What is flow? Flow is a state of mind where you are completely attentive, alert and aware of everything that goes on. More than that you don’t get hung up on anything. Push push Push. Forward to the next objective. Always in motion without stopping unless stopping is the what is required; controlled stopping.
Titanfall is a video game environment that foster that level of attention in it’s users. Titanfall 2 is the current iteration of the series and is by far heads and shoulders above its’ predecessor. Offering a full story length campaign and a flourishing lively online multiplayer experience. It is in the multiplayer arena that flow is most notable and most memorable.
To achieve flow the basics process is to push all other concerns out of your “line of sight” and only focus on the task at hand. For me, it’s after one round I have to concisely tell myself to stop looking through my cross hairs and just look at my target. Oh, and have my volume on my T.V. turned up 10 points higher than I normally do. Strangely enough this is NOT done through force of will but through unconscious effort.
A term I learned a long time ago was “wu xin” [woo shinn] or 无心 meaning “of no mind.” It is a practice of a combination of training, muscle memory and desire. In context to flow it is flow broken down into its’ parts. After you have learned something and trained it hundreds of times the goal is to reach 无心. It essentially lets the mind automatically control the mathematics of the desired action. A more practical example is using your cross hairs to aim and constantly moving your cross hairs to hit the target. As oppose to looking at you target the entire time and letting your hands response automatically. The difference sounds subtle but the
Another interesting facet would be “beginners luck.” They are doing an activity with only the one objective in mind that they have been told about. So all the nuances that you and I have learned in out time mastering the skill is foreign to them. That means there is a chance they may before excellently in the beginning simply out of natural movement they already have learn throughout their life.
Titanfall 2 is excellent at pushing the mind into the state of flow(无心). The game does this by providing an atmosphere that continues to require the player to move faster, notice more and predict behavior. The fast the player does this the more reward they will receive. Other games may have the appearance of the same reward system but once you move too quickly you are subsequently targeted by other players. Whereas in Titanfall that targeting is minimized to the point of nonexistence being that your speed is so quick only the few and rare can target you. These odds provide an almost infinite number of actions, reactions and counter-actions. That, in truth, is what separates this game from others in its’ category.
Final call, If you want to step up your game and learn to enter flow faster. Titanfall 2 is your game. I’ve learn to activate my brain in this manner faster for other tasks by reflecting on how I do it while playing. This is one of the only games that have ever translated over into the real world in such a useful and practical manner.
Here is a link to a video I did for Titanfall one back in the day. More Video’s posted later when i create them.