A Sonic Accompaniment to WAR

January 9, 2009

There are a lot of things I miss about college.  Besides all the free time, the lack of responsibilities, the increased alcohol tolerance, and the ensuing shenanigans that go with all of the above, I miss just sitting at the computer and listening to music.  (Sound odd?  I guess it is kind of, but stick with me here…)  I ran with a somewhat nerdy crowd in college (surprise!), and we got together just around the time I was really discovering and getting into the music scene.  Which was also, not coincidentally I guess, right around the time Napster exploded across college campuses worldwide.  I miss just sitting at the computer and playing the Napster GameTM (which was name-that-tune with Winamp on random – this was long before iTunes) with anyone who happened to walk into my dorm room.  I loved that shit, and I was nigh unbeatable at one point.  Of course it was usually my computer so I knew all the songs, but nonetheless…a force to be reckoned with!

Blah, blah, blah – what does this have to do with WAR or gaming in general?  Well with all the responsibilities and other interests that I have going on now, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to sit at the computer and randomly listen to music – I have too much other stuff to get done in the day.  Not to mention the fact that I don’t have another person – ie. my dorm mate, relatively trapped in a 12 X 12 “room” – to talk to while doing so.  Also, due to some complication in the way I’m wired, I can’t read for content while listening to music (I can do numbers, but not words), so listening while catching up on my blog reading is right out.   Work is also out – the people in the cubes tend to get pissy when I blast the volume on my little desktop speakers.

So my WAR and other PC gaming time usually gets multitasked into serving as my music fix.  It’s not that I don’t like the music in WAR.  I’ve definitely caught myself humming the theme more times than I care to admit.  It’s just all the in-game music seems pretty…ambient?  I like to sing along to something while I’m leveling.  I go down to my Man Cave (ie. the basement), blast some tunes, and smoke some fools in RvR.  After a long day at the office, it’s very cathartic.  I usually do the random seek thing until I come across an album I want to play, preferably one that is Warhammer-appropriate.  For instance, tonight I randomly came across Alice in Chains’ Dirt.  I’m a fan of the band, and that’s probably their best album, IMO.  It’s pretty dark (a mild understatement), so I thought what the hell – that’s pretty WAR-appropriate.  It paired up nicely, like a good Cabernet and a thick steak.

In the same vein, I’ve always thought the best way to discover new music was to listen to it in the background a couple times.  If you like it, you find that after a couple listens you know the tune without even thinking about it.  If you’re into music and never tried it, I highly suggest it.  Plus, it’s perfect for MMO-playing, as the more relaxed nature of the game allows you to pay more attention to the music.

What about you guys?  Surely I’m not the only one with these habits.  What kind of music do you prefer to listen to while gaming?  Or do you just leave on the in-game soundtrack?  Let me know if you have any thoughts on the subject or on what would pair well with WAR musically.

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