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The end of the semester is quickly approaching, and along with room check-outs, advanced class selection, and warm weather, comes the dreaded finals week. As students start racking up hours in the library and Hub, they are forced to cram course material while dreaming of days on the beach or lounging at home. One way to balance this nostalgia for a dreamier day while studying is the use of fantasy gaming soundtracks while reviewing. The best part of this technique? You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy the music that accompanies gameplay, and it can improve your focus, motivation, and productivity.
In general, music can reduce stress and improve concentration. Dr. Amit Sood, a physician of integrative medicine with the Mayo Clinic, said, “In biological terms, melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain.” College students are often found with earbuds in in an attempt to block out noises. While cramming vocab words in the Student Union, it is easy to find your mind wandering. The various fast food smells and lobby couples can leave even the most studious person wishing for peace and quiet. So why not swap your regular study playlist for something specifically composed to help you achieve at your highest potential?
A great way to combat distractions while studying is listening video game soundtracks because they foster an environment of focus and achievement. The upbeat and fantastical qualities of these soundtracks are composed to inspire a feeling of accomplishment while including beats of tension to keep your mind on task. Laura Lee, a writer for the Enveritas Group, shared, “…video game music is composed with a purpose to help you focus on your task without being distracted by a cacophony of sounds or lyrics.”
Your brain is designed to detect humans in all forms. This is why your eyes have a tendency to see faces (even where there are none) and your ears are tuned to the frequency of human voices. This is why hearing someone talk is so distracting—your brain keeps trying to turn your attention to whoever is speaking instead of whatever you're supposed to be doing. Bustling coffee shops don't have this effect, because the voices blend together and stop being recognizable as language. The US Library of Medicine found that in common areas, human speech slips into your range of hearing just often enough to keep your mind wandering. Video game soundtracks rarely have human voices, and when they do, they’re generally singing sounds (ethereal oooohs, spooky aaaaaahs) rather than actual words.
As you’re playing Skyrim, you’re solving puzzles, killing draugr, stealing sweet rolls, and completing quests throughout the nine holds. You can’t exactly do all of this to the latest Ed Sheeran album. While “Shape of You” is a great jam, it will inevitably distract the Dragonborn from the quests they are trying to complete. Silence, however, also fails to keep you on track. As mentioned earlier, the various sounds that accompany your study environment can easily distract you from your quizlet. Video game composers are paid considerable amounts to take this into consideration. Countless hours go into the specific composition of these soundtracks. Because they are designed to provide auditory cues and guide you through gameplay, gaming soundtracks are a great way to review through course material for that last cumulative final.
Now that you know how gaming soundtracks can influence your study sessions and academic quests, you can make a station based on them. Because personal taste in music should always be taken into consideration, you should explore the many gaming soundtracks available on Spotify and iTunes to form a playlist that best suits your preferences. Some Soundtracks that you should check out:
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Original Game Soundtrack By: Jeremy Soule
- Halo: Original Game Soundtrack By: Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori
- The Legend of Zelda: Original Sound Track By: Koji Kondo