How Music Influences Our Gaming Experience
The rapid development of technologies in the 1970s led to a significant change in the gaming industry. It became more diverse and vivid thanks to improved audio and video and started gaining fans at an enormous speed. We believe that music is one of the main factors which make gaming the most popular pastime.
Just look at the market: when you kill enemies in Counter-Strike, play keno in New Zealand, or steal cars in Grand Theft Auto, there are distinguishing soundtracks that accompany you every second. And it is almost impossible to find players who mute those sounds. To study the phenomenon, we want to find out why music has such a big impact on our gaming experience. We are sure that our findings will be extremely interesting. Stay tuned!
Music is in our nature
Dopamine, the hormone of pleasure and satisfaction, is released when we listen to music that we like. Our bodies are projected to respond to pleasant sounds. Just think of the heart – its beating is the basis of almost every melody.
Music also has a huge impact on our emotions: it can relax and motivate us; it makes us tranquil or emotional. And considering that the main goal of game developers is to hit our emotions, no wonder that they use music in every possible way.
You have probably noticed that rock music is used at online casinos or shooters. Techno and electronic music at games with racing and chases. Background or lounge music is a basis of such games as The Sims. It aims to relax us. Changing music triggers different emotions depending on the needs of developers and plot. This approach is widely used not only in gaming but also in the movie and advertising industries.
Music creates moments
This feature may be quite obvious but we can’t avoid mentioning it when discussing how music impacts our game experience. If you are an avid gamer, think of the most memorable moments. We bet you will recall the most significant winnings, complex missions, and team quests. Do you remember the sounds on the background? We are sure you do because it is the brain that remembers such moments with all the details. Later, it wants to recreate the experience and when hearing the same music or soundtrack, you feel warmth and motivation. Those moments linger for a long time.
Full immersion into the game
Apart from triggering emotions, music has another important mission: to make the user experience immersive. Music mutes sounds that surround us and give us a chance to concentrate on the plot. This boosts engagement and becomes one of the most effective instruments in gaining the love and loyalty of players.
With its help, you can dive into the game forgetting about the time, your problems at school or work, and experience several positive moments. That is why so many developers spend lots of time and money on music. They know that bad soundtracks can ruin everything!
Studies and unexpected results
At this very moment, a big number of researchers across the world are testing millions of claims. They want to get to the bottom of the truth and sometimes such researches became real game-changers. For example, in 2009 two scientists came to a conclusion that people playing racing games with music on, drive much faster than those who mute the sounds. At the same time, they make more mistakes which eventually results in lower efficiency.
There are also several other studies that claim that music can be distractive and millions of players will leave the game if the soundtracks are not appealing. This leads to the conclusion that music in the gaming industry is subjective and may do both good and harm.
It has been proved that background music is an integral part of every successful game. We remember soundtracks and even after a long break can define the game by several chords. This knowledge is a source of valuable information for developers, psychologists, and gaming enthusiasts who want to learn more about the industry. And we hope that after reading this article you also have a better understanding of what impact music has on players.
Image Credit: Javier Martínez on Unsplash