The Importance of Music in Video Games

Fortnite, Minecraft, Legend of Zelda! What do they all have in common? Music! Music is a vital element in all video games as we know them today, and there is rarely a video game hot on the market that doesn’t include music as a feature! But HOW? How is something as simple as music, so powerful in video games and making them so enjoyable? Well luckily, today, we will be exploring why music is so important in a successful video game.

Background music can change how one can feel about their surroundings. For instance in Minecraft, in the nether, biomes have specific soundtracks. Rebedo is played in the nether wastelands and seems nostalgic. It makes it feel as if it used to be something better and this is just the ruins of what is left. So Below is the one that is played in the soul sand valley. It has an air of spookiness which makes perfect sense when talking about a valley dedicated to the undead. Chrysopoeia is played in the crimson forest and it gives off a feeling of insecurity, yet home-like. Perfect for a place similar to the overworld and you can get rammed to your death by a bunch of oversized pigs, or getting stabbed and shot in the back for not wearing according to fashion trends. Music is a powerful tool that can be utilized to control emotions and as a result, mark the tone of a place or idea. To game developers, music is the perfect thing to use to grab people’s attention to specific details.

Background music is also used to make the user feel pumped up and ready to play forever. Most video games use some sort of upbeat music to make us want to stay. Music releases a chemical in your brain called dopamine, which improves your mood and reduces your anxiety, and it can also help in the production of the stress-reducing hormone cortisol, so it induces pleasure, joy, and motivation. All of these are the key goals for video games so it makes perfect sense why. Take the Fortnite lobby background sound. It also plays when the game is loading, and from my experience, it really lives up to those goals. It makes me quite anxious to start playing, and even waiting seems not too long, even though it can take hours!

Hopefully, now you understand why music is so valuable when developing a video game that is meant to blow up like a storm. It’s what binds us to the screen, it’s what keeps us playing the game, it’s what makes a true video game stand out from the rest. Music is powerful, even in the places that you would think that it isn’t. It plays an important role in our lives, and as it turns out, in video games too.

Matthew Wang

Oclef Student – Power of Music

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