This paper explores the effectiveness of music in video games in terms of mood setting and immersion. The effectiveness of the emotion evoked is studied through both personal and scholarly research. Four video games are explored from different game genres. In "Bioshock" and "Fallout 3", the music immerses the player into the environment of the video game, whether it is an underwater dystopia or the post apocalyptic Washington DC area. "Dead Space", a survival horror game set on an abandoned mining vessel in space, pushes the boundaries in terms of musical dissonance and terror by using innovative sound design. The final game is "Journey", a game unlike any other that destroys most video game conventions. "Journey" has no combat, dialog, or written back-story. The player must piece together his or her own ideas of purpose and what drives the story. Through an alternating two note musical chime, one of the few action commands, the player must learn how to express his or herself and communicate with a randomly assigned anonymous player who embarks on this journey with them. This paper explores how music plays a center role in the delivery of story and immersion of the player into the created world.
Burr, Allison, "Mirroring Reality: Music in Video Games" (2014). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 9.