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I play Touhou and I can relate to that.
I mean, memory and planning do help a lot but I feel like every good Touhou player knows that.
The moment you get in the zone.
The moment the music starts to engulf you and you ignore every other sound around you.
That moment when the danaku (the bullets) are clear and you can react to whatever is thrown at you and the amazing feeling you get when you finally beat that level.
In a sense, yes, it feels like meditation but I don't think you'll reach inner peace by just playing Touhou… dem geims r hard!

I wouldn't say that meditation can be achieved only in hell shooter games. Fighting games give you that same sensation. Adventure games makes you get lost in the world.

I think a better statement might be "Can video games be meditative?"

is it bad the only reason i clicked on this video is simply because i was expecting touhou to be brought up?

Flying medusa heads from Castlevania 2 while trying to get up or down stairs, DANMAKU DAT SHIT.
Man i would love seeing AVGN playing some bullet hell games, somebody call Supermechadeathchrist on dat shit.

Danmaku games are not meditative in a strict sense, because you have to consciously focus on what's happening on the screen. One fraction of a second of missing attention and you're hit. Meditation clears your consciousness completely for a while. You can't unconsciously pay attention, that's contradictory. Still, danmaku-focus blends out everyting outside, just like most games that are capable of inducing "the flow". Danmaku just do it more intensely than other games. Other games give you plenty of time to "breath". Danmaku holds you on your tiptoes. They require dedication, memorization, decision-making, reaction. Danmaku are the antipodes of nowadays thoughtless, ingratiating, quickly and easily everyone equally rewarding Zeitgeist. That's why I love them. For everyone who wants to be a special snowflake.

Oh yeah, it's definitely possible. I've played every single Touhou game so far, and on several occasions, I've found myself playing on Stage 2, and suddenly I snap out of this weird blank state only to find myself fighting the Stage 5 boss, having only been hit once (or in some cases not at all).

What a bullshit. It's true that these kind of games you play subconsciously, but you still need to concentrate. It's rather training of brain processes more than relaxing.

if you know what you are doing you don't have to think, but that means playing on easy modes(i.e everything below hard in case of touhou) or first learning the game properly, or having lots of experience in bullet hell. or just missing the point of the game and using continues.
also, lots of people in the comments think that watching your hitbox all the time is a good idea, that's like saying that in a crowd watching only at your feet at all times is a good idea, you want to know what's going in all directions, including far away, for example to know if a jihadi truck is coming before it's too difficult to get out of it's way. that said, in touhou there is too much micrododging, so you have to glance at your hitbox pretty often, but you still want to read the full playing field, without focusing on individual bullets.

My bullet hell is Enter the Gungeon it's fun luck and skill oreanted, and has one of the single best soundtracks I've heard.

For the people that say "Enter the gungeon isn't as hard as (what bullet hell you play)" to you I say maybe it is but that doesn't mean that it's not hard.

I can definitely say I disassociate when playing rhythm games. One second I'm playing a song and the next I'm already done with no knowledge what was just going on because I was that focused.

i am in Tibetan Buddhism for a few years and I agree with you, in the past I used to play Quake and there I knew concentration. Good meditation is this: the more focused you get the more relaxed you be, that needs to be balanced and deeper, vast, and so on

this is too true, playing racing games, and games like The Impossible game are so much like turning your brain off and just doing

I use bullethell as a meditative pursuit. I dont generally commit to one particular game or the other except if the scoring mechanics are really special and click. The main thing is simply that, for me, I generally have a million things in my mind at one time. Thats the situation that makes me need bullethell. Its constant ideas and concerns and such in my head. It wears me out sometimes.

However, when I play bullethell theres no room for my normal flood of thoughts. My mind finally pushes them aside to just be a part of the moment of dodging and shooting. I focus on my ships tiny little hitbox dot and an area only a little bit in front of them instead of the entire screen of hell and just finally get to feel my mind quiet down to sort out the subtle dodging and threading the needle of bullets with the smallest motions required. I see gaps, I drift toward them, I relax and let my minds pattern recognition do its thing. It pushes aside thought and just lets itself do its thing. Some games I do very well in and others not so well. Almost all that involve grinding close to bullets for score I do well in as thats the way I naturally play…with small movements as I let the waves of bullets get close enough and then sidestep them a few at a time. Its nice and it relaxes me because it shuts out my normal crowded thoughts and just lets me be there doing something as simple as moving through waves of pretty colored lights. It doesn't really matter to me what game I play. They all help me relax.

Thats bullethell for me. It is indeed meditative.

its very calming to play those types of games. slower games tend to annoy me, for some reason. i suck at beat em ups…but bullet hell shmups are fantastic! the stress goes away if you calm down and focus. its an experience.

a lot of times, i cant play intense shooters on snes because the slow down ruins the experience and kills the flow (with exceptions, like rendering ranger, which isnt really a bullet hell game but has its moments where it will feel like that to the casual player)….or i have to set it on hard to start off with so that there is enough on the screen for it to be effective. im not the best at these types of games…i die a ton and its only with practice that any games get beat but still, this genre is a lot of fun.

The only way to play these games is to enter a "zen like" state really for me. You just listen to the music, enjoy the patterns, and let your fingers push you through the gaps.

Yeah in touhou 15 i kind of blur my senses during some of the faster parts not even looking at my character but just in the middle of the screen intellectually seeing without looking for gaps i the patterns. It feels almost surreal and supernatural and i love it. It's crazy becase whenever i look at anyone else play the exact level i cant watch it even though i do it myself. Maybe it's a certain type of bliss by action and flow obtained only by doing and not observing.

1:20 is bullshit, I played many bullet hell games, and it takes time to figure a game out. It does not need some sort of outofthisworldforce.

When I played bullet hells back in the day my brain felt so focused, it wasn't relaxing but I didn't have any distracting thoughts, the only thing I paid attention to was the game

Welp my game will just throw that out of the window since you gotta micromanage your party members as you get them to doge and shoot make rest areas

While it might happen for a bit during certain segments of a game, as any bullet-hell becomes progressively harder the game boils down much more to memorization than dodging- some of the patterns are flat-out literally impossible to dodge without knowing safespots beforehand etc. When you could probably complete touhou 7 on normal with being in a meditative state, when you get to touhou 15 lunatic, and then to Queen Larsa and the likes, it becomes impossible without it being mostly memorization.

Funny, I was just telling my fiance that Bullet Hell Shmups put me in a meditative trance.
As a child I used to get into a meditative trance when playing Astrosmash on the Intellivision. LOL

Yessss. I started playing bullet hells last september and the effect it has had on me mentally is nothing short of incredible. You get why completely. You stop dodging and just become part of the pattern. Your sense of ego just floats away and feel this sense of joy just dancing in this ocean of bullets. It's near impossible to explain to people unfamiliar with the genre.

Bullet hells are stressful. Always have been. Always will be. As such, they are a recreational activity that is counterproductive to having fun. If one derives fun from being stressed, a full life reevaluation is in order.

This guy is like the kid in class who can never stop talking. He’s not wrong, but i think I can make his point for him in 20 seconds.

I know this video is kinda old, but here is a question 1:18 , since when Danmaku Unlimited or Danmaku Unlimited 2 was released? this video is from 2013, but Danmaku Unlimited 2 came on early 2014. I am confused… or is it Danmaku Unlimited 1?

I can't even headshot a enemy in COD, and them those guys come in and play Touhou on the hardest difficulty.

For me it's like Tetris, I do it to find flow. The same for fast FPS shooters that just keep going, so just normal deathmatch.

Never thought about it but it sure rings true. I know my blood pressure stays at rest state or lower as I play. If my watch can be believed.

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