A Quiet Place and the Plus-Minus of Silent Game Play
As a movie fan, the annoying thing is when I don’t keep up with a new movie title that’s currently hype. I’d love to see the sequel but haven’t watched the previous film at all. So that you can stay updates, I don’t want to have to watch it first. I’m talking about A Quiet Place, American horror film that I just watched because I wanted to follow the sequel which was released on Netflix recently.
The premise is interesting. Once upon a time, a family lived in a remote area. During their stay there, they were not allowed to make a sound. If you make a sound, some mysterious creatures will come and prey on anyone who is nearby. To speak means to die. More or less so.
The picture made me think and imagine a little what if something like that happened in the real world. When playing games, for example, does that mean I have to turn off the sound, right? If it is turned off, doesn’t playing games become bland and feels less fun?
In fact, sound is one of the artistic elements in video games. It gives emotional weight in a process that is very similar to how music in movies works. So, the sound in the game is not only a complement, but something that is mandatory by law.
In fact, several studies have revealed that the presence of sound, including background music, can affect gaming skills our.
Richard J. Tafalla once researched the relationship between in-game music and the achievements of some people in the game DOOM. He concluded that those who played the game with active music scored better points than those who played without music.
This happens because the music is usually adapted to certain scenes in a game. I then picks up cues, warnings, or even hints from the music that then influences the next decision. Whether to attack, move, and so on.
It’s as simple as this: Playtime The Last of Us, at a certain moment I heard the background music suddenly gripping. At that point I immediately understood that there would be an enemy attacking. However, will something like this last forever?
Some gamers and observers think that for some reason and in certain games, the presence of sound actually causes distraction, especially background music or music scoring. Music can be a distraction because it has the potential to be a distraction, rather than an increase.
In this way, according to Kirk Hamilton in his article on my box, let go headphones or simply turning off the music is the best decision.
Hamilton has played many games throughout his life. One of them Fallout. In just a few minutes he was already feeling uncomfortable. The cause? Music background. According to Hamilton, the music there not only removes focus but also obliterates the reality that it is trying to present.
The same thing happened when he tried the game God of War II and Bayonetta. In fact, he also felt disturbed by the presence of sound effects. Under these circumstances, Hamilton would let go headphones or simply turn off his speakers.
“Suddenly, things felt a lot easier and I could focus on the mission at hand. It’s sort of my last-ditch technique to get past a frustrating boss,” Hamilton wrote.
With a different point of view, music director for some indie games, Ben Prunty, also thinks like that. He considered that sometimes the presence of music made the game worse. So, the assumption that games must include music is not quite right.
Prunty then said Dark Souls. This game, which is said to be the most difficult game in the world, has minimal sound and music effects. In fact, at some moments, we don’t hear any background music at all. Instead of making it tasteless, it actually makes Dark Souls more alive.
“When you explore Lordran, you are constantly restless because you don’t know what will happen. Is this area more dangerous than the previous one? Is something really big going to jump out and kill me? Could it be that the man sitting on the ground won’t attack?”
“You have absolutely no idea; No music to guide. I’m not saying that the lack of music is the only thing that makes this game uncomfortable, but the absence of music has a very strong effect on the whole game,” said Prunty.
Maybe after this I should try playing games without sound effects and music. To make it more optimal, I’ll try it after finishing A Quiet Place Part II.
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