Any topic (writer’s choice)
1) Read Chapter 6 of your textbook (Karen Collins’s Game Sound), which focuses on the use of pre-existing popular music in video games, and William Gibbons’s GibbonsRemixedMetaphors.pdfPreview the document, which looks at the use of classical music in games (a topic we touched on in our discussion of Tetris).
2) As you read, follow along with this YouTube playlist of examples (many of them are long play videos, so you can simply jump around to get a feel for the use of the music in the entire game):
Pre-Existing Music in Games (Links to an external site.)
3) By Wednesday at 11:59 PM, tell us (in a 400-600 word response), respond to some (or all) of the following questions:
What are some of the pros and cons of using popular or licensed music in a video game, according to Collins?
What reasons does Gibbons cite for the use of pre-existing classical music? Are there pros and cons to this usage, as well?
What features do both types of re-use share (that is, what does using classical music and using popular music have in common)?
How does a video game change the form of a song or piece to fit gameplay?
Do certain genres tend to use newly-composed music more than others? Which genres rely more on pre-existing music?
How does reuse affect our reception of the game (relative prestige, the sense of an “art” game vs. entertainment, etc.)? Do we take games in these genres less seriously (either holistically, as an example of the art form, or just in terms of the music itself)?
How does synergy potentially change the shape of the game music (e.g., adapting a well-known film score for a video game based on the same property)?
What are some ways that composers and sound designers can remake well-known music (think of your game audio analysis here) in order to provide variety and make the music more suitable for play? In other words, how does the music have to change to feel “ludic” (“game-like”) instead of just a copy of something else?
How can our familiarity with the music (whether popular or classical) change our experience of the game, for better or worse?
Can recognition and familiarity help us to play better, or is it a distraction?
Do you think re-using music is lazy, or a cop-out? Would games be better with newly composed, novel, interesting soundtracks that perfectly fit the medium, or is this re-use a rewarding way to help games tap into our memories (of hearing the pieces in other contexts, of other mediums such as film, etc.)?