It may seem counterproductive or even disrespectful to be watching something on one part of the screen and playing something on the other part of the screen. Wouldn’t I want to dedicate my entire focus to one thing? There are some things that can be done simultaneously to achieve a deeper whole. Other things can be done in tandem without significant drawback to either one, like watching a video with a mostly-still shot and !mining.
The intention for both should be progression.
I want to progress through ENDLESS WAR only as far as I feel interested in doing so. I just checked in-game, because earlier my avatar was turned into a paper crane and I saw some action being done by my team. I haven’t participated in the battle aspects much yet, maybe by this essay’s publication, but I’ll sit this one out as I’ve done because I’d rather be writing.
I play the game and watch these videos for the same reason.
In this Dr. Don Jolly video, he talks about his experiences in the formal writer’s community and how his Internet background clashed against the expectations of formal writers with enough money to move into prestigious locations and have fancy degrees. He uses Robert E. Howard and pulp novels as an example of, and this is my interpretation of the video, counterculture artists writing better materials than their contemporaries. The video gave me something to think about for my own goals.
All the while, I did this:
Why would I waste so much time doing that?
It’s an active and repetitive motion that clears my head of the chaotic mess that it can sometimes get into where I might worry about this or that. Through a clean, repetitive action of pressing Control+V then Enter repeatedly, I can forget about some of the physical aspects of myself that might feel insecure. I wouldn’t say I do it to pass the time. My main objective, now, is to adorn my avatar with many useless articles of clothing for fun and to get my name on the leaderboard as a slimecoin baron.
Others participate in PVP or remain in the chatrooms to hang out and chat.
I like finding efficient strategies for repetitive tasks. Some of the upper-level players on my team figured out the best food to order to-go, for example, so when newer players mine along with me, I give them advice. I’ve been enjoying this sort of social atmosphere and it has a vibrancy that lives on whenever I jump in to check things out. It’s the same as the endless stream of content on YouTube, or how I’ve been posting essays consistently here for so long that I currently have 81 essays and one short story scheduled for publication minus this one.
There is a limit to my ability to split my focus, however.
I can’t listen to podcasts while talking to others or the podcast floats to the background. I’ve found that the background music that bests suits my writing is stuff that doesn’t call attention to itself while it does its thing. Doom metal like Mirror Reaper tends to have a slightly different rhythm than what I can comfortably focus on, until I get into its groove, but Dopesmoker by Sleep remains one of my top favorite albums and songs and something I can put on to instantly get into a better mindset. I can’t abuse that, though.
I think we should try to expose ourselves to as much media as we can.
For the media that is less than spectacular or can be multi-tasked, do it. There’s no way to consume even a tenth of everything out there that you can enjoy if you focus entirely on it. But there will be times when I just focus on mining for slime in Endless War or might pause to rewatch, full-screen, a Don Jolly or someone else’s thoughts because they struck such a chord with me that I couldn’t help but redirect my focus.
Through all this, we should practice recentering our focuses as well.
I find myself less compelled to reading books since there is just that one stimulation. As much as I dislike saying this, I like being able to quickly shift my focus based on what I’m interested in. I have certain traits of attention deficit, for sure. Sitting to read or meditate can help me in certain scenarios, but I find writing fulfills that avenue of redirecting my focus and reprioritizing myself toward my goals. I saw an email came in, I want to open the window, and this music’s rhythm is a little slower than my thought rhythms so it feels a little weird writing right now.
Yet my focus is remaining here until I’m done.
I should practice this same self-restraint when I read books or engage in other activities. That’s where doing these repetitive motions comes in handy for me. It might be an extension of a fidget spinner, but when I tried one, it didn’t give me much satisfaction. There’s no goal with a fidget spinner. No level-up, reward for the number of spins, or dare I say achievements?
Going forward, I’ll need to figure out ways to integrate this into my work/life balance.
I can find a half-hour to jump into a game and !mine. I can do these sorts of things for five or ten minutes. It’s just nicer to spend as much time as the game needs, rather than how much time I need. I only really need enough time with the game to get my fill, whether it’s !mining enough to keep my name on the leaderboard, or leveling up my team for a few minutes. If any of the games become too addictive, that’s another problem entirely. For now, I’m just focusing on the positive aspects here, which is to say, calming my busy mind.
OK, now let me check that email, open the window, and !mine.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Jamming through some thoughts. As an ending note, that email was an automated email.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Screenshot: I liked how I had this arrangement so I took a photo then wrote this essay to save the reason why I liked how it looked.|
|Written On: 2020 May 02 [4:15pm to 4:52pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 02 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|