Creative Practice Theory – The Game

So, as an educational tool (a teleological `serious game’) – in 2013, I modded (modified) the Game Demo of the excellent `life-sim’ game Kudos (by Positech Games UK) to explain (i.e. `teach-as-you-play’/learn by doing) how Creative Practice Theory (or, CPT) works in practice (i.e., in `the real world’; whatever that term means, precisely).

To download and play the CPT Game Demo, keep reading!

CPT -The Game (Kudos mod)

CPT -The Game (a mod of Kudos, by Positech Games)

Creative Practice Theory is a synthesis of `the systems model of creativity’ (Csikszentmihalyi 1988, 1996, 2000, 2006) and also Bourdieu’s `practice theory’ (1933) of cultural production. CPT (or Creative Practice Theory) details – and demonstrates – the 10 major `stages’ that a creative in any complex artistic domain (e.g.: film, TV, novels, games, painting, theatre, design, engineering, architecture, dance, science, etc.) goes through, and the order in which they proceed…

Creative: Person, Process, Product

Creative: Person, Process, Product (and to an extent, Place)

The (simplified, summarized) 12 steps in Creative Practice Theory (Velikovsky 2012):

Creative Practice Theory (Velikovsky 2013)

This Creative Practice Theory animated gif shows the stages in a (big-c) Creative’s career over time:

CPT General Model Diagram (Velikovsky 2012)

CPT General Model Diagram (Velikovsky 2012)

(And if you can’t read `the detail’ on the animated model above, try this link)

(Also, for more detail/explanation on `big-c’ Creativity – see: Simonton, DK (2013), ‘What is a creative idea? Little-c versus Big-C creativity’, in K Thomas & J Chan (eds), Handbook of Research on Creativity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA, pp. 69-83.)

And for all creatives (whether in the Arts, or design, science, technology, or in any domain) I highly recommend reading this book, in its entirety:

In Creativity (Csikszentmihalyi 1996) presents the results of an empirical study of 91 exceptionally-creative individuals, across various domains (i.e. prize-winners and outstanding individuals in both the arts and sciences). Artists, writers, painters, scientists, etc. [8]

And in that (excellent) book – Distinguished Professor of Psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi articulates the systems model of creativity (1988, 1996). Also, Professor R. Keith Sawyer was involved in that landmark study and analysis of `big-c’ Creativity – and so I also highly recommend his (2012) book, which is also the first official textbook on Creativity:

At any rate – one of the mods (modifications) to the game (i.e.: Creative Practice Theory – The Game) was, to change some of the Stats categories:

CPT - The Game - modded Stats screen

CPT – The Game – modded Stats screen

So in the game, `Happiness‘ becomes `Flow’ (see also: Csikszentmihalyi on `flow’ theory in creativity, 1990, 1996); and in the game, the `Experience’ stat becomes habitus (see: Bourdieu on habitus or developing `a feel for the [creative] game’, 1993); and `Knowledge’ becomes Cultural Capital (knowledge).

If you are new to flow theory, perhaps watch the 20-min TED-talk video on `flow’ theory, here.

And see also this page – Gorny, E 2007, Dictionary of Creativity: on `Flow’, http://creativity.netslova.ru/Flow.html

(`Flow’ theory is also crucial in game design, as it happens/by odd coincidence.)

And so, the Creative Practice Theory game `Intro’ screen:

CPT - Intro Screen

CPT – The Game – Intro Screen

Now reads, like so:



So – it’s 6.20pm on April 14th, 2013. You are 20 years old and single. Tonight is your twentieth birthday. You live alone in a small flat in Slough, a suburb of London, England. Somehow you left school without any qualifications to speak of, and you have a dead-end job as a waiter, that doesn’t have much of a future. So – What are you going to do with your life? What is your dream? And – what will you have achieved by your thirtieth birthday?

Instructions: 1) Choose a domain in either the Sciences – or The Arts. (eg: Sciences: Physicist? Chemist? Biologist? Quantum Mechanics? Or – The Arts: Writer? Artist? Actor? Musician? Filmmaker? Or – something else?)

….Then 1) Acquire more habitus 2) Internalize your chosen Domain 3) Negotiate your way in The Field 4) Generate creative artifacts (eg a novel, film screenplay, paintings? etc) 5) Use your economic, social, and cultural capital to shape your career trajectory…

– With luck, you’ll achieve your dreams – and – the goal: Happiness, and even – Awards! (i.e. symbolic capital). – Good luck!”



You can download the Instructions for Creative Practice Theory – The Game as a PDF file (including the installation instructions) from: here. (Or, click the graphic below.)


The file-link above will download a PDF with `Installation Instructions’.

CPT -The Game (Kudos mod)

CPT -The Game (Kudos mod)

I wouldn’t recommend playing for more than 10 minutes (unless you are very keen) as you get the idea fairly quickly.

The game also has built into it `the 10-year rule’ from the (scientific, psychological research) in creativity

— Enjoy…!

Comments, always welcome.

And – more recently (2017) I was invited to play a similar Serious Game:

FLIGBY the game

I posted on that great game, here:

FLIGBY, The Leadership Game – and Flow Theory

And for more on `big-c’ Creativity, see these links:

On Creativity:

  1. StoryAlity #6 – What is Creativity and How Does It Work?
  2. StoryAlity #6B – Flow Theory, Creativity and Happiness
  3. StoryAlity #7 – On “the 10-Year Rule” and Creativity
  4. StoryAlity #8 – More on the 10-Year Rule” and Creativity
  5. StoryAlity #9 – How To Be More Creative
  6. StoryAlity #9B – Creativity in Science (and – The Arts, and Film)
  7. StoryAlity #10 – About The Creative Personality
  8. StoryAlity #11 – Wallas and the Creative Process
  9. StoryAlity #12 – Combining Practice Theory – and the Systems Model of Creativity
  10. StoryAlity #13- Creativity and Solved Domain Problems
  11. StoryAlity #14 – On some Romantic myths of Creativity
  12. StoryAlity #14B – Creativity – the missing link between “The Two Cultures”
  13. StoryAlity #14C – Two Crucial American Psychological Association speeches: J P Guilford (1950) and D T Campbell (1975).
  • Comments welcome!


JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Creative Practice Theory – The Game is a mod of Positech Games UK‘s game Kudos Demo (2006 by Cliff Harris). It is a free demo (a `serious/educational game’) and is not for sale.

By all means visit the Kudos website for more information.


Csikszentmihalyi, M 1996, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, 1st edn, HarperCollins, New York.

Csikszentmihalyi, M 1990, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1st edn, Harper & Row, New York.

Gorny, E 2007, Dictionary of Creativity: `Flow’, Netslova.ru, viewed 30th July 2012, http://creativity.netslova.ru/Flow.html

Simonton, DK 2013, ‘What is a creative idea? Little-c versus Big-C creativity’, in K Thomas & J Chan (eds), Handbook of Research on Creativity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA, pp. 69-83.


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