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Video Game Meditation

Kid IcarusAs times and cultures change it becomes necessary to adapt with these changes rather than fight against them. Perhaps the most interesting and influential thing our society has presented to us is the invention of the video game.

This is an adaptation of a meditation technique to be used in a video game. The best game for this technique is a simple game where we can lose focus and become one with the video game. For my practice I generally find classic games such as kid icarus, or casual games like bejeweled work best.

The important part is that the game we choose for this meditation is simple. Before we begin the video game mediation we must make sure our game is setup and ready to go. The more fluid the process from meditation to playing a video game the better.

We start by doing some moderate exercise. Exercise makes it easier for us to meditate because it allows our bodies to become receptive to winding down and relaxing. When we have completed our exercise we may sit down.

When seated in a comfortable position we will begin to breathe in slowly through our nose and exhale slowly through our nose. As we breathe we must also relax our muscles and let go of any tension we may be holding on to. After five deep breaths we may begin the VGM.

Pick up the controller and continue the slow relaxed steady breathing. There is nothing to worry about there is no hurry, we have all the time in the world to accomplish our goal.

As we proceed through the game, we must let our mind see the patterns being made. We must realize that the monsters, obstacles react to us and we also react to them. When we encounter a swarm or large group of enemies we must take our time. Blur our vision and take in the whole scene, this allows the patterns of the game to become more clear.

If we happen to find ourselves in a particularly stressful part of the game then we must remind ourselves that the game is just triggering a basic chemical fight or flight response. To overcome this we must simply continue to relax our body and breathe slowly.

When we are successful with our VGM we may see our game playing skills increase. We are also able to get further in the game and do better than when we consciously try! If at first try we don’t experience better skills, do not get discouraged. The meditation is meant as a way to calm. It is not meant as a means to be a better video game player, becoming better is only a side effect.

As soon as we lose the game or die, stop playing. The average gaming meditation lasts about 10-20 minutes.

Reference:
* How to meditate to relieve stress
* Video games a force for good

1 Comment

  1. That’s an interesting approach, I’ve never thought of combining the two. I completely agree that playing without actually doing it consciously makes for much better results. I used to be a fanatic Quake player and the times I played best were while talking to someone on the phone or just being absorbed in deep thoughts, not actually paying attention to what I was doing on the screen. Your subconscious kicks in and you start reacting with the same mechanisms that you use to do anything naturally, like walking, breathing and seeing. You don’t think about those, you just do them. It’s also those times where you don’t really care about what’s happening on-screen, in contrast to the frustration you may develop while playing consciously (which simply distracts you so much that it pushes you even farther away from your goal). Video Game Meditation… sounds oddly weird at first but intriguing enough to give it a try.

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