Video games have got to be one of my favorite magical tools. I think they have incredible potential in a variety of ways that they can be implemented for one's magical practice and development. I wrote an article some time ago about some video games I was playing at the time, decribing Dance Dance Revolution as a method for developing one's mind-body connection, raising energy, and so on. I also wrote an article some time ago decribing how Starcraft is a great way to train your brain's flexibility, ability to manage many situations at once, and increase one's spatial thinking abilities. In the same article, I extolled the virtues of Mario Kart and explained how it can train the mind to work quickly and make smart split-second decisions. Working with the technology to immerse myself in a mental training playground is a wonderful way to develop some of those abilities I use as a practicer of magical arts.
Recently, Onix and I have been into playing the new Legend of Zelda release, Skyward Sword. The Wii's heavy use of its motion controllers puts your body into the action, with sword swings and careful physical maneuvers. The virtual world the character runs around in is immersive and expansive, and pure visual delight. The entire time I have been playing this, I have been thinking, "There is no better way to learn the techniques of entering and maneuvering through the astral realm than to practice it here. I've also been enjoying a lot of Skyrim lately; again, it's a game with an expansive, highly detailed and beautifully rendered world. Likewise in Skyrim, I have been bettering my techniques in astral projection.
In these games, I'm projecting my consciousness into the character I'm playing. I see through their eyes and manipulate with their hands, move with their feet and listen with their ears. I learn how to move my consciousness to a locale outside my own body by doing this.
Much like any craft, working in the astral becomes easier the more you practice it. Many guided meditations exist to help people access alternate planes of reality. Making those guided meditations happen requires a creation of the text read to you in your mind. Smell the air around you. Feel your arm as it moves back and forth, touching the items in your environment. Feel the cool of the metal, the smoothness of the leaf, the silkiness of the sand. See everything in brilliant colors and crisp details. Let the soundscape around you be full of intricate sounds. As you pick things up, feel their weight, their density, their temperture and texture. Let your tastebuds tingle when you bite into a piece of fruit on the astral plane.
Back in the day, I used to enjoy MUDding. Those old telnet text adventures - I was a geek for all of them. They developed another level of astral projection capabilities. Everything was in text, after all, and my mind turned those texts to lush landscapes and scenery. These immersive, sandbox environments (whether text or fully-rendered 3d) really give one a lot of realm to effectively exercise free will in a controlled environment. The next step is to do it on your own.
I use Minecraft to build virtual worlds which I can transfer to a certain place in my astral plane. The creative mode on there allows one to build anything they want in whatever size they want, to however much detail they want. I have created my own portable temples on the virtual in Minecraft, then made them a part of my astral world. It's fun.
As a generality in life, I constantly like to be looking for those magical lessons in everything. Video games are one place that's rife with them. They offer a mental gymnasium on which one can hone many of these neural pathways.