Listen to video game soundtracks while you work
As I write this text, I can hear the sound of triumphant pipes mingling with the rhythmic notes of violins. You know, if you read my article, turn on this track and find “Battlefield One”. You’ll focus a little better if it plays in the background, I promise. After all, this is what video game soundtracks are aimed at.
Actually, at this point, this is the best life advice I’ve received — listen to music from video games if you need to concentrate. After all, this is a special genre of music created in order to enhance the sensations and, at the same time, stay somewhere in the background, in the subcortex of the brain. It should engage and engage the player without distracting them. In fact, the best tracks even help players complete tasks.
Many studies suggest that essentially any background sound improves concentration — most likely because it makes it possible to disconnect from other harsh sounds like a colleague clearing his throat or opening a door, which can distract. Music works best, but not all of it. The last single to reach number one on the chart is more likely to make you want to stomp and sing along to it, rather than do something important.Silence, on the other hand, on the contrary, slows down office employees, and they work less effectively than their musical colleagues. Even some surgeons listen to music to get into the right state, and one study claims that with the soundtrack accompanying them, they perform operations more efficiently and accurately.Not much research has been devoted to working specifically for video game soundtracks. But these tracks are perfect for working with several parameters at once.1. Without words, over the years of evolution, our brains have learned to identify people in a variety of ways. We recognize faces (even where there are none), and our ears are tuned to the frequency of the human voice. Therefore, other people’s conversations are very distracting — the brain tries to shift the focus of attention from work to someone else’s speech.Coffee shops with crowds of people do not have this effect, because the voices are mixed into a single lump and cease to be distinguishable. But in open space, human speech enters the mind too often and in small portions, which is distracting. One study found that constant background noise improved employee productivity, and the least conducive to concentration were messages from the alert system.
In game soundtracks rarely come across human voices, and if they are, most often it’s just sounds (all sorts of “Oooh”, “Aah”, “Oooh” and so on), and not words. A strange exception was The Sims. On some in-game radio stations, Sims speak, but use a special artificial language — simlish-and therefore our ears do not perceive this noise as speech.The Sims soundtrack is surprisingly productive, most likely because it was created for a game where you have to spend hours doing, to be honest, quite boring things. Paint walls, arrange furniture, order Sims to go to the bathroom, wait for them to eat lasagna for lunch. Try playing The Sims in silence — it will be boring. But with a cheerful music on the background, I want to continue.
2. A fairly smooth and low volume level the majority of music intended to attract the listener often changes in volume level, because the transition from one state to another (from quiet to loud or Vice versa) strongly attracts attention.And if suddenly the volume of a quiet track is turned off for 11 hours at the moment when a person writes a sentence, he may lose it. We don’t need it. We don’t need surprises. The smooth crescendos that video game music is famous for are noticeable, but they don’t distract — they guide and direct the listener, which is what is required of them.
Even very loud background noise is distracting. One study says that loud sounds impair a person’s ability to process information, but low-or medium-volume background noise improves productivity and creativity.3. Fast tempo — all the classics are slow, but there is a reason why they are considered relaxing: after all, most of the classical compositions are tender and melodic. But we are not looking for quiet tracks, we are looking for tracks that will stimulate the brain.Video game music by definition can’t be soothing — no one will spend 22 hours in a game in a relaxed state (approx. per.: I don’t agree — I spent two days in No Man’s Sky under almost identical and calm drinking 65daysofstatic almost without breaks. Degradation high). Composers need to create an exciting track that will not, however, be exhausting.
Therefore, for example, rap and hip-hop are great music for training: the rhythm and tempo encourage and make you practice. Research suggests that athletes do better with rhythmic music. These genres are also good if you have a routine work that is repetitive and does not require much brain effort, because it is on music that the brain concentrates in this case. But if you have to work with texts or code, it is advisable to choose a purely instrumental playlist.Spotify has some great playlists with hours of music from video games, or you can just turn on the Sims soundtrack on YouTube. The main thing is not to learn simlish, otherwise you will not be able to work under these melodies in any way.