Music and the World of Warcraft

19 Jul

Naturally, a proviso: all posts this week are inspired, directly or indirectly, by my recent trip to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.  Today the connection is loose, but obvious.  For anyone who hates music, or the thought of listening to it, you should skip today’s post.

Music is almost everywhere we go.  At its most basic, its a rhythm or a sound.  At the most complex, its a soulful expression of human creativity.  That’s a pretty large continuum, and anyone who listens to Pop music has likely hear everything on that spectrum.

I’ve talked to a lot of arena players who make a point of getting “pumped up” with some music before a set of matches.  This does a few good things.

First, it builds confidence.  Confidence is an important a stat in arena as haste, spellpower, or resilience.  Confidence is the difference between someone who knows what they’re doing, and someone who knows they can do it.

Second, it puts a rhythm in your brain.  In fast paced arena play, its easy to get out of step.  Its easy to miss a global as you try to figure out why you’re dying so swiftly.  A rhythm gives you something to track back to.  It lets the pace in your head define the pace of your match.  Try it.  You’ll see what I mean.

In a raid, music can help tune you into a fight.  Let me explain what I mean.  At a low volume (low enough that one almost can’t hear it) I play one song or album on repeat during a new boss attempt.  I continue to listen to it throughout all of our wiping, gradually associating the shifts in the music with the phases of our encounter.

Day two, we return to this fight.  Before going in, I briefly listen to that same song.  My mind is quickly flooded with all the learning points of the previous night; I am right back there without any need for warm-up or re-explanation.

This is quite possibly an extreme example, but sounds and music are a powerful cue.  Anyone using DBMs will understand the power of sound to keep everyone awake and alive.

While we’re staying awake and alive… I thought I’d share with you some of the music I got to encounter this weekend.  These folks are pretty amazing.

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4 Responses to “Music and the World of Warcraft”

  1. chui July 20, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    Very interesting method by connecting the same musical song to the same boss attempt. Tapping into your various learning styles via many stimuli makes you such a productive raid leader and strategist. I’ve used music before with my students during “working time”, but haven’t thought of it in terms of brain / strategy development. Teaching summer school has led me to the opportunity to engage with many “non-traditional” students, and I’ve been doing the teacher reading on how to restructure my assessment methods to better evaluate kids like these, now I’m going to add music to the mix and see if tapping into that intelligence can yield more results. tyvm for the interesting links, hope you had a blast, minus the sunburn!

    • calsong July 20, 2010 at 8:44 am #

      You know Chui, I had a history teacher in highschool who was big on tapping into the power of smell. He’d use varies spices and vanillas during study sessions, and during review would flood us with this one by one. We’ve got more than just our ears and eyes, although often we forget that!

  2. Notlupus July 20, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    I’m a pretty big fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Rush, usually have one of those two playing while I’m playing Counter-Strike or Team Fortress 2. Never bothered to put them on while playing WoW though.

    I do like that Daniel Champagne’s music though.

    And if you want to listen to something…unique, give this a whirl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhp6P9Ygsoc
    Music starts at about 20 sec, and it draws inspiration from spaghetti westerns.

    • calsong July 20, 2010 at 8:43 am #

      That rocks, Lupus! Thanks.

      Mr. Champagne had a good story for us on stage. He played at an Australian festival with some “big name Americans” there and while playing snapped the neck of a guitar. Dramatic, but it makes the second act harder. Luckily, the makers of the sort of guitar he uses were at the festival and they ran up on stage to lend him one saying “just don’t break this one.”

      He did. At the end of the set he send a hairline crack down the neck of the guitar. He apologized profusely, but the manufacturer said it wasn’t hit guitar. It belonged to Jack, who he’d have to say his sorries to.

      So that’s how Daniel got tossed into the dressing room of Jack Johnson, holding a broken guitar as Jack tried to finish his dinner. Apparently he was really cool about it.

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