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Twitch gaming is a form of entertainment which uses the reflexive, instantaneous-response portion of the brain. So named because of the short-rapid jerking motions most hardcore gamers exhibit, nearly all games falling into this category are video games; however, there are a unique select few which defy this criteria, such as Snap.

Twitch games, though fairly narrow in description, have an alarmingly dedicated following. Genre's can range anywhere from Side-scrolling Blasters, to First Person Shooters to Rhythm and Music games. Popular and unique titles include Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, FreQuency, and Silpheed, as well as many more. There are also a number of games which couple twitch reactions with strategy elements, the most popular arguably being Warcraft 3.

What makes Twitch games stand apart from the other games is the constant immersion required in order to achieve success; movement is quick, and the feedback immediate. This works to keep the user actively engaged by indulging the "instant gratification" trigger.

But more importantly, Twitch gaming is more a delicate art than a science of technicalities.

When things become intense, a twitch gamer will begin to Flow; all extraneous distractions are shut out (often with the aid of a nice pair of surround headphones), and the player enters a strange trance. Adrenaline levels begin to mount, and chemical reactions begin to explode somewhere in the primal recesses of the mind. The eyes become fixed on an imaginary point somewhere between the retinas and the screen, and facial tics and other nervous, unconcious gestures sometimes begin to manifest.

If you've never tried it, it comes heavily recommended; very little can beat the natural high of giving someone a flak cannon facial, or pulling a huge combo streak out of your ass.

Let's not bullshit ourselves.

Anyone can play a twitch game. Notice how I used it as a noun. Relatively few, however, will ever twitch game. Notice the verb.

Try it. I dare you. Pick up a game that you haven't devoted months, maybe years to, and try to zone out while you play. Come back when you do that.

Yeah, you just got your ass handed to you.

Twitch gaming isn't playing a game and trying to zone out. Twitch gaming is being so comfortable with a game, so understanding of the intricacies that thinking about playing slows you down. That's right. Twitch gaming is not only an art- in proper context, it is the epitome of playing. Moving your crosshair to the enemy's head before you realize what you're doing. Killing your mark before your brain realizes he even showed up. Twitch gaming isn't fun, it's exhilarating. You don't laugh with your friends when you're in the zone, you sigh in relief when you realize that you just killed someone. Who knows, maybe you didn't even realize you do it- you aren't focusing. When you can reach this point of gaming, revel in it. Use it. Love it. Understand that most people can't do what you don't even have to think about.

But here's something I've noticed, at least about myself: I don't get better when I'm not focusing. When I zone out and play, I fall to the same tricks, miss the same opportunities, and never come up with something clever that I've never done before. My reflexes don't learn. If you're someone who zones out when they play, go back to the real world sometime when you're playing. You won't be as quick, but you'll get better. It's a delicate balance. Use one to improve the other. Training yourself will make you better in performance mode, I swear. Suck up the deaths- you'll destroy these kids when it counts.

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