Have you ever wondered how music in video games has evolved over the past several years?
There was a time when the music behind those early games was much like circus music and tended to accompany the running and jumping movements of characters in play. Graphics were simple and so was the music that tended to be quite repetitive and thus, identifiable after just a few notes.
Today the music in video games is akin to soundtracks for some of the leading motion pictures. Often the music for video games is the same music from the soundtrack of the movie upon which the game is based.
So then, how important is that music in gaming? Actually, there are several ways in which music is an important element in gaming today.
Music Can Set the Pace for Plays
One of the key ways in which music impacts a game being played is that it can set the pace for what a player should do next. A good example of this would be racing games. It doesn’t matter if it’s a foot race, a car race or a horse race; the music moves along with the runners at a steady pace but as the contestant approaches the finish line, you will notice the music speeding up, drawing the player to speed up with the pace being set by the music. This will draw the player in so that they speed up to reach the finish line first, winning the race.
There have been studies that have documented this phenomenon where players speed up or slow down with the pace of the instrumentation behind the game. However, it isn’t clear why this happens. Does the change in pace signal a response in the brain or is it something more basic like tapping along with the beat of a song being played on the radio? In other words, does speeding up the music motivate a player to win or is it just a reaction to variations in rhythm? It would be interesting to see the results of studies like this.
Music in the Online Gaming Industry
If you have ever hit any of the casinos online, you might have noticed that music can set the mood for the game you are playing. For example, there are various slots games with several options within the same game. Each time you change a game, the music changes as well.
In fact, the most up to date online gaming sites have some of the most thematic tracks backing games imaginable. You can get an idea of how music impacts your mood by checking out some of the gaming sites reviews on onlinecasinos.co.uk. Even though each of these sites reviewed may have similar games, you will find that the soundtracks are different from site to site.
Does Music Help You Concentrate?
Although some people say that music helps them to ignore distractions, others say that the music itself is a distraction. It might be interesting to do a bit of personal research on this subject.
As you play a few games in which concentration is imperative, are there any of those games where the music is too busy to facilitate concentration? Perhaps it’s too loud, or maybe it’s too fast. Sometimes the drums can lead you into an almost hypnotic state while other times the drums can make you too nervous to focus.
Games Based on Movies and Television Shows
So many of today’s video games are based on major motion pictures or television shows. This is common among popular superhero shows. Interestingly, you will often find that video game developers work with the movie production company in a joint effort to promote both the show and the game. The music behind the game may be the very same music accompanying important moments in the movie.
There is, perhaps, a psychological element to using thematic music throughout movies and then the games based on those movies. Sometimes watching the movie leads a gamer to purchase the game based on the movie and other times it is the other way around.
Sometimes playing the game is so much fun that it leads you to finally sitting down to watch the movie. There is definitely a connection between the two and it can work in both directions. Your reaction to the music is based on emotions brought to the surface when thinking about what had happened at that part of the movie. In fact, the music just might dictate your plays based on those emotions you are experiencing.
Complex Orchestrations Are Becoming More and More Common
Anyone who has followed the evolution of games over the years will notice that as technology advances, so does the music having been created for the game. Where early video games had simple electronic sounds accompanying the various rooms or movements within a game, today’s music leans toward complex orchestrations like you’d see on the big screen.
Another point to be made here is a cultural understanding of the music employed in video or casino games. It’s often music with elements common to the culture upon which the game is based. This is especially true of the cultural aspect of anime. A game can be developed with lifelike characters and another game may have artistic anime characters. You will also notice a cultural element in the music used within the game. This is especially common with anime characters. You are likely to feel an Eastern touch to the music.
How Does Music Affect You?
With all this in mind, it’s time to think about just how music affects you and your mood when gaming. Does the music have an impact on how fast you try to move your character within the game, or does it distract you to the point where your next move is delayed?
While it is well known that music does have a significant impact on games, it may vary from player to player. Once you know whether or not it adversely impacts your game you can decide to turn off sound if necessary. However, if that music leads you across the finish line before the competition, then it has served its purpose.