MMO

Repetetitive music for repetitititive tasks

This is an expansion on this tweet (chain – click to see the rest):

I wanted to provide a little background to what I meant.

You might have heard about the benefits of giving both left and right brain hemisphere something to do when performing tasks. Well, there’s that, and there’s also association. Mix something you don’t like with something you do and your brain will make a connection. And the factor I wanted to focus on is about the repetition:

I attended a psychedelic spiritual ritual (Santo Daime, ayahuasca) a couple of times where there would be singing of very similar melodies, over and over, for hours. (Some breaks from that for spoken parts, but relatively few.) Now what this does is that if there’s a part of your brain that simply resists the repetitive nature of the experience, e.g. finds it boring or dumb or annoying, that part, which prevents you from accomplishing the task, will eventually have to succumb and admit defeat. You are literally getting your mind out of the way. Not necessarily completely, but the part that resists.

So one of the best example for such situations that I can think of from my own experience is computer games and “farming”. I’m sure you know that. You want something rare or something in great quantity in an MMO, but it involves mind-numbing ( 😉 ) grind for hours, and the longer you do it, the more resistance your mind builds up.
Now if you can find a music that puts you in the right mood, that conveys a kind of vibe of being diligent, productive, to keep going; music that has flow and groove (D&B is usually good with flow), and you find yourself able to listen to that on repeat, over and over, then you can combine that with the repetitive task and you will have fused the best of both worlds. The core issue you took with the grind, the seemingly endless repetitiveness, has been connected to two things: Your wish to accomplish the task and your enjoyment of the music.

You know this really worked well when you eventually realize you’ve overshot the mark and kept going. ^^
You know the music is REALLY good when you KNOW you’ve overshot your mark but keep going anyway. 😀

The following are just some of my personal favorites, but they might give you an idea what I’m talking about. The music needs to speak to a deeper part than your rational mind. Some music can be awesome fun, but only for a while, because it adresses the mind too much. Other is less obtrusive. Generally, what works well is music that makes you want to move your body. As an added effect then, your manual actions towards accomplishing the task will be treated like dancing by your emotional mind.

Awkward Marina – Fairy Tail 2014 Theme (EXCEED The Limit Remix)

PsychGoth – The Derpinator (Fighting theme of Derpy Hooves)

RawGreen – Donut Steel 2: The Soundtrack

 
 
A bit less effective for me, but still in the category:

Whitetail – Rarity Theme (CommandSpry Remix)

DerpyCrash & Leafrunner – Mezza Luna (Hay Tea Remix)

And then there is a set of somewhat different tunes that used to help me a lot in World of Warcraft, in part during daily quests that are quite action-oriented. It might be a change of taste, or the fact that it’s a different game. You’ll have to figure out what fits you and the situation, but this essay might help you understand what to look for and how to find fitting music more easily.
(I also did my own cuts from the following tracks in order to make them ‘cut to the chase’ and work better when looped.)

EVE Online – Retribution

EVE Online – Seven Clans

EVE Online – Fight Like You Live

I am usually not into industrial or acid punk or whatever this is, but it’s about the context and I’m quite open to various music genres.
Even if, for example, you are not at all someone who enjoys listening to orchestral music, when it skillfully complements a movie scene, it’s literally a different story. Should I say…

Klendathu Drop from Starship Troopers

Being a musician is one thing, but being able to find just the right music for a specific occasion is a skillset in itself.

Of course, apart from repetitive music, any music that really gets you going can work, because no matter what you do of whether you do anything at all while listening, you’re already having a good time and thus perceive the world differently. And what I mean by that is beautifully depicted by this:

If you are into chiptunes, the following might do the trick (Not gonna link them, it slows down the article display):
Artist: Yerzmyey
Titles: Break Space, Fifteen Colours, Arcane Zone (Part 2), New Line, XL Dance

As a sidenote: I use to go to a TCM massage parlor and they were playing the same set of tunes every time, all the time. And the choice was perfect, because for reasons I cannot put into words, that music was another example (even if not repetitive and motivating, but calming and unobtrusive) of not getting bothersome even if you hear it again and again. And it was like that throughout the whole CD. A skillful choice … and for the therapist understandably a necessary choice.

The Romanticization of Weapons

I’m watching a swordmaking series on Youtube, and on one video, someone commented that their kid watches the series with great excitement, but that at the end, when they slash pumpkins, bottles and such, they now have a guy do this in a zombie-slayer theme, slashing apart an anatomically relatively realistically looking zombie bust, and that this gives their son nightmares, and was asking them to remove it.

Now I was thinking back to that and it hit me how much people are in denial about an inconvenient fact that pop culture helped to blur:

Swords are weapons of war, meant for killing people.

All the pop media over a long period of time managed to give people the delusion that there is a moral difference between watching a sword fight and watching a shooting range. Swords have been ‘quaintified’, because they are not the weapon of choice in our times due to being inferior to guns.

Then again, even tons of computer games are all about shooting and killing, yet people make a troubling distinction between the act and the visualization like there’s a moral highground. It is conditioning the mind in an unhealthy way.
Yes, I myself would make a practical distinction, but I don’t kid myself that it’s a personal preference. If someone depicts gun violence in a shockingly realistic way (apart from the question whether that is glorifying violence), there is no right or wrong to their choice of depiction. It might be understandable to say that, for example, computer games with horrible depictions of violence shouldn’t exist, but they do, and people should stop twisting the focus on the depiction. That’s just realistic. Instead it should be discussed whether the gun violence depiction itself is desirable. Because if you start kidding yourself about the origins and nature of what you see, that becomes exploitable. For example, you see a US soldier blow a ‘terrorist’s’ head apart and you might be outraged that this is shown. But what about outrage about the act of violence itself? When you merely read about those things, it’s so easy to be fine with it, because you are not confronted with the full reality that comes along with it.
This also stifles the development of empathy.

When your young kids are playing, for example, the MMO World of Warcraft, they are playing a war game involving bloody violence. There are no bullshit excuses like “but it’s medieval”. You could just as well let them watch Game of Thrones. The only difference there is a more realistic depiction of the consequences of the actions that you also find players doing in World of Warcraft.
A huge part of entertainment media is still based on exploiting violent and death-oriented behavioral patterns and whitewashing happens to any degree necessary to make it acceptable to people who like to fool themselves.
If you allow your kids to play with toy guns, you’re conditioning them for violence and conflict. If you allow them to play with rubber swords, you’re doing the same thing. The difference is purely formal.

If Hitler was ruling these days, he might get inspired by Whack-a-Mole and there would be “Whack-A-Jew” browser games, and because it is fun and trivial, people would develop those associations and stop seeing jews as human beings. Because that’s a popular propaganda strategy for making people do horrible things: You have to make them feel good (about themselves) while they’re doing them.

Bottom line: It is alright to admire the skill that goes into the swordmaking craft, but it might still be a subject matter that’s reserved for a mature audience – for people who are not kidding themselves and can make distinctions and educated decisions.
All that’s bothering me (in many cases) is people deceiving themselves, not seeing things as they are. Because then they are not acting based on reality, which means they are shaping a different one with their actions, and if it’s based on conflict and violence, that’s not a good starting point. If you can change the world, why choose to do so for the worse?

A Study in Reality Denial

An example of how much many people are willing to completely abandon perception of obvious reality in order to satisfy their personal unhealthy attitudes.

First, in order to understand the degree of sickness that can be found in games like World of Warcraft (but also in the outside world) imagine yourself in this situation:

You’re standing in front of the post office, talking to a friend. Suddenly someone approaches you and says: “Move!”. You: “Eh, what? Why?” He: “You jerk are blocking sight of my destination.” You: “No need to be rude. What’s the problem with blocking your sight? You can just walk around us, there’s no problem at all.” He: “Pal, I’m not arguing here. Just move, OK? Don’t be a dick by making life harder for everybody.” You: “What’s wrong with you? Why the hell don’t you just walk around us? The post office is right there. It’s impossible to miss.” He: “Alright, I asked you a very simple thing, but apparently you want to annoy people. I will call the police and tell them about what you are doing here. They will lock you up for at least a week.”

Yeah, this is reality. People are doing that.

I was in World of Warcraft on my free-to-play account, in Ironforge where the Chistmas presents are available for opening. The usual scene there is that it is very crowded, with dozens of players idling right in front of the presents, blocking sight – but not access, since a long time ago the game was modified so that you can click any interactive object even if a player is standing right on it.
Occasionally a player would park their huge mount right on the presents to troll people. More often, others are just not considerate enough to realize they’re standing on an object.

This problem can be solved by zooming into first person view and/or just approaching the presents from the backside where not a single player was standing, but that would have required people to use their brain – something that is increasingly resented in WoW, and the game further caters to that trend.

So I was watching and doing my creative brainstorming, and I eventually figured out that I could use my proto drake mount to align myself in an odd angle that made it stem its foot against Santa’s chair and span its wing over him like an umbrella. Beautiful.
So I did that.

WoWScrnShot_122514_215530 (position example)

And then the shitstorm started.

You see, WoW attracts the worst kind of people and encourages unhealthy tendencies, so there were tons of people who totally felt like they had to satisfy their need for practicing righteous indignation and restoring neat and tidy total order for their personal ideas of how the world should be. Apparently the game lore with the fanatic Scarlet Crusade hasn’t taught them anything.

So what happened was that very many people totally ignored the fact that I wasn’t even visually blocking Santa or the presents and kept rudely bothering and insulting me via whispers and says and bathing in their own arrogance and supposed moral superiority.

Amusingly, every now and then someone would use some kind of toy to make all the players standing around there start to cry. It was so appropriate.

Not kidding: One guy even said I am ruining people’s Christmas with what I’m doing. Total insanity!

“Simple as that” – Words of denial
WoWScrnShot_122514_221613 (Simple as that - The words of denial)

Another one complained that on Alliance side the presents are positioned against a wall. That realization – which isn’t even that relevant – would already have contained the solution – to take a look at the free backside of the area. But people only see what they want to see.
I had opened 50 presents earlier, under worse conditions, without making a fuss. Seriously, it’s like people complaining on Easter that the eggs are hidden.

At some point they started making up obvious lies about people having gotten banned earlier the day for it. They just couldn’t stand the idea that they might not get their way, so they decided to move into a power-trippy phantasy world.
This triumphant crying for the authorities whenever something touches people’s control issues is making things easier for fascism.
When the next tyranny succeeds, blame the common rabble.

One or two people who whispered me first called me names, saying how ugly and evil I am, and then finished by wishing me merry Christmas and a nice evening. Yeah, so much for this being a sincerely serious issue to them. They’re just saying such totally contrary stuff so that they can preserve their self-image of being a good person. It’s all about them and their bullshit.

One theme that persisted through all those interactions: I was practicing a socratic dialogue, and the simple inquiry about the reality at hand, about what I am supposedly blocking, either immediately silenced people, or made them actively refuse to tell me what they see, or make claims contrary to the obvious reality. Yeah, this is all too familiar. Cases like these, and you should remember that, are not some unconscious delusion. Those people KNOW very well that they are talking bullshit. They have made a conscious decision not to care about the facts; to sacrifice the truth so that they can continue their egomanic crusade.

Of all the people bothering me, only a single one so much as mentioned the mailbox, whose space my character kinda occupied. I then, again in the spirit of socratic dialogue, asked how she knows there is a mailbox there. (Because any idiot would have been able to access it without any problem.) Again, silence.

Also, one person actually gave me an answer to my question, about how my dragon mount is positioned, eliminating any doubt one could have had, about a possible desync between my and other clients or such.

One of the players who every now and then decdided to park his huge mount right on top of the presents (which actually makes it very easy to even see them, since the model is empty inside) summed it up nicely:
“You don’t cry over 100 people standing around there but as soon as 1 mount come, all hell breaks loose.”

And they’re complaining about ME?!
WoWScrnShot_122514_232234 (And they're complaining about me_!)

And this fact involves a case of amazing hypocrisy, because one guy who kept bothering me and didn’t tolerate my presence eventually parked his character right in front of some presents and went AFK, like so many other people that were collectively forming a visual barrier. And when he later came back and I pointed that out, he had the audacity to still act all righteous.
I ended the convo by saying I just realized he’s a retribution paladin and that I thus can’t enlighten him tonight. ^^

Now THAT’s a SOMEWHAT bigger issue, haha.
WoWScrnShot_122514_224249 (Now THAT's a slightly more justified issue, haha.)

The oddest convo I had, which makes me wonder whether one of the crazed lunatics set him up to it, was an apparently new player, level 13 char, who timidly asked me to stop blocking the quest objects, and when I told him that I already verified I am in fact not blocking them, the response was: “Oh, OK.” That really surprised me a little. But, it also motivated me to explain in more detail and give him hints about how to easily access visually blocked quest objects. It was the most intelligent conversation I had that evening with a player in Ironforge.

Reality check failed
WoWScrnShot_122614_011258 (Reality check failed)

Probably the most amusing dialogue was when someone – apparently meant sarcastically – asked me whether I could move my mount closer to the presents. That gave me the opportunity to reply that I don’t want to block Santa or the presents.
Again, silence after that, haha. The power of truth.

At some point I pondered the question whether I should feel sorry for the GMs being confronted with all that ridiculous report spam. But no, they designed the game in a way to attract the worst of society and encourage immaturity and rotten character, making no effort to direct young players towards maturity, which they totally could if they weren’t such money-grabbers.
They probably have an automated filtering system for player reports anyway.

This reminds me of two things:
1) An experience I had on the WoW forums long ago where people wasted an astonishing amount of energy with resisting simply helping me out with something just so that they could showcase their arrogant – and false – beliefs. Pompous blood elf paladins and wannabe-MVP draenei shamans and such. Eventually it took an orc death knight to get the job done. A “can do” guy among many naysayers. … And afterwards the egomaniacs were still attempting their control games and trying to save face. Here’s the link in case you’d like to know all the details: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3312962096
2) Something I blogged about earlier that conveys the spirit in which I did what I did that evening: https://dowlphinblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/competitive-gaming-campers-and-the-unfairness-of-life/

When there is uproar among the lowly peasants, I just find it ado-rabble. ^^