Effective use of sound and/or music to communicate info to player

by Sammy Eklund, June 2014

900 words

3 pages


Computer games became interactive entertainment with substantially greater number of opportunities than any other. On the other hand, our imagination and desire to see an interesting story have always been more important than interactivity of the story telling process. Thus, narrative and cinematic elements in game design are still present. As a matter of fact, modern games include more and more cinematic elements in order to make the story smoother and much more interesting. Is it a good or bad tendency in terms of computer games?

In order to answer this question, we should consider the following first: the human brain is able to process information; however, it can create it as well. Imagination, creativity, and everything created by the human brain is the product of what? What are we trying to reach reading books? We imagine the scenes inside our head (Bateman 2005, 2008). Basically, we dream. We personalize characters; some of them we like others we do not. However we live in this book, in its world, if it is interesting, of course. So the story plays a vital role in the attractiveness of a book for reader. What are the movies then? Pictured books, are not they? While watching a movie, we can actually see something, created by the director, cameraman, etc. In this case, the picture could be so exciting that the story is not important. Is it really so? (Bateman 2005, 2008)

Modern technologies in the world of movie making and computer making are very close and similar. In fact, these industries use the same technologies of motion capture, computer graphics, special effects, etc. in order to impress the viewer. We can see how budgets of the modern games are very close to the budgets of the most impressive blockbusters. Of course, producers spend their money differently but they want to achieve the same effect – impress us (Bateman 2005, 2008). Now, we should take a closer look at the overall gross of the AAA games and movies. They are similar, considering the targeted audience, sales channels, etc. However, every successful product can be called interesting. Of course, it could be impressive, shocking, stunning, etc. but it is always interesting. It has the story that attracts people; it makes them spend money (Salen & Zimmerman 2004).

The trick is that the story could be regular, with numerous stamps and cliché. Then why do people go to the movies or play games? The answer is simple. Each story of such kind is presented in the way people like the most. Therefore, a story has two-factor success’ dependence: it should be attractive, interesting, fascinating (but not necessarily) and it must be presented accordingly. These are the main principles of any movie success. Avatar, the most successful movie ever (according to the world gross) is just a love story (RottenTomatoes.com 2011). However, the way James Cameron presented it to the public was outstanding. The result is obvious (Bateman 2008).

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