For some of us gamers, what we remember most about our favorite games is the action. For others it’s the environment we played it in. Personally, what sticks with me after many years are the sounds I hear, ringing, embedding their patterns in my mind long after I press pause.
Connections between music and video games have been explored in detail by all the major gaming and technology publications as well as some mainstream news outlets. Games like Audiosurf make the connection literal; Audiosurf is a PC game that takes your mp3’s, feeds its audio information into an algorithm, and from there generates a unique, playable stage.
Other games take a more exploratory approach. Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery is a game set to an album by legendary indie composer Jim Guthrie. Every action you take in the game has a rich sound byte attached to it- you tap on bushes and a rustling, percussive noise may greet you. Fight sequences play like chords on an instrument if I remember correctly.
Proteus is much the same. It is the only game that has made me cry without a single word of dialogue. The intensity of the bitlike, beautiful, random world the player sees is to a large degree caused by the sounds surrounding you in all directions. Animals don’t produce noise in this game. They give off music with every fiber of their blocky being. The connections between music, art, nature, imagination and poetry cannot be expressed more profoundly than in a game like Proteus, I feel.
If you feel the same way about music in video games, say so in the comments below.