Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Horror Music Playlist for Halloween That Will Help You Concrete on Your Work Today! Yep. Really.

Noise levels and how they add to, or distract from, your work is a highly individual thing, but the right amount of ambient noise is essential to help me focus when I write and work. There are various studies that provide the science behind why the mild ambient noise of people chattering and mellow music in a cafe actually helps you work better! I love ambient noise generators like Rainy Cafe and My Noise, but I've recently switched it up with music from my favorite Survival Horror video games, right in time for Halloween!

My Halloween lights and pumpkins will be on and out all month, of course. 

Back in 1996 when pixelated polygon models and pre-rendered static backgrounds were the highs of sophistication for video game imagery, Resident Evil's developers relied on an AMAZING score to set the mood. These games were passed down from gamer-to-gamer, nerd-to-nerd, with the warning, "This shit is scary." A 14-year-old relayed the admonishing advice to me at age 11, but I ignored it when I put the disc into my PlayStation one quiet summer evening. Nothing scared me, I thought, I'd watched the original Halloween every night the month of October for my bedtime story- since I was five. I had Batman's balls of steel! But when I was done creeping around the malevolent mansion filled with its hostile horrors and turned the counsel off for the night I suddenly realized I was indeed, spooked by a video game! I rushed back to my bedroom room from the living room in the dark, so the zombies couldn't get me!

And as it turns out, the repetitiveness of my favorite songs from the game series on a loop make THE PERFECT background writing music for me! (Stuff with lyrics or that's too instrumental distracts me.) I hope they help you too. Not all of the tracks are scary, others are haunting and melancholy. If anything, they'll set the mood while you carve pumpkins or throw parties this Halloween season!

No matter how many times I've played all the games in the series, no matter how well I remember where every "jump scare" is activated or how carefully I've memorized where all the enemies are on the map, I never feel fully secure when I'm playing these games. And that's the sign of good game design... and a damn good soundtrack. Pop these songs on while driving on a lonesome autumn road at midnight. All security will evaporate.

[Bonus Funny: Play this urgent Resident Evil 2 track when you're rushing to clean the house before party guests arrive. You know, when you're stuffing your mess into the closet! Why do guests only come when you house is a mess and not during the miraculous clean-time? Or use the track as motivation when you're frantically finishing something a few minutes before the deadline!]

Also: Here's a full Resident Evil 1 and Resident Evil 2 soundtrack if you'd rather have shorter loops or a fuller experience, although some of the tracks wont make sense outside of gameplay.

Curl up with your blanket, a mug of autumn latte goodness, your idea notebook, and enjoy! If you don't have time for a whole loop, here's a playlist of my absolute favorites! And of course, please share any video games, horror movie suggestions, or background music suggestions to me via E-mailTwitter or Instagram. I'd love to read them.

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