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Music, Sound and MultimediaFrom the Live to the Virtual$
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Jamie Sexton

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625338

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625338.001.0001

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Music in Video games

Music in Video games

(p.51) 3. Music in Video games
Music, Sound and Multimedia

Rod Munday

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explains how music supports the perception of a gameworld, how music supports the player's involvement in the game, and how music supports a game narrative. Music does not preserve the refrain but expresses it. It can also turn an apparently non-threatening environment into an ominous place. Thus, it is vital in video games because it contributes to the player's sense of immersion. Music is often accorded a powerful mythical function. Cinematic music can be criticised when it is used in video games. Thus, music in video games cannot function in exactly the same way as it functions in cinema, because there are not the same tensions between myth and reality. Despite sharing many functions with film music, diegetic videogame music differs in a fundamental respect. It is concluded that video-game music that serves no aesthetic function beyond screening the sounds of the real world would be a mistake.

Keywords:   videogame music, video games, player, cinematic music, sounds

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