Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games

Living Edition
| Editors: Newton Lee

Emotional Congruence in Video Game Audio

  • Duncan A. H. WilliamsEmail author
  • Peter I. Cowling
  • Damian T. Murphy
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08234-9_199-1



Video game audio is more challenging in many regards than traditional linear soundtracking. Soundtracking can enhance the emotional impact of gameplay, but in order to preserve immersion, it is important to have an understanding of the mechanisms at work when listeners respond to audio emotionally.


Video game soundtracking presents a number of unique challenges in contrast to traditional linear soundtracking (e.g., in television or film). Many solutions are in use to address the most common problem: dynamic soundtrack creation in response to gameplay action, but these often approach the problem from the point of view of, for example, procedural audio techniques (Collins 2009). One of the major reasons to include soundtracking is to enhance the emotional response of the player, for example, to accentuate danger, success, failure, and other elements of gameplay (Berndt 2011). Depending on the type of game, there may be established...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arsenault, D.: Dark waters: spotlight on immersion. Game-On North America 2005 Conference Proceedings, pp. 50–52 (2005)Google Scholar
  2. Berndt, A.: Diegetic music: new interactive experiences. Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction Concepts and Development, pp. 60–76 (2011)Google Scholar
  3. Collins, K.: An introduction to procedural music in video games. Contemp. Music. Rev. 28(1), 5–15 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gabrielsson, A.: Emotion perceived and emotion felt: same or different? Music. Sci. 5(1 Suppl), 123–147 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. Kreutz, G., Ott, U., Teichmann, D., Osawa, P., Vaitl, D.: Using music to induce emotions: influences of musical preference and absorption. Psychol. Music. 36(1), 101–126 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lipscomb, S.D., Zehnder, S.M.: Immersion in the virtual environment: the effect of a musical score on the video gaming experience. J. Physiol. Anthropol. Appl. Hum. Sci. 23(6), 337–343 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mehrabian, A.: Pleasure-arousal-dominance: a general framework for describing and measuring individual differences in temperament. Curr. Psychol. 14(4), 261–292 (1996)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Molnar-Szakacs, I., Overy, K.: Music and mirror neurons: from motion to‘e’motion. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 1(3), 235–241 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Russell, J.A.: A circumplex model of affect. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 39(6), 1161 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Scherer, K.R.: Expression of emotion in voice and music. J. Voice. 9(3), 235–248 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schubert, E.: Measuring emotion continuously: validity and reliability of the two-dimensional emotion-space. Aust. J. Psychol. 51(3), 154–165 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Strank, W.: The legacy of iMuse: interactive video game music in the 1990s. Music Game, pp. 81–91 (2013)Google Scholar
  13. Williams, D., Kirke, A., Miranda, E.R., Roesch, E., Daly, I., Nasuto, S.: Investigating affect in algorithmic composition systems. Psychol. Music. 43, 831–854 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan A. H. Williams
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter I. Cowling
    • 1
  • Damian T. Murphy
    • 2
  1. 1.Digital Creativity Labs, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.Department of Electronic EngineeringUniversity of YorkYorkUK