How Sekiro teaches the state of Flow

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Developed by the award-winning FromSoftware, the game Sekrio: Shadows Die Twice is the latest release in the “Soulsborne” series. Known around the world for the difficulty of its titles, the franchise is one of the most challenging and rewarding in the history of games.

The “soulsborne” games, a category that includes modern classics like Dark Souls 1 to 3, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne, share design features, such as powerful bosses - that make the player fail several times and suffer many defeats until he is good enough to beat them.

Sekiro is a spiritual sequence that shares much of the DNA with these titles, but the protagonist's most heroic and fluid form of struggle, with movements inspired by main Japanese martial arts, changes everything and makes the player learn what is the famous flow state.

How sekiro teaches the flow state
 Photograph by steamXO /Public Domain "Sekiro transports the player to a world full of challenging enemies".

Incredible and unique gameplay

The changes that Sekiro made to the influential combat system made everything much faster and more fluid. There is no more resistance meter to worry about when making attacks and dodging - and this bar has been replaced by a posture meter that fills each time the player blocks an attack.

Blocking blows without rest or at the wrong time causes the player's posture to fill and then break, leaving him vulnerable to attack. Now, if he blocks in time, the character not only deflects the blow and his gauge remains full, but also causes the opponent's block bar to fill.

Only after the enemy's bar is full is it possible to use a deadly counterattack. On weaker enemies, a single well-done deflection can leave them vulnerable, but Sekiro's powerful bosses need several precise blocks to be overcome.

Bosses who provide unforgettable fights and require high doses of concentration

All boss designs are incredible and range from huge monsters and demons with slower, predictable movements with high damage to very fast and almost unpredictable humanoid creatures (except for a few indicators that appear before attacks), a fact that makes each fight unique special and challenging in a unique way.

The player always enters the bosses' arenas without knowing how they fight and what is the right way to defeat them. It is common to be defeated numerous times, but each time the gamer learns a little more about what the attack patterns are, when to use items, when to dodge and when to try to block the blows to counterattack.

The harder the boss, the more he has to adapt and focus exclusively on the game and this is where the phenomenon known as flow begins to appear for the player.

The flow in Sekiro

With each repetition of battles, the player's mind learns a little more about how to respond to patterns and how to act. With enough repetitions, he reaches a point where he understands the extent of everything that is happening.

After a while, the outside world is no longer a factor and it is completely present within the battle.

The player stops waiting for enemies to act and starts to anticipate their movements. Your mind and body are acting in a unified way and it is as if time slows down when choosing to make a move.

This state of absolute concentration on a task that must be overcome or completed is known as flow and is one of the best ways to develop all kinds of skills and grow in different areas.

How sekiro teaches the flow state
Photograph by steamXO /Public Domain “In Sekiro it is common to be surrounded by enemies and to have to think about each of your movements”

How to apply flow to different aspects of life

When one of the bosses is finally defeated after countless battles, the player's brain releases high doses of the so-called “happiness hormones”. He gains a sense of accomplishment and feels as if he has just completed one of the most challenging tasks in his life.

The flow state, as well as the great sensations that accompany it, is not limited to games. It can be achieved in many other aspects of life that deal with work, completing tasks or even good places in competitions.

One of the best examples of how to do this comes from the famous poker competitor Yuri Martins, who spoke a little about his experience with him and how it is the ideal state of mind for success. According to Martins, if a task is too difficult, the person will feel anxiety. At the same time, if it is too easy, it is boredom that will appear. Therefore, the flow state appears when finding the exact balance of difficulty for a task or repeating it several times until it becomes easier.

It is very important to remember that it is impossible to improve at once and learning is always constant. If in order to beat the bosses in Sekiro you have to try several times and choose defined goals, like learning the right time to divert or when to use items, you also need to choose which skills you want to develop and which tasks will help with that.

The first times a person tries to do a different task, be it writing a report, creating a presentation power point or even start training, it will always be more difficult than the next ones and the important thing is not to give up until you reach what is expected.

Putting knowledge into practice

After understanding how Sekiro helps explain what the flow state is and how it can be used to improve performance in different aspects of life, it remains to choose a skill to be developed and put everything that has been learned into practice.

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