Playing Beat Saber Is Like Doing Magic
October 6, 2020 Jamey Hampton 0 Comments
I do a lot of magic. I also play a lot of Beat Saber. These two facts about me seem pretty thoroughly unrelated, but the more Beat Saber I play, the more I don’t think they really are. Magic is intense and personal, and it feels like being on the same wavelength as something primal in the universe. And—hear me out—Beat Saber is the same.
I bought an Oculus Quest during quarantine with my tax return money, which seemed like the right thing to do. It had been out of stock for months, so when I got the notification that it was available, I ordered one right away. I thought maybe it would be a good thing to keep me occupied and even help me get a little exercise. Beat Saber was the only game I had ever played on an Oculus before—on a visit to a friend’s house—and was the main reason I wanted my own.
For those who aren’t familiar, the premise is extremely simple. You’re given a colored saber in each hand and boxes fly towards you from the horizon in rhythm to a song. You’re meant to slice the boxes in half, Fruit Ninja style. The boxes are color-coded to tell you which saber you should hit them with, and they also have arrows, showing you which direction you need to slice them from.
It did keep me occupied and it did help me get some exercise. It also did a third thing that I didn’t expect. I tend to have trouble with concentration and focus anyway, and during quarantine, it was particularly shot. This was especially frustrating because I was unemployed and stuck at home with a pile of unread books and a list of projects but was having trouble finding the motivation to do much of anything. I hoped it would be a good time to pour some serious energy into my magical practice. Magic is an important and very spiritual part of my life. It helps me cope with difficult times, such as the ones we happen to be living in right now. It also requires intense concentration and focus, and my struggle in that department has always limited my ability to do serious magic and ritual.
I’m actually really proud of this piece, it’s one of the first times I’ve really spoken publicly about my magical practice. I think the connection with Beat Saber is really interesting and I hope others do too! You can read the whole article on Sidequest.