Player Relationships as Mediated Through Sound in Immersive Multi-player Computer Games

Grimshaw, Mark Player Relationships as Mediated Through Sound in Immersive Multi-player Computer Games. Revista Comunicar, 2010, vol. XVII, n. 34, pp. 73-80. [Journal article (Paginated)]


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English abstract

This essay examines the relationship between player and diegetic sound FX in immersive computer game environments and how this relationship leads, in large part, to the contextualization of the player within the virtual world of the game. This contextualization presupposes a primarily sonically-based perception of objects and events in the world and, in a multi-player game, this ultimately leads to communication between players through the medium of diegetic sound. The players’ engagement with, and immersion in, the game’s acoustic environment is the result of a relationship with sound that is technologically mediated. The game engine, for example, produces a range of environmental or ambient sounds and almost every player action has a corresponding sound. A variety of relevant theories and disciplines are assessed for the methodological basis of the points raised, such as film sound theory and sonification, and, throughout, the First-Person Shooter sub-genre is used as an exemplar. Such games include the «Doom» and «Quake» series, the «Half-Life» series and derivatives and later games such as «Left 4 Dead». The combination of the acoustic environment, the interactive placement of the player – as embodied by his virtual, prosthetic arms – in the environment and the sonic relationships between players produces the acoustic ecology. An exposition of this multi-player communication and the resultant acoustic ecology and player immersion, is the main objective of the essay.

Spanish abstract

Este ensayo examina la relación entre el jugador y los efectos de sonido diegéticos en entornos de juego inmersivos para ordenadores, y a su vez, la manera en la que esta relación, en gran parte, pone en contexto al jugador dentro del mundo virtual del juego. Esta contextualización presupone una percepción basada principalmente en los sonidos de los objetos y los acontecimientos del mundo, lo que en el entorno del juego multijugador conduce finalmente a la comunicación entre los jugadores por medio del sonido diegético. El compromiso de los jugadores con –y la inmersión en– el ambiente acústico del juego es el resultado de una relación con el sonido mediada tecnológicamente. El motor del juego, por ejemplo, produce una gama de sonidos del entorno o del medio ambiente y casi todas las acciones del jugador tienen un sonido correspondiente. Una variedad de relevantes teorías y disciplinas, como la teoría del cine sonoro y la sonificación, se usan para construir nuestra base metodológica, y nos servimos de ejemplos como el del subgénero del «First-Person Shooter». Este tipo de juegos incluye las series «Doom» y «Quake», la serie «Half-Life» y sus derivados y juegos posteriores como «Left 4 Dead». La combinación del ambiente acústico, la posición interactiva del jugador –con la encarnación virtual de sus brazos protésicos– en el medio ambiente y las relaciones sonoras entre los jugadores produce la ecología acústica. Una exposición de esta comunicación multijugador, la ecología acústica resultante y la inmersión del jugador, es el objetivo principal del ensayo.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Computer games, sound engagement, diegesis, immersion, sonification, acoustic, ecology, juegos de ordenador, sonido, compromiso, diégesis, inmersión, sonificación, ecología acústica
Subjects: H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HH. Audio-visual, Multimedia.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 24 Sep 2012
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:23


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