We all have different reasons for listening to music. Some relate it to their own lives. Others listen to it for emotional reasons or simply because they like the beats.
So where does video game audio fit into all this?
I would like to delve into my own perspective on game music and where I believe the art form is going. This is a subject that has interested me quite a bit as of late, and I thought it might make for an interesting post, but I digress.
For many gamers, the music that accompanies a title is a secondary thought, something put there simply to fill that silence when they aren’t shooting something. And for many studios, this might be the purpose of the music behind some of their releases — to keep the player from getting lonely. But some games’ music makes interactive experiences more than just digital entertainment.
These soundtracks make virtual worlds almost magical.
Now, let’s take a step back and think about today’s modern audio. It’s become more than just bleeps and bloops. The music plays an important role in guiding gamers through their digital journeys.
Could you imagine playing The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim without the powerful orchestral pieces you hear when approaching a dragon-word wall or leveling up?
Would making your way through the post-Calamity world of Bastion be the same without its amazing tracks going through your ears? You really should listen to that soundtrack.
The great thing about video game music is that certain pieces give a setting some personality. Suddenly, the inside of that dark mansion becomes a terrifying experience that gives you an uneasy feeling before turning around each corner. The audio can change the emotion of a player and how he sees things, and that's what makes these sounds so special — at least in my opinion.
I will admit, though, that I am not a huge fan of listening to gaming soundtracks outside of, well, the titles themselves. I mean, yes, I do have some songs on my phone, but even those don't get too much play. I don't think listening to them as standalone tracks do them any justice. Their true beauty comes out when they’re coupled with their original settings. Obviously, exceptions exist. I sound like a fan boy, I know, but Bastion….
I’d also like to touch on the timeless quality of these scores. How many times have you heard the audio accompaniment to the first level of Super Mario Bros.? That catchy tune is probably more popular than entire games, certain food items, and even some really good movies.
Anyway, I wasn’t able to touch areas like licensed music and the history of game music itself, which I hope to discuss in a post down the road. On a final note, I just want to say that I hope by reading this, people will spend a little more time listening to what’s going on in the background of their goblin killing or dude shooting.
Thanks for reading and like always, stay beautiful!
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!