Quantcast
Community Discussion: Blog by Prince Ghidorah | The Flow of Shmups: Ikaruga v.s. YogaDestructoid
The Flow of Shmups: Ikaruga v.s. Yoga - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android




click to hide banner header
About
I fit the Retroforce demographic. I cut my teeth as a gamer in the 8 and 16 bit eras and love platformers, shmups, and RPGs. I have little interest in FPSs and EA styled sports games.

Currently Playing: Secret of Mana, Disgaea DS, Ikaruga, Phantasy Star IV, Yakuza 3, Mountain of Faith

All Time Favorites Ever: Phantasy Star II, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III (VI), Wind Waker, Gradius Series, Any of the many interchangeable Dynasty Warriors games, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Super Dodge Ball, Super Mario Bros., Megaman II, Bubble Bobble, Defender, Strider, Centipede...

Consoles Currently Plugged In: NES, Genesis, SNES, PS2, Wii, Atari 2600, PS3

Consoles/Handhelds I Stupidly Sold And Now Regret: Saturn, Dreamcast, Wonderswan Color, Gameboy (original giant B/W)

Favorite Companies/Devs: Nintendo, Sega, Square/Enix, Atlus, Konami, Treasure


Player Profile
Follow me:
Prince Ghidorah's sites
Badges
Following (11)  


I recently came across the concept of Flow, a term coined by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentimihaly (don't ask me how to pronounce it). The always reliable Wikipedia lists a number of hallmarks of the Flow experience which include: A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness. A distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself. Essentially, there is a dilation of time, a sense of almost automatic control over the activity, and a melting away of the duality between the actor and action.



Most of Csikszentmihaly's examples involve athletes and musicians, professionals whose work involves the repetition of a particular task (dribbling a football, playing a piano) to the point where the task itself becomes automatic, i.e. muscle memory takes over and self-conscious thought falls away. Now, athletes and musicians who reach a level of accomplishment wherein the flow state is well known to them are celebrated in our culture. The guy who does an amazing Ikaruga speed run and posts it on youtube? No multi-million signing bonus or headline performance at Carnegie Hall for him. But they all got there the same way, by "overlearning" or practicing something obsessively until it is not merely mastered but completely automatic.



The philosopher Zhuangzi held that there was essentially no difference between someone who masters a musical instrument, a religious ritual or whatever skill set was regarded as socially useful in his or her culture, and someone who practices catching cicadas on a pole or butchering oxen until it becomes a pure meditative experience in which all dualities are erased. The point isn't the outcome or the nature of the task, the point is the achievement of that rare and ineffable state of mind.




So the next time that your significant other gives you grief for being absorbed in a Shmup for hours on end or trying to achieve a perfect run-through of Super Mario Bros. just tell them that you are following the Tao and erasing your ego duality.

Link to the ox butchering story...
http://www.chinapage.com/story/butcher.html
Photo Photo Photo



Is this blog awesome? Vote it up!





Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.


Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more