He recognised and named the psychological concept of flow, a focused mental state, he is the Distinguished Professor of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College. Csikszentmihalyi was born on 29 September 1934 in Fiume part of the Kingdom of Italy, his family name derives from the Csíkszentmihályi village in Transylvania. He was the third son of a career diplomat at the Hungarian Consulate in Fiume, his two older half-brothers died. His father was appointed Hungarian Ambassador to Italy shortly after the Second World War, moving the family to Rome; when Communists took over Hungary in 1949, Csikszentmihalyi's father resigned rather than work for the regime. To earn a living, his father opened a restaurant in Rome, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi dropped out of school to help with the family income.
At this time, the young Csikszentmihalyi travelling in Switzerland, saw Carl Jung give a talk on the psychology of UFO sightings. Csikszentmihalyi emigrated to the United States from Hungary at the age of 22, working nights to support himself while studying at the University of Chicago, he received his B. A. in 1959 and his PhD in 1965, both from the University of Chicago. He taught at Lake Forest College, before becoming a professor at the University of Chicago in 1969. Csikszentmihalyi is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic, he is over 120 articles or book chapters. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi once said: "Repression is not the way to virtue; when people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished.
Only through chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason." His works are influential and are cited. In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation, it is a state. The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the groove; the flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is immersed in what they are doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement and skill—and during which temporal concerns are ignored. In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as "being involved in an activity for its own sake; the ego falls away. Time flies; every action and thought follows from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, you're using your skills to the utmost."Csikszentmihályi characterized nine component states of achieving flow including "challenge-skill balance, merging of action and awareness, clarity of goals and unambiguous feedback, concentration on the task at hand, paradox of control, transformation of time, loss of self-consciousness, autotelic experience".
To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high. One state; the autotelic personality is one in which a person performs acts because they are intrinsically rewarding, rather than to achieve external goals. Csikszentmihalyi describes the autotelic personality as a trait possessed by individuals who can learn to enjoy situations that most other people would find miserable. Research has shown that aspects associated with the autotelic personality include curiosity and humility. A majority of Csikszentmihalyi's most recent work surrounds the idea of motivation and the factors that contribute to motivation and overall success in an individual. One personality characteristic that Csikszentmihalyi researched in detail was that of intrinsic motivation. Csikszentmihalyi and his colleagues found that intrinsically motivated people were more to be goal-directed and enjoy challenges that would lead to an increase in overall happiness.
Csikszentmihalyi identified intrinsic motivation as a powerful trait to possess to optimize and enhance positive experience and overall well-being as a result of challenging experiences. The results indicated a new personality construct, a term Csikszentmihalyi called work orientation, characterized by "achievement, cognitive structure, order and low impulsivity". A high level of work orientation in students is said to be a better predictor of grades and fulfillment of long-term goals than any school or household environmental influence. Csikszentmihalyi is the fat