Avoiding focus.

Thread in 'Strategy' started by Echo, 21 Jun 2018.

  1. This might sound weird, but I have never played a good game in my life while I was focused.
    Every single one of my PBs has been done with me listening to someone speak English (which is not my native language) and me trying to understand, elaborate and think about it at the same time.

    At first I thought this was a coincidence, or a probability issue:I play more games while listening to YouTube/Audible so it's more likely that I'll set a PB with it. But no. After some extensive testing I pretty much confirmed my theory:
    my subconscious stacking algorithm needs to do its thing without me ever thinking about the playfield

    This seems weird to me as well; it may be nocebo effect or whatever. But after trying again and again and confirming I can get consistently past Death 370-380 or so while totally comfy, relaxed and thinking about literally anything else and can just barely even get to 300 when focusing as hard as i can in the moment and on the game, I have no other choice than to make this official.
    This is also why I avoid game audio at all costs: I LOVE this series' music, but just can't play with it. I actually listen to it while cooking :thinking:

    NB: I'm not saying this is how your brain works, I'm saying this is how my brain works.

    So the discussion is on!!! I've thrown my 2 cents in, I'm very curious to see if any of you had a similar experience in the past :D
    FreakyByte likes this.
  2. I've experienced similar things before. While I did set PBs while I was concentrated, I mostly only get concentrated when I'm close to PBing.

    Tetris can be very relaxing for me when I'm in the right state of mind. My thoughts drift of to anything other than Tetris. It's almost like some kind of meditation. I rarely play good when my thoughts don't do that, which unfortunately happens as well, especially when I'm grinding a lot in one week or something like that. Listening to music helps me as well since that gives me something to focus on other than the game, but that doesn't always work either.
    Echo likes this.
  3. Last edited: 21 Jun 2018
    Echo likes this.
  4. @Caithness and I have discussed this before. You can definitely play better when you're distracted. Personally, I wish I could turn TGM music off and play my own music while still keeping the sound effects (They're useful for keeping you "in rhythm").

    I don't think about Tetris while I'm playing Tetris, almost at all. I generally have something else running just to keep my brain occupied, because it often feels like my brain is doing nothing (which it hates). Starcraft VODs, the news, or music. In terms of good games, I tend to be very hit or miss. I can have a good game while blasting Initial D music or while completely focused with no distractions. Even when I'm totally focused, I'm not really thinking about Tetris.

    Of course, we can't ignore the elephant in the room.
    GyRo and Echo like this.
  5. Well, BGM is on channel 1 and SFX is on channel 0. Or the other way around I don't remember, but I'm sure that they're on different channels. No idea tho if there are dip switches or some kind of board mod.
    Thank you for sharing your experience as well!
  6. I'll note that I don't 100% buy into the "don't think" school of thought. :) Having a well-built repertoire of "automatic" decision making is of course important, but I think that having some level of engagement and novel thought to improve upon that baseline is important; if I'm completely spaced out and not thinking about what I'm doing, I find I'm also prone to making some suboptimal or poorly reasoned decisions that aren't really an ideal fit for the situation at hand. I can understand the feeling that "over-focus" can lead to getting in one's own way, thinking too long or reacting too slow... but there is an ideal balance to be achieved. Avoiding thought in excess probably should not lead to avoiding thought in totality.
    GyRo, Echo and FeV like this.
  7. FeV


    I'm agreeing with this post. Much of the time I'm playing death mode, I'm employing some kind of conscious ideas, even if it's something simple like "ok, you're probably not going to see an L in the next few pieces" or "time to focus on stabilizing the left side", or occasionally I'll let conscious thought decide where to place pieces (this is rarer for me in other modes, I think). The point is that I think these thoughts are useful and should be practiced, as long as you aren't having them about the placements too much of the time.
    Kitaru and Echo like this.
  8. Oh yeah, totally agreed. Something that I noticed is the algorithm gets better over time, but actively thinking about what you're doing wrong and trying to do something about it can help do get better... better. :thinking:
    But this happened for me in Master more; trying to play around the randomizer and thinking about the overall stack stability and such. in Death it's just like go fast and that's it usually.
    Kitaru likes this.
  9. I always concentrate really hard so as to achieve MAXIMUM FRUSTRATION when I fail :D
    xyrnq and Kitaru like this.
  10. I would say that my problem is being focused on the wrong thing. I hit a real rough patch with score jitters that stopped me from breaking 300k on NES NTSC Tetris for a solid month, after having already broken 500k.

    The real issue for me was being overly focused on my score.

    So I put a nice piece of electrical tape over my score, directly on my tv screen.

    I decided that if I just try an focus on losing myself in nice, clean, by-the-book Tetris, the score should take care of itself.

    Playing has went from a stressful thing to a relaxing thing again. And even better...because of the sudden excitement of the rocket screen.

    Its like, the playing is over...I have topped out, the curtain has fallen, too many errors...a mildly bummed feeling...then it clicks...

    I wonder what my score is??

    Its an afterthought. Not the focus anymore.
    Last edited: 31 Jul 2018
    Qlex, d4nin3u and Kitaru like this.

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