Friday, 5 November 2010

Nablopomo and other aliens: Day 5

The other day I made an idle comment on Twitter about how I was listening to Wheatus whilst playing Chip's Challenge.

Generally I use Twitter to inform people of what I am eating or to fish for compliments, so you can imagine how bemused I was to discover that Wheatus (for I believe it was they) had seen my idle tweet and actually replied with the question "what is Chip's Challenge"?

Well. I was not about to tell the "Teenage Dirtbag" legends to google it. I was far too starstruck. Instead I told them that it was a video game and then said something gushing about how I was listening to their lesser-known second album, Hand Over Your Loved Ones, whilst playing it.

The lesser-known second album is, as every brown-noser knows, the correct choice when name dropping the work of any artist.

Joking aside, I genuinely love Wheatus. Brendan Brown is my biggest fashion influence to date.

I sound like I am joking, but I am honestly not. I am actually dressed like that right now. I have a pair of glasses that look exactly like that (which I am wearing) and a spare pair which look very similar. Even my hair is pretty much the same.

Anyway, the point I am making is that sometimes, you have to make your own soundtracks to video games. Sometimes the fit is more obvious than others. Something about Brown's plaintive falsetto and the plinky-plonky instrumental on "Lemonade" makes it the perfect accompaniment to Chip's Challenge, the tale of a nerd trying to make his way through a maze to get to the girl of his dreams.

Sometimes a well-picked album can make a better soundtrack to a game than the original soundtrack.

Listening to external music doesn't really work well for plot-based games or games with a strong sense of place or setting (that's Fallout 3 out, then), but for simple, casual games, it can create a completely new experience. Wik and The Fable of Souls becomes a wholly new experience when played to the haunting strains of The Devin Townsend Band.

I find that I listen to music best when I am doing something theraputic such as cooking, cleaning, doing a jigsaw puzzle or playing a game. I go into a kind of trance-like state that makes me very receptive to sound.

I love albums, and that an hour of musical progressin through a thought or a theme is still my favourite way of listening to music. But I often find that just sitting down and trying to listen to an album lets my mind wonder. tend to get much more out of an album when I am playing something like Peggle or Trials.

Does anyone else do this?

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