How Music Generates Emotion in Video Games

Music is an important aspect of any video game. It can elevate certain scenes or moments in video games to become incredibly memorable.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo: Combat Evolved is a great example of a fantastic game that utilizes its original soundtrack to help create memorable in-game moments. From the very beginning of the game, the developer Bungie set the tone by introducing some pretty epic choral music in the main menu. As you progress through the game, Bungie uses certain moments to introduce background music in order to enhance the gaming experience. In fact, I can recall several moments/music tracks from various levels including The Silent Cartographer level and Two Betrayals.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Another excellent example of a fantastic video game soundtrack that adds an extra level of depth to a video game is both games in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) series. Of course, the Star Wars films utilize music to its full extent. John Williams has composed unforgettable soundtracks including The Imperial March and Duel of Fates themes. The developers behind the KOTOR games were fully aware of how important music was and still is to the Star Wars universe and therefore knew how important it was to the games. If you would like to listen, Galactic-Voyage offers the entire soundtrack from the first KOTOR game. The second KOTOR has a much darker soundtrack as the game is overall much moodier. Mark Griskey composed the soundtrack for KOTOR 2: The Sith Lords.

Music to Keep the Player Engaged

Early video game music was often used to keep the player engaged and alert. If you think of Sega Mega Drive games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage, both games used electronic beat soundtracks. One of the reasons for this was to keep players engaged as the developers thought that synth beats would keep the player’s brain activated. The opposite effect of a baby’s lullaby, if you will.

Online slot game developers also incorporate engaging music in order to keep their players engaged. According to Megaways Casino, slot game developers are always looking for ways to increase the enjoyment that players get from playing their games. Due to the fact that slot games have their limitations in comparison with the average video game, an extremely important element is music, as they explain:

“Modern slot designers and developers are using original music soundtracks in order to give an extra layer of depth to their games. As games become increasingly interactive, it is important to do everything possible to ensure that every aspect of a game is up to a world-class standard. The competition in our niche means that no stone can be left unturned or else a player will simply move on to the next game without a further thought.”

Obviously, music is used in games for different reasons. The similarity here, though, is that music is made to increase the quality of the experience for the player.

The Future of Video Games and Music:

Video games and music are a romance that is here to stay. In my opinion, it is a mistake for game developers not to utilize music. Music is able to instill emotions that words and images simply cannot. The most daring games will compose an original soundtrack too, the aforementioned Halo: Combat Evolved theme is still remembered today.

You can listen to the original Halo soundtrack via Spotify. We sincerely hope that video games in the future are able to give us classic video game soundtracks like the Halo one.

Bong Mines Entertainment