Interactivity and Video Games

Karen Collins brings up some good points about interactivity of video games, especially between the creator and consumer. While in other mediums the creator simply creates something and the consumer merely experiences it, with video games the creator creates and the consumer not only experiences it but also participates in partially creating their own experiences. Collins uses sound as an example, where the player’s character might change the music depending on where they walked or what they did. Other media only hold the consumer’s partial attention, like a television show or radio station playing the background. With a video game, people give their full attention because it is not only engaging physically but also mentally.

Video game music can make or break a game and people do not realize how important music can be. Only video games have looping songs and these tunes have nice to listen to but also not grate on the player’s nerves as they continue playing. Video game sound is also important in the design of games. Horror games, for example, rely heavily on sound for their experience. In horror games, spooky sounds play off screen which is great for instilling tension and unease into players. Or when the monster appears the music picks up as the player attempts to escape. The monster is not only chasing the player’s character, but also the player themself. The more invested players are into their game, the more the character feels like an extension of themselves.

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7 Responses to Interactivity and Video Games

  1. Ofir Yakobowicz says:

    I think your presentation went along very nicely with this reading, especially when you told us about Undyne (I think that was the name of it). Have you ever experienced satisfaction in a game that had music or sound that wasn’t as good?

    • Megan says:

      While I can’t remember a video game where the music wasn’t as good, I have played games where I decided to mute the game music and play my own instead. While Guild Wars 2 has great music, I’ve been playing it for 4 years now and the music for a lot of the areas I’ve heard thousands of times that I’ve resulted to keeping the sound muted and playing my own music. The only time where I’ve unmuted the music was when they released the expansion for the game back in october last year, complete with new music.

      Having good, looping music is so important, especially if you’re playing the same game and visiting the same areas for 4 years straight.

  2. Michael Como says:

    I agree that music is a crucial part to the success of a game. When you’re just walking in the virtual world and all of a sudden the music’s pace begins to rise, you know business is about to pick up. As gaming evolves and virtual reality beings its rise the music and sounds are going to be a huge part to completing the full experience and really thrusting the playing into a different world.

  3. melissaluca says:

    I agree that music in video games definitely gets people’s full attention more so than television or a radio station. Without music, video games would likely not have the same impact. Music has the ability to make listeners feel a certain way, and in a game, that is increased. The relationship between the creator and the consumer is interesting when seeing the powerful role music plays in this. It’s interesting to think about how much more advanced music in gaming will become.

  4. Allen Sharma says:

    I agree with you when you say that video game music can make or break a game. A video game sound track is similar to that of a movie. It needs to correlate with the setting and mood of the virtual world that you immerse yourself in otherwise there is no connection. Just by listening to the music coming from a video game you can easily tell when things are about to mellow out for a bit or that it’s time to eff stuff up and that’s what makes it exciting.

  5. Sade Smith says:

    This topic of music in video games is new and interesting to me. I’m not familiar with gaming and I think that both your presentation and this article opened my eyes a bit more to how music can have an affect on the player of a video game. The music whether you enjoy it or find it unbearable does capture your attention and keeps you hooked.

  6. Luisa says:

    I agree. The music definitely plays a role in how you, the player, experiences the game. It enhances everything. For example, in a game where you have to submerge the character underwater, the music starts to speed up when your oxygen meter is running low. It gives the player a sense of urgency. You hear the music and you immediately think “Oh My God! I have to go back and get some air or I’m going to die!” I think having just a visual of the oxygen meter isn’t as effective in providing the player that sense of urgency. Having that sense of urgency helps to further engage the player.

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