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Manon jacobs gradassignment_1529185

  1. 1. Video GameAudio In AMuseumEnvironment_Manon Jacobs CREATE THE NEXT STEP
  3. 3. Video Game Audio in a Museum Environment Research Report Manon Jacobs 1529185 Crossmedialab International Communication and Media - Faculty of Communication and Journalism Hogeschool Utrecht Supervisors Lab: Jelke de Boer & Michiel Rovers Supervisor HU: Theo Bors & Evelyn Bekooij-Westerhoudt Date 08-01-2012Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 3
  4. 4. Abstract The subject of this bachelor thesis is immersive audio design. For museums, this is a topic of interest, since this sector is increasingly attempting to create new museum experiences. We will look at this from the perspective of video games; what is video game audio, how can it be analyzed? What is immersion in video games? Visitors and the museum environment will also be discussed. Immersion in the museum environment will be described, and examples will be given. Through literature research, the different taking into account the research done regarding video game audio, eight separate video games are analyzed: music from one of the games, after studying the results of the analyses. The research and third featuring two different audio tracks, from a video game. Conclusions in a museum environment; research; surroundings;Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 4
  5. 5. Acknowledgements I would like to thank a few people for helping me getting this project to where it is now. me getting back on track after having lost my way.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 5
  6. 6. Table of Contents Introduction pg 08 1 Sound in video games pg 09 1.1 The utilization of sound in video games pg 09 1.2 Immersion in video games pg 11 2 The museum environment pg 13 2.1 The museum visitor pg 13 2.2 Immersion in the museum environment pg 15 3 Factors influencing museum visitors pg 16 4 Video game audio analyses pg 17 4.1 The List pg 17 4.2 Analysis Tools pg 19 5 Video game audio in a museum environment pg 22 5.1 The Location pg 22 5.2 The Research Set Up pg 23 5.3 The Participants pg 24 5.4 The Questionnaire pg 25 5.5 Data Collection pg 25 6 Results and analyses pg 27 6.1 Results and Analyses: Video game audio analyses pg 27 6.2 Results and Analyses: Video game audio in the Universiteitsmuseum pg 35 6.2.1 The Perception Research: Demographics pg 35 6.2.2 The Perception Research: Visitor perception pg 37 7 Discussion pg 40 8. References pg 42 9. Appendix pg 44 9.1 PMSV Scale pg 45 9.2 Questionnaire pg 48 9.3 Questionnaire Results pg 56 9.3.1 Questionnaire Results: Raw Data pg List of Images Image 1: Joseph Bouys’ Plight, 1985. pg 12 Image 2: Musée d’Art et d’Industrie La Piscine. pg 14 Image 3: Uncharted 2. pg 27 Image 4: Red Dead Redemption. pg 28 Image 5: Halo: Reach. pg 29 Image 6: Fallout: New Vegas. pg 29 Image 7: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. pg 31 Image 8: Grand Theft Auto IV. pg 32 Image 9: Bioshock 2. pg 33 Image 10: Dead Space 2. pg 34Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 6
  7. 7. List of Tables Table 1: Possible auditory game effects pg 15 Table 2: Video audio components matrix pg 21 Table 3: PMSV Scale pg 25 Table 4: PMSV Scale II pg 25 Table 5: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Analysis pg 27 Table 6: Red Dead Redemption Analysis pg 28 Table 7: Halo: Reach Analysis pg 29 Table 8: Fallout New Vegas Analysis pg 30 Table 9: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm pg 31 Table 10: Grand Theft Auto: IV Analysis pg 32 Table 11: Bioshock 2 Analysis pg 33 Table 12: Dead Space 2 Analysis pg 34 Table 13: Perception research: Age and groups pg 35 Table 14: Perception research: Groups and gender pg 36 Table 15: Perception research: Gender pg 37 Table 16: Perception research: Groups and education pg 37 Table 17: Perception research: Groups and museum visit frequency pg 37 Table 18: Perception research: Groups and Annoying - Relaxing pg 38 Table 19: Perception research: Groups and Disgusting - Pleasant pg 39 Table 20: Perception research: Groups and Novel - Recognizable pg 39 Table 21: Perception research: Groups and Emotional - Cold pg 39Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 7
  8. 8. Introduction This graduation project revolves around the term ‘audio design’. Audio design is used important part of the entire gaming experience. Without its audio components, a video game would not be as compelling and immersive as it is with its designed audio. well-known in the games industry, and sound has been used successfully for a long time to create immersive environments in game worlds. For museums, this is also a topic of interest, since this sector is increasingly attempting to create new museum experiences. The question remains whether it is possible to use the way apply video games audio in a different, physical, environment; in this case in a cultural institution like a museum. experience of an environment, sound is key. There are already many examples of sound being used to do exactly that. These mostly exist in commercial settings, but also organizations such as museums are beginning to show interest in this topic. games, can be implemented in a museum environment to add to visitor experience and immersion. Main research question: To what extent does video game audio in a museum environment affect visitor immersion? Subquestions: 1 How can video game audio be analyzed? environment?Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 8
  9. 9. 1 Sound in video games 1.1 The utilization of sound in video games Video game audio has not been, until recently, regarded to be as important as the visual aspects of video games. More and more video game developers are realizing that to grasp and hold the attention of the audience, designed audio needs to be created and behind the music and sounds of a video game. Video game audio encompasses every aspect of video game sound. That includes sound described and used in analyses by Karen Collins, one of the pioneering researchers in game audio: any in-game music from an in-game source, such as a radio. However, It is often video games have overlap between the two. For example, in the Silent Hill game series, the music is riddled with mechanical sounds that can also be contributed to physical objects in the game environment. This audio design adds to the tension the player feels, and is exactly what the composers wish to achieve for these horror games. in a very subtle manner. For example; dripping water, and echos in an in-game cave. game, be it through menus, or shortcut buttons. Game sound researcher Kristine Jørgensen (2006) describes a different way to approaching video game audio. In 2006, she wrote a paper on the different functions of video game audio. She begins by describing the two different contexts in which a video game can be viewed; the role it has in supporting a user system, giving feedback when needed, and how the audio provides a sense of presence in a virtual context comprises of the way video game audio smoothes the feedback given to the is the world that the users are asked to believe in; an imaginary world created by the video game developers. This imaginary world can be very similar to a real world setting, such as a realistic war game, for example the original Call of Duty game, which features French villages that are based on actual existing locations. The imaginary world in a game can also have no real-life equivalent, and can feature magic, dragons and orcs, such as World of Warcraft. Both of these contexts need sound to involve the player and complement dramatic events in the game. Diegetic and extra-diegetic (also known as non-diegetic) sound, are terms no longer In gaming, this extra-diegetic sound has a different though very similar role. It is usedResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 9
  10. 10. uses involves Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, in which the character can say “I cannot do that”, which is clearly a system message, imbedded diegetically, to inform the player, which is an extra-diegetic function. This is where Jørgensen introduces the term transdiegetic. These are the sounds that are diegetic, as shown by the World of Warcraft example, but which serve a functional and practical purpose, mostly in informing the player. Collins also touches upon theories used in media other than just video games, such as linear and non-linear media. Linear audio, for example a song, begins at a point (the starting point), and ends at the end of the song. A train can be taken as an example: Linear audio starts at the front of the train, the locomotive, and ends at the last train car. Non-linear audio means that the audio could very well start in the middle of the train, She also explains that every single audio cue has to be designed to be able to stand alone, because at any given moment the player can do something that cannot possibly be predicted. There is no actual ‘correct’ way for the audio to be played. This, however, does not hold true for every game. More recently a popular game series, called Uncharted, Uncharted game, Drake’s Fortune, leads the protagonist through far away lands in search of treasure. All of the in-game events are set, and the only non-linear audio is that created as the player moves his avatar through the world. user-oriented purpose. Many other theorists, such as Collins, only mainly focus on the second context; the designed audio that is focused on adding atmosphere and, for example, dramatic touches to the video game. Jørgensen relies on auditory display studies to explain how she sees video game audio in the functional, usability-focused role. These auditory display theories mostly involve two kinds of different signals, being auditory icons, and auditory earcons (Walker & Kramer, 2004). Walker and Kramer describe auditory icons as sounds that are made to resemble real-life events, while earcons are sounds that are abstract, and most likely cannot be recognized that closely resemble, or are the same as, their real-life counterparts, for example the sound believable, such as the casting magic. Earcons are not completely abstract, however. The magic effects just mentioned often blend existing real-life sounds, such as Collins also touched upon a very similar subject, describing two different sound events (e.g. something happens in the video game, and a sound is played accordingly. Interactive audio refers to sound effects that are initiated by the player directly, for example, when the user presses a button, the character uses an item in-game. When sound corresponding to the action is heard, the player receives feedback and receives term used to describe audio and music that reacts appropriately to - and even anticipates - gameplay.” (Whitmore, 2003). These two ways to regard audio in video games makes it evident that indeed these kinds of designs can become much more complicated than the This is the video game sound that set to happen at a point in a game and that cannot moment. On the other hand of the spectrum there is the game-rendered audio. This is the in-game audio that is non-linear and created as the player moves along in the game.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 10
  11. 11. Jørgensen established four different functions sound can have in video games. This is unlike the method Karen Collins uses, who created categories within game sound, These functions are highly intertwined with auditory earcons and icons. The player enforce what effect their actions had in the video game. For example, when shooting a gun in-game, in most games when the bullet hits its human target, a dull thud is heard, Atmospheric functions encompass many different parts of the audio design of a game, from the more subtle types of music (background music, for example when entering a city in World of Warcraft, anything from war-drums to choirs singing can be heard) to general ambient sounds such as howling wind and animal noises. Jørgensen studied these functions by having two groups of people playing the same game, with one group having the game’s audio. According to the results, it was far hear when people were yelling from different locations in the game, they could not hear enemies approaching, etc. They could not orient themselves in an in-game environment as easily as the group that was allowed the game audio. Closely related to the orienting functions are the control-related functions, which allow the player to control unseen areas of the game. Often these functions are implemented in strategy games such as Civilization, and Age of Empires. Because those games can get rather chaotic, the audio used to notify or warn the player is used throughout, and is vital to smooth gameplay. These are the auditory functions that are implemented to make it easier for the player Scrolls game Skyrim, different categories of items have different sounds. Picking up/ selecting a book sounds different from handling a two-handed sword. In the next chapter, I will focus on how exactly immersion is reached, and what this immersion entails. 1.2 Immersion in video games platforms. One of the oldest media known to strive after immersion is written text; “Immersion is giving in to the seduction of the text’s story, to be blissfully unaware of one’s surroundings and the passing of time as one escapes into the pleasure of reading.”(Whalen, Z., 2004). Most theorists describe immersion similarly. The second of ‘dipping an object or person in liquid’), is ‘deep mental involvement’. This is exactly what video game designers want to achieve, a game that is so enthralling, that the player becomes so involved, he or she becomes immersed. In the early days of video games, the mere entertainment value of a game was the biggest focus. However, even then, keeping people playing and playing. Nowadays, video games have, as mentioned in the previous chapter, gone through worlds are created now, and players can use game consoles and personal computers to access them.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 11
  12. 12. video games. The two contexts in which video game audio can be regarded (mentioned in the previous developed enough, immersion can be comprimised. For example; feedback to user is given in an incorrect manner/at an inopportune time. Or there is too much focus on the world must be accepted and believed in by the players, the so-called suspension of disbelief. Jørgensen (2008) describes two different approaches when looking at how a user responds to video gameplay audio: image 1: Joseph Bouys’ Plight, 1985. Image source: plein/3I/01/3I01909.JPG events rather than objects.This relies on so-called “contextual auditory comprehension”. A requirement for understanding the context, is experience; learning through trial-and- error. sound and the information it provides. within ecological psychoacoustics (McAdams), and game researchers (Stockburger). Collins takes a less extreme position, arguing that video game audio “adapts to gameplay”, but she does not recognize the role of video game audio in an instructional and the objects associations that result in how a user interprets videogame audio. A subject very related to immersion is the suspension of disbelief. This is a moment in time in which a video game, through interaction between console or pc and player, in-game events and an interactive in-game environment, becomes part of actual reality modeling and design of the in-game world, suspension of disbelief is easier than ever before. However, at the time of writing, full immersion is yet to be achieved through consumer gaming systems and games. For the rest of this thesis, however, I will be using immersion to indicate the rate at which a person is suspending his or her disbelief.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 12
  13. 13. 2 The museum environment in the museum. The difference most notable between the goals of artists and museums is what exactly they commonly strive for; artists often try to create a complete immersive experience, which then is a part of their art work. This often includes darker areas, video screens, and audio tailored to the experience, which sometimes means complete silence. A famous example of one of these art works is Joseph Beuys’ art installation ‘Plight’, on display in Paris, at the Centre Pompidou. It involves a minimalist setting featuring a single piano, and padded walls for complete and off-putting silence. Museums, on the other hand, generally have other motives for seeking immersion; they want to be able to pull relevant works of art into one area, and want to take a step beyond These kinds of endeavors mostly involve the more educational museums; such as those featuring technical advances through the ages, natural- history museums, etcetera. The examples I have on museums incorporating immersive experiences, can be found in subchapter 2.2; Immersion in the museum environment. 2.1 The museum visitor Some of these museums have focused on creating a context for people in which they are better able to understand the objects in the area, or can create an emotional connection to them. The concept of creating a context comprises of 3 different ‘sub’-contexts: the personal, social and physical context. This method is called the interactive experience model, developed by Falk & Dierking in 1992. These contexts are created by whoever designed the museum, but also by the curator and the museum visitors themselves, depending on the: 1.: Personal context: What are the visitor’s personal preferences? His/her motivations? 2.: The social context: With whom does the visitor come to the museum? Family or friends? People with the same interests? 3.: The physical context: What route does the visitor take? How is the lighting? What can be found where? The audio design of a museum is part of the physical context, and this is then in turn the experience of an environment both positively and negatively, and can shed different shades of light on an object and area. A large group of visitors to museums are informal visitors. These informal visitors are part of the Repeat Visitor and the Family and Children categories as described by Black visits and people’s motivations to visit a museum: and fun.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 13
  14. 14. want many facilities, such as restaurants. visitor can also be an informal visitor or family and children. up what special exhibitions are on and more times than not these visitors have a subscription to the museum. general when compared to the other four categories. In the past, museums tended to focus too much on this group when designing and setting up the museum. The repeat visitor, the family and children and to a lesser extent the regular visitor categories are the people who want interactivity, and a ‘fun experience’. To better cater to these growing groups, museums have been exploring possibilities in how to enhance Image 2: Musée d’Art et d’Industrie La Piscine. Image Source: commons/4/44/La_Piscine_Roubaix.jpg Falk has developed more categories for museum visitors; analogyies with slightly more humorist undertone; ‘the shoppers’, cited from Hein (1998): what they want to see; next group; them and become more engaged with exhibits than they had planned.” Another interesting analogy is one by Veron and Lavasseur, 1989, based on animals (cited from Hein, 1998):Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 14
  15. 15. Most of these theories are based on the expectations of visitors, what they expect to the experienced visitor, who wants to be engaged, and surprised, and the inexperienced visitor, the layman, who needs a reference box and/or a story to relate to. 2.2 Immersion in the museum environment As mentioned above, this research focuses on the museum environment, rather than single art objects. To illustrate the topicality of this subject, I’ve described a number of examples of immersion below, that I came across myself. All three of the following La Piscine - Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, in Roubaix, France. Here, a visitor can, when entering a pool area of the museum, hear typical pool sounds; laughing children, splashing of water, etc. This area contains many different works of art, from textile works, to ceramic sculptures. Clearly the pool and the accompanying sound effects are a way to pull the environment together, and create a framework in which the objects are to be seen. Afrika Museum, in Berg en Dal, near Nijmegen, NL. An exposition which took place between April-October 2011 was called Blueprints of Paradise. In it, several different ways in which African cities could potentially evolve were demonstrated. These ideas are the fruits of a contest the museum organized in collaboration with ‘African Architecture matters’. The winning ideas were created in a large room, with a sunroof, so that much light could enter. The different sections of the ‘city’ were complimented by sounds and music, talking people and car noises at the busstop, merchants yelling out the prices of their wares in the market area. This eclectic whole made for a chaotic and almost over- whelming experience, showing a glimpse of a real African city. National Aquarium, Baltimore, MA, USA. The national aquarium of the US has an audio tour called ‘Imagine Life Underwater’. This audio tour adds more than just explanations to each area the visitor comes across. Every step of the audio tour, be it the stingray compound or the seahorse tank, is complimented by sounds of the ocean, for example, added. This immersive experience at the aquarium is very different from most audio tours available at museums all over the world, as most of those comprise solely out of a voice informing the listener on the details of the subject at hand. There are quite a number of museums that have exhibitions focused on immersion alone, however, these revolve completely around immersion, as opposed to using immersion to complement existing environments. These museums, for example, have a separate installations revolving around a single topic, such as the ‘Vital Space’ exhibition in the Miami Science Museum’s Immersion Theatre. In this exhibition, visitors are enclosed into a smaller room, in which the visitors (mostly primary school aged children) are told they are in the body of an astronaut, and can do all kinds of assignments. For the remainder of this thesis, I will solely focus on the immersion as mentioned before in this subchapter; augmenting existing environments.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 15
  16. 16. 3 Factors influencing museum visitors Through Falk and Dierking’s Interactive Experience model, we have already seen that the the museum visit. I will look at the physical context of that model to answer the subques- environment?’ An obvious physical factor for people visiting a museum is of course their own bodies. They grow tired after spending a certain amount of time wandering around, and because of that, spend less time studying each art object or exhibition as time passes. Falk and Dierking argue this is a combination of both physical exhaustion, and psychological factors. One could argue that if visitors were to experience an immersive environment during their museum visit, it should not be located at the end of a museum route This could mean the entire experience could be wasted on people who are too tired and ‘done’ Griggs concluded in 1990 after studying visitors to London’s Museum of Natural History, of a museum route. Inside the museum environment, the exhibition room, itself, it is important for exhibi- tion designers to realize that visitors do not “stop, look, and absorb all the information presented”. Falk and Dierking note that even though exhibition designers intend for an visitors will follow that path. A group may look at one object, then skip to a case 2 casings ahead, etcetera. This only changes when the visitors are accompanied by a guide or other museum staff member. This defeats the purpose of setting up an exhibit in chronological or hierarchical order, which is what many designers tend to do. Often visitors are so overwhelmed by the many sights and sounds in a museum environment, that they are forced to discriminate, say Falk and Dierking. Visitors are drawn towards exhibitions that are the most compelling, the ‘loudest’. An important thing times, visitors are used to different surroundings; smaller rooms, lower ceilings, not as much bright light. It is then a different sight when they enter large corridors, even larger exhibition rooms, and high ceilings, all of which are often found within museums. That kind of environment can be quite intimidating. Sounds and smells can leave lasting memories with a visitor, and he or she will be able to connect very distinctive sounds or smells to a certain museum environment, long after experience of whatever he or she is observing at that moment. Psychological studies German and French music, respectively. North et al. describe in a consumer oriented study that even though the customers were unaware of the music, they would select French wines over German wines. In a similar manner, Alpert & Alpert (2006) discovered the shopping environment. immersively. To be able to implement a video game’s immersive audio track into a can be transferred from a virtual environment into a museum environment.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 16
  17. 17. 4 Video game audio analyses Before analyses of video game audio can place, a selection of suitable video games has to be made. game audio analyses. This early list was based mostly upon personal experiences while playing games, through asking questions such as “Which games gave me an immersive experience?”, and “What video game audio do I really recall from the top of my head in Nintendo 64 game consoles. Although these game audio scores are memorable, they were not exactly immersive when it came to the effects and ambient sounds. When it was established that more recent video games would have to come into play, the list below was compiled. Behind each game title is the reason why they were placed on the list: Cataclysm). World of Warcraft was chosen because its immersive music design holds up for thousands of hours of gameplay, in addition to its immensity (10.2 million subscribers as of November 2011, Gamasutra) and the fact that the audio has been tailored to each region, class and race makes World of Warcraft an interesting subject for audio analysis. This game is, just like World of Warcraft, a Role Playing Game. Although this game’s sound effects and especially dialogue and voice acting are quite poor, the music encompasses many hours of composed music, giving the fantasy world an extra dimension. This game was selected because it has a very unique atmosphere to it; a sixties dystopy with music from that era, combined with a very immersive ambient sound track create an illusion of being there, kilometers under the ocean’s surface. The reason Fallout was placed on this list is because of the complete loneliness the game can provoke. The music, barely noticeable at times and more intense in the face of danger, combined with the ambient noises of the desert (howling wind, tumbleweeds) are doing a perfect job at creating the illusion of a large, barely habited wasteland. This game is much less serious than many of the other games in this list; the dialogue is often witty and funny, and the music is cheerful The music in Halo: Reach differs from the two games mentioned above, because the soundtrack has many different styles of music, ranging from electronic dance music to epic-sounding orchestra fueled classical pieces, tailored to different kinds of contexts within the game. The sounds from the distance when roaming the prairie are what cicadas chirping; a feeling that the player actually is in the Wild West persists throughout Red Dead. 4.1 The List version. Due to more research that had gone into what games received awards and praise for their audio designs, and level of immersion. This resulted into a list of eight video games, each having their own, unique features. That part was very important in theResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 17
  18. 18. process, as repetitive results were undesirable. Some more criteria were formulated, as it was deemed important to be able to properly compare the games across the board without having to worry about them being too different to compare: wants to take next. Red Dead Redemption ( Spaghetti western setting, a cowboy (the protagonist) is being blackmailed by the govern- ment to do some dirty jobs they do not want to do. The sounds and music are perfectly made to give a good impression of the life in the ‘Wild West’. The game also features great voice-acting. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm ( Third expansion of the popular multiplayer online game, with twelve million players world- and great sound effects. FallOut: New Vegas ( mutants and other monsters. The story has many possible routes and endings. estimated by the audio feedback. Halo: Reach ( In 2552 the human race is in war with the Covenants, an alien race. A last attempt to save There are many sound layers in the game, and the weapon sounds are elaborately - ations they’re applied to perfectly. Bioshock 2 ( The story takes place in a dystopy in the sixties. The player is a so-called ‘Big Daddy’, a creature whose body is fused with an atmospheric diving suit. The many different monsters and NPCs in the game all have unique voices and sounds. Uncharted 2 ( thieves-ps3.html) The player plays protagonist Nathan Drake through an adventure with many similarities to The game’s sound design includes music as elaborate as a game soundtrack. The sounds that can be heard while playing a level in a jungle-like setting are elaborate, and taken from actual nature.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 18
  19. 19. GTA IV ( Nico Bellic, an Eastern-European war veteran, is this game’s protagonist. The location is The specially designed radio stations give the illusion of a real, breathing and changing world. Dead Space 2 ( infect people with a virus that transforms them into necromorphs; monsters that need to be dismembered. 4.2 Analysis Tools The next step, after having established the video games that were to be analyzed, was the creation of proper tools that would used to practically and systematically analyze the audio design of the video games. A checklist was seen as a good tool, due to the initial simplicity that would be possible, in combination with more extensive explanations. The basis for the checklist is composed (2005) and Collins (2007): When looking for possible ways to analyze video game sound, a similar experience to Stockburger’s was had when he did the same: Many times when a possible useful source was found, the article or book merely focused on the music used in video games. A similar experience was had when looking for content on audio designers them- selves, concerning their view on the video game sound design. In interviews, they would only be asked about the video game’s composed music, or the obvious sound effects, such as explosions. Even though these were very interesting, they could not be used as a basis. The knowledge accumulated throughout the theoretical is utilized in analyzing the games. Being able to categorize and name the many different elements of video game audio increases the opportunity to extract and learn from the video game audio. To analyze the sound used in video games a general applicable framework was created, that would work with a range of games, and not just ‘that game, on that console’. Firstly, the possible effects games could have, in terms of audio were extracted using the table below (see next page):Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 19
  20. 20. To inform the gamer Evoke associations (different situation, for example in real life) Make the visuals believable Table 1: Possible auditory game effects However, this method proved to be too ‘messy’; the data accumulated was too extensive in terms of detail, and when answering the questions in the table with simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the results were far too ambiguous. I selected which effects worked with what audio component, with the components music and sound effects having all of them, because these comprise an important part across all effects. Interface sound (the sound pressing certain buttons make, using items in your in-game inventory, etc.) has the least effects, as it is a component which cannot be missed, but suits a very clear purpose. In addition to the above mentioned components, there are four categories below that I will use to cross-examine the audio used in the video games I will analyze: This includes interactive audio (as explained by Collins 2007). This section is on how the game informs the gamer audio-wise. For example, the ‘ding’ sound when a player reaches a new level in World of Warcraft, or when the character tells the player in different ways when a spell or other method of attack cannot be used (“I can’t do that yet”). Emotion that is showed by in-game characters, or for example threatening music put Out: New Vegas, where the protagonist wakes up and is greeted by a friendly NPC (Non-Playable Character). The words uttered by this person put the player at ease. The behavior evoked by the game in the player, for example the sudden appearance of a necromorph in the game Dead Space 2, accompanied by intense sound effects and music. This is likely to elicit a physical effect on the player, such as trembling, or even vocal responses. This important concept for video games comprises of the fact that it is important for players of video games to let go of reality for a short while. The gamer must accept video game. This is necessary to enable immersion for the player (Woyach, 2008). The problem with video games is that certain things (probably most, depending on the when the player’s character hits the water in the earlier GTA games, to being able to dive for prolonged amounts of time in many other video games. Examples of making the game as believable as possible include dialogue between in-game characters, ambient sounds and appropriate sound effects.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 20
  21. 21. matrix: Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Ambience Dialogue Sound effects Interface effects Table 2: Video game audio components matrix The combination of this matrix and the list of possible effects listed above allowed exam- The set-up of the analyses are described below, in steps. The game is initialized; the tester becomes accustomed to the controls. This would take about 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the video game, as several were already known to the reviewer had already played many of them before. The analyzer would try to get past the introductory part of many games, to get as much exposure to the video game’s audio as possible. In practice, this meant often getting past, character (World of Warcraft). During this time, the analyzer would be jotting down key After this point, the notes would be reviewed, and a decision would be made about which part of the game should be focused on for the in-depth analysis. Also, the game’s audio options are studied, to see whether any customization would be possible, so that the Now, a print-out of the analysis matrix is used. As soon as something was deemed noteworthy, the game would be pauzed, and the event or situation in question would be described. The next step consisted of looking over what had been written down so far (mostly the very obvious notes) and seeing what else needed looking at. This part is the most arduous; the actual searching for what is needed (for example, vital to make sure that that particular category does indeed not occur in the video game at hand. The games were analyzed at my place of residence and at the Crossmedialab. At home a Sony Trinitron television, a Playstation 3 Slim for the Playstation compatible games and my MacBook Pro, for World of Warcraft were utilized. At the lab a Sony Bravia LCD 40” television, a Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360 S were used to analyze the video games. The results of the video game analyses can be studied in the video game analyses subchapter in the research results chapter.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 21
  22. 22. 5 Video game audio in a museum environment After analyzing the results from the video game audio analyses, the exploration of options for the perception research began. A location was to be selected where the research could be conducted, so that relevant participants could be reached. 5.1 The location (Faculty of Communication and Journalism; FCJ). The reason for this was that such a research. An audio set-up could be assembled precisely as required, without interfering with anything another location with another owner could have, such as off-limits areas and limited incorporation of the equipment. After some consideration, a decision against a controlled museum-like environment was made; a room at the FCJ would not resemble a museum enough to justify conducting the research there. There would be a whiteboard that would have to be covered up, as well as any equipment that would be unable to be moved. Of course the room would have had to be emptied of all chairs and table. The initial problem remained; the fact the room at the FCJ is not an actual museum environment does not weigh up against the positive side, which was the ability to control the test environment and any respondents ‘chosen’. The participants would not be museum visitors, they would mainly be students, and they would most likely also not behave like they would in a museum, because they would be at school, in a school-mood. Other options were explored, as now the decision was made that a museum environment would be the way to go. Via Olga Steen, researcher at the Crossmedialab, contact was made with Ria Aalders from the Universiteitsmuseum (University museum). I sent Ms. Aalders an e-mail stating my intentions, and an explanation of my intentions, and what my research was about. A positive reply was received, and I was able to meet her that same week. Ms. Aalders offered several options in terms of rooms in the museum where the research could be set up. She had already mentioned the Rariteitenkabinet (Cabinet of Curiosities) skeletons and fetuses on formaldehyde. The collection belonged to Jan Bleuland. For my purposes, what was actually on show did not matter very much. I wanted a space that was not too large, and had a practical shape. The shape matters for the audio equipment that I will explain in the next chapter. In the case of the Bleulandkabinet, the room had too many height differences, making an even dispersion of sound next to impossible. Also, it was slightly too large. introduce science to a wider public. As the visitors here would not be observing objects, but rather conducting tests, the Kennislab quickly dropped from my list of potential rooms. The same happened to the Jeugdlab (‘Youthlab’), an area very similar to the Kennislab, Connected to the Jeugdlab is the Rariteitenkabinet. This Cabinet of Curiosities is basedResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 22
  23. 23. brim with eye catching, exotic objects. This room is 7 by 2.5 meters, and rectangular in shape. Six Marot-Cabinets line the walls, and there are simple glass showcases. - landkabinet and the Kennislab. After this hallway, the visitor can choose to either take the - tenkabinet. One must pass through the Jeugdlab and ascend several steps in order to reach the Rariteitenkabinet. 5.2 The research set-up video game (when it is present) (see Results & Analyses - Video Game Audio Analyses). All the games in the analysis list were thoroughly played through, and audio recordings were collected using Audio Highjack Pro, taking the audio directly from the game, and saving a sample. After collecting twenty audio recordings of about three minutes each, I began comparing the snippets. I chose from the games that I had analyzed the audio from the one that had the most diverse music, as I’d like to be able to compare the audio, without having to take completely different games into account. This game turned out to be World of Warcraft. Gnome starting area, in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. This music is very light-hearted mp3. called Deepholm, also from the most recent expansion pack, Cataclysm. The music has the following URL: More intense audio snippets were recorded, but these would be too direct and harsh for the environment. For example, the start-up screen of World of Warcraft has a very ominous and intense sound- track, but would be too violent for the Rariteitenkabinet. A set of speakers and a subwoofer were placed (Logitech X230 speaker set) concealed A workstation was set up at the Jeugdlab, so that I was able to see who entered the questionnaire on the Rariteitenkabinet. I did not state what the exact purpose was of the research, and I would not mention the audio. Oftentimes, the visitors would ask me after participating what the subject of my research was, and I’d explain.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 23
  24. 24. 5.3 The participants The participants in the perception research at the Universiteitsmuseum consist of all visitors visiting the Rariteitenkabinet. On weekdays, the visitor-count is low, and not all two Sundays, a Thursday and Friday, and a Saturday. As indicated above, the weekend days were much more rewarding in terms of time spent and respondents found. Generally all people leaving the Rariteitenkabinet were prepared to cooperate with the research. Only three people misinterpreted the attention directed at them, and replied negatively; most likely they thought I wanted to sell them something, or perhaps they simply did not speak Dutch. There were also instances in which, for example, a family wanted to share two questionnaires amongst four individuals. For the very young children cases where older children wanted to share one survey, they were requested to either The fact that a large number of children would be participating in the research was not - kabinet, mostly families were visitors. - tions answered with threes, for example) or the people participating had not understood what was expected of them, and answered, for example, in text, instead of circling the To support the children that visit the Jeugdlab, personnel is present to guide the visitors through the activities. On one of the Sundays the research was conducted, one such employee was present. She also accompanied a group of visitors into the Rariteitenka- binet, where she gave additional information on the objects in exposition. This has most to know why all these questions were asked, and what the research exactly was about. They were told that they could ask as much as they wanted after participating, and indeed were told afterwards what the research was about. The questionnaire used (see Appendices) was printed double-sided on A4 paper. The participants used a provided number two pencil. time-limit concerning the duration of the research in combination with low visitor numbers on weekdays.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 24
  25. 25. 5.4 The questionnaire The questionnaire created for the perception research was consisted out of several general questions such as the gender of the participants, and how often they averagely visit museums. The other part of the questionnaire consisted of questions based on the Perceived Message Sensation Value (PMSV) Scale by Taylor and Francis (2002). This is scales: 1 Unique 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Common 2 Powerful Impact 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Weak Impact Table 3: PMSV Scale The remainder of the scale has been copied to the appendices. The respondents choose a number per scale, indicating their choice. For example, when they found the Rariteitenkabinet to be very unique, they selected number one. In the The PMSV scale was translated for use in the survey, as the main target group was Dutch. Several scales were left out of the questionnaire, mostly when they were deemed irrel- evant or disadvantageous. They are the following: 8 Not creative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Creative 14 Weak soundtrack 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strong soundtrack 17 Strong sound effects 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Weak sound effects Table 4: PMSV Scale II the Rariteitenkabinet. If the research had been conducted in, for example, an art gallery, A choice was made to not ask the respondents about the audio in the Rariteitenkabinet (questions fourteen and seventeen), as this may have attracted attention to the subject of the research, and thus created polluted results. The results of the questionnaire, and the conclusions drawn from it, can be found in the research results chapter. 5.5 Data collection The data collected through the questionnaires was entered into a MacBook Pro using the software program Numbers, the mac equivalent of Microsoft Excel. This happenedResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 25
  26. 26. level of education.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 26
  27. 27. 6. Results & Analyses 6.1 Results & Analyses: Video Game Analyses This chapter includes the results and analyses of the video game research. It is concluded with the selection of the best option of video game audio to use in the museum environment perception research. indicates that that particular box is non-applicable. This game was analyzed using a Playstation 3. The most noteworthy and unique feature of this game was found to be the suspension of disbelief through the dialogue between in-game characters. This continued throughout the video game. The video game relies locations seamlessly. Almost all audio in Uncharted is diegetic; solely the snippets of Drake’s Fortune. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Music speeds up “Epic” music, You get worked up The music is just like when danger is feeling of great- b/c of the sped up imminent adaptive music surroundings perfectly Ambience Rustling of leaves / / Fluttering wings in jungle, dripping (pigeons) in city water in caves Dialogue Film-like Opinion on char- / In-game characters cutscenes, inform acters changes speak to each other you of story line during gameplay Sound Bullets make Genuinely scared Sounds of animals Beep in ‘ear’ after effects different sounds for character after startle player (Bats grenade goes off close when hitting weapon sounds screeching) by different materials Interface Feedback / / / effects through clicking when navigating the menu Table 5: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves analysis Image 3: Uncharted 2. Image Source: uncharted-2-among-thieves_2009_02-03-09_09.jpResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 27
  28. 28. This video game was tested using a Playstation 3. One of the most gripping features of Also, the dialogue makes RDD very immersive; the gamer really attaches him/herself to the in-game characters, and when one of the main characters dies, the emotional effect is much larger than one would expect from a video game. The music makes the different places a player can go truly feel alive: In a saloon, the widely known Wild West style piano music is played. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Non-diegetic music Feel like you’re Quick and heavy / snippet when you in the Wild West bass when you’re in (violins, whistling), pursuit of an enemy adaptive when the --> you’re at the tip situation changes of the chair Ambience Sounds of cicadas Makes you feel / Gives a proper ‘feel’ during the night, lonely of the Wild West birds of prey during the day. Dialogue Information on the Makes you attached Was genuinely sad Proper accents and protagonist’s history, to character when protagonist uses of words and on the story died progress Sound Real-sounding People you shoot You get really tense effects weapon reload scream out in pain when you’re under distance effects Interface The “whoosh” sound Pressing sound / / effects when navigating the sounds like cocking menu revolver; gets you in the mood Table 6: Red Dead Redemption analysis Image 4: Red Dead Redemption. Image Source: d1/80.jpgResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 28
  29. 29. This game was tested using an Xbox 360 S console. Assistance was given by a fellow Crossmedialab graduate student, Dennis Houtzager, who had played Halo: Reach several times before. The reason his help was needed was that after analyzing several other games, the changes in movements on the screen and the feel of different controls was giving me motion sickness, resulting in nausea and head aches. This most probably happened in combination with the lack of ventilation and the high temperature in the room. Halo: Reach has several strong auditory icons, such as the clicking of an empty weapon, or the roar of an engine when operating a vehicle. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Informs of battle Player gets more Drive vehicles faster / situation excited b/c of drums in-game, because of guitar play Ambience Technological / / / sounds’ inside compounds Dialogue Real time info from You get to know the / The alien race teammates team mates; get (Spartans) speak attached to them English Sound Beeping sound Finally hearing Get very stressed The sound of bullet- effects when weapon the breaking of when hearing the based weaponry overloads, when an enemy’s armor beeping sound of a weapon burns gives feeling of nearby grenade hands, burning satisfaction sound Interface Clicking between / / / effects menu items Table 7: Halo: Reach analysis Image 5: Halo: Reach. Image Source: reach91.jpgResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 29
  30. 30. Fallout: New Vegas was played using a Playstation 3. The adaptive music in the game is really the most interesting out of the entire sound design. It changes with every situation; when there is no current danger or excitement, the music can barely be noticed. But as soon as the protagonist is faced with danger, the music speeds up with invigorating speed and rhythm. Also, the music inside the in-game venues add much atmosphere; the sixties Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music The background Get scared because Act tense b/c of scary Sets the setting for music speeds up w/ of danger and the music western/post-apoca- danger unknown lyptic feel Ambience Desert sounds - info Feel lonely when you / Makes the settings on where you are just hear crickets believable Dialogue You get quest info Dialogue can be When the conversa- from in-game char- tion turns bad, you acters for the characters tense up Sound You can tell by the / The sounds of the All guns have unique effects sounds of the gun protagonist getting sounds, very realistic shooter is sounds) makes you cringe Interface Selecting menu item / / Opening/closing effects proper and clear doors, very realistic ‘click’ Table 8: Fallout: New Vegas analysis vegas-screen.jpgResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 30
  31. 31. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was analyzed using a MacBook Pro. As described in the table below, the music in this game differs greatly per area, thus creating a unique experi- ence per stage in the game. These soundtracks really make up a large portion of how a player feels when questing in a certain area, or when he’s in a dungeon group. Mostly, the areas early on have a happier tone to them, where the higher level areas are often grim and threatening. Also, the transdiegetic manner in which the game gives feedback on a player’s actions (“I’m out of mana”, I can’t do that yet”) is very informative. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Informs you on where Sad music accompa- Get very tense when / you are located, nies sad parts of the in dungeon and the happier music means game starting area, heavy area Ambience Howling wind when / / Enables immersion; you’re in mountainy dripping water in areas caves, screeching bats Dialogue Info about your Dialogue can be / / character “I can’t do that yet” for the situation the characters are in Sound You hear when spells / Frustration when Flapping wings of effects are cast and arrows you hear a rogue dragon are shot cloaking/decloaking Interface When you loot / / / effects creatures, sound is played to inform you of looting Table 9: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm analysis Image 7: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Image Source: uploads/2010/07/WoWScrnShot_071510_141143.jpgResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 31
  32. 32. Grand Theft Auto: IV’s audio design is unique in several ways compared to the other games that were analyzed. Firstly, there is no continuous music in the background when playing this game. All music is diegetic, which means that the source of the music can The radio stations featured in the game all have a unique character, varying from hip-hop music to talk-radio to ethnic radio stations. The radio can only be listened to when driving a vehicle, making the suspension of disbelief an easy step to take. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Mission complete; / When radio plays Radio in car, you snippet of music is fast music, you drive hear music, leave the played faster car, no music Ambience / / / General city sounds add to immersion Dialogue Directions for You get attached to / Very believable char- missions the avatar, hate the acters through great bad guys more dialogue Sound Distinct bleep when When you hear Motorcycle sound effects info box appears sound of the char- makes you shoot effects are very acter being hurt, you realistic feel bad Interface When you select an / / / effects item a bleep sound is played for your Table 10: Grand Theft Auto IV analysis IMG 8: Grant Theft Auto IV. Image Source: thegtaplace_exclusive_tlad_screenshot_01.jpgResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 32
  33. 33. This game was played on a Playstation 3. Just like in GTA: IV, much of Bioshock’s range from radios to areas which have speakers that have music playing through them. However, in contrast to World of Warcraft, Bioshock uses music to inform and immerse sound effects of the weapons/plasmids (genetic alterations) are convincing earcons, with noise. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music / Creepy music, makes / Music often comes you scared source Ambience Dripping water / On you toes the Cracking sound informs you that entire time indicates windows you’re underwater are under a lot of pressure Dialogue People help you talk You get more / / through the radio involved with the story through the dialogues Sound You get effects feed- Clicking indicates that Sounds of monsters Sounds of cracking of effects back when hacking your gun is empty; get you to the edge of glass; you’re kilome- machines you panic your seat ters under the ocean surface Interface Feedback while / / / effects scrolling through menu items Table 11: Bioshock 2 analysis Image 9: Bioshock 2. Image Source: puting_bigdaddy.jpgResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 33
  34. 34. Dead Space 2 was also analyzed using a Playstation 3. It seems as if the entire sound design of Dead Space 2 was designed around creating the scariest game possible. This has resulted in very intense music, which adapts to the level of danger the player is in (for example, the proximity of Necromorphs). The sound effects that are paired with the space mutants are very high and screechy; creating an earcon that is very recognizable and effective in warning and scaring the player. Information Emotion Behavior Suspension of Disbelief Music Distinct sets for Scary music scares Constantly tense, / different moments in you sweaty hands the game Ambience Screaming monsters Screaming monsters Footsteps get you on Creaking of space- in the distance, keep you tense the edge ship workings of the ship entire time Dialogue In-game characters Get to know the char- Other characters / inform you acter better scream at you, making you run faster in-game Sound Dying monsters make Disgusted by the / / effects distinct noises monster noises Interface Navigating the menus / / / effects gives clear feedback through clicking Table 12: Dead Space 2 analysis Image 10: Dead Space 2. Image Source: Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 34
  35. 35. As said in the perception research part of the methodology chapter, music was chosen as a focus after lining up the results of the video game analyses. They seemed to have the most impact on the player from all the categories. Another reason for choosing to use video game music as opposed to, for example, sound effects, is that they would completely be ripped out of context, resulting in what most probably would be complete every visitor of the Rariteitenkabinet in a similar fashion. If, for example, ambience would have been chosen, the surroundings that they were designed to enhance would not be from the perception research. World of Warcraft (WoW) was chosen as an ideal candidate for the extraction of the music snippets, as its music score isn’t adaptive to changing circumstances, it only differs much from one area to another. This means that when recording the audio, it remains more constant than with different video games that do feature dynamic audio. Another reason for choosing WoW as the source for the audio is that there are large differences per area; one soundtrack can be upbeat and happy, the other intimidating and dark. This allowed for a relatively straightforward search for the best music samples. 6.2 Results and analyses: Video game audio in the Universiteitsmuseum The baseline research, which featured no audio, took course over two days; Sunday the twenty-second of May, and Thursday the twenty-sixth. The visitors to the Rariteitenka- binet were not introduced to any audio during these days. There was a clear difference between the amounts of visitors for those two days; on Sunday twenty responses were - tance of researching beforehand the most advantageous days for research. very upbeat and playful piece of music, from World of Warcraft’s Gnome starting area. On Friday the twenty-seventh of May, and Saturday the twenty-eighth, this part of the percep- tion research took place. The third group of respondents visited the Rariteitenkabinet to the second soundtrack, the darker, grimmer music of the Deepholm area. On the day that this part of the research - kabinet over the course of six hours. Thus, this part of the research was completed in one day, contrary to the others. 6.2.1 The perception research: Demographics Group No Audio Audio 1 Audio 2 Total Age 16- 11 6 6 23 17-21 2 0 0 2 22-35 2 12 10 24 36-55 8 6 7 21 55+ 2 1 2 5 Total 25 25 25 75 Table 13: Perception research: Age and groupsResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 35
  36. 36. The table above features the ages of the participants, across the three separate groups. As you can see, the participants during the baseline research were fairly young, in comparison to the other two groups. Also, the overall participation of people in the age groups 17-21 and 55+ is extremely low. This is quite different from the national average, as 55% of museum visitors in the Netherlands is 55 or older (Museummonitor 2009). This is most probably due to the fact that the Rariteitenkabinet is directly adjacent to the Jeugdlab (‘Ýouthlab’) where children can conduct all kinds of experiments. All the visitors over 55 seemed to be grandparents, enjoying a day at the museum with their grandchildren. Because a visitor can only reach the Rariteitenkabinet through the children’s area, many located, all together. Seeing as the overall ages are low, not just in the baseline research, but also in the other two groups, one might argue that the results of this research cannot be taken as representative of all museums. Nevertheless, it would be near impossible to select a museum that is. Gender F M Total Group No Audio 15 10 25 Audio 1 9 16 25 Audio 2 12 13 25 Total 36 39 75 Table 14: Perception research: Groups and gender Gender Frequency Percent Valid F 36 48,0 M 39 52,0 Total 75 100,0 Table 15: Perception research:Gender Tables 14 and 15 show the gender division across the research. One can clearly see that there were more females participating in the baseline research, without audio, in comparison to the other two groups. However, group Audio 1 had more male than female participation. Taken overall, both genders were almost equally represented; 52% males, 48% females. This deviates from the national average; in 2008, 56% of museum visitors was female (Museummonitor). It will be interesting to see whether the difference in gender has a great impact on the answers of the No Audio group and the Audio 1 group.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 36
  37. 37. Education HBO MBO Primary Secondary WO Group No Audio 6 2 12 2 3 Audio 1 6 2 6 1 10 Audio 2 6 3 7 0 9 Total 18 7 25 3 22 Table 16: Perception research: Groups and education In the above table, the younger participants are again easily noticed; the number of participants with primary school or lower education is quite heavily represented. An interesting outcome is the fact that all three groups had exactly 6 participants who have had an HBO-level education. The national average of people with a higher education (HBO or WO) is 28.9%. Among the participants, this number is 53%, so this is far above the national average, but still a little under the average for museum visitors in the Netherlands (59%). The fourth question in the perception research questionnaire concerned the frequency of museum visits. Participants were able to select whether they visited a museum seldom to never, once a year, once per quarter, once a month, or more often than once a month. The table below shows the participants’ responses: Freq visit Seldom - Seldom- 1/month 1/quarter 1/year 1+/month Never Never Group No Audio 7 11 4 2 0 1 Audio 1 5 11 7 1 1 0 Audio 2 6 16 3 0 0 0 Total 18 38 14 3 1 1 Table 17: Perception research: Groups and museum visit frequency The answers given were in line with the Museummonitor 2009; most museum visitors frequent museums about 4 times a year, making them ‘repeat visitors’. 6.2.2 The perception research: Visitor perception perception research participants. I have chosen not to draw any actual conclusions from the answers, as the conditions and general conduct were not optimal. The number of participants per group is not large enough to draw any statistically founded conclusions from. However, as several results are interesting, and may indicate a correlation, I have listed the clearest and most interesting results below. The PSMV scale questions The participants were asked for their opinion using the PSMV scale. The most notable results are described and analyzed below, however all of the answers were processed using SPSS and can be found in table-form in the Appendices.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 37
  38. 38. Annoying - Relaxing Very Very - annoying Annoying Neutral Relaxing relaxing Group No Audio 1 2 3 5 12 2 Audio 1 0 0 0 6 13 6 Audio 2 0 1 0 11 8 5 Total 1 3 3 22 33 13 Table 18: Perception research: Groups and Annoying - Relaxing the Rariteitenkabinet after they left it. However, the results do show there is a difference between the different groups, with people willing to choose a more ‘extreme’ answer, i.e. in this case, ‘Very annoying’ or ‘Very relaxing’. This may be connected to the fact that the number of children participating was, as mentioned before, quite high, and children do tend to have less trouble with forming strong opinions on matters and voicing them. Table 14 shows interesting results regarding whether or not the participants found the Rariteitenkabinet to be ‘annoying’ or ‘relaxing’, or somewhere in between. The visitors that heard Audio snippet 1 when in the Rariteitenkabinet, found it to be more relaxing than the people in the Rariteitenkabinet without audio or with the other, more sinister Audio in the background; 19 out of 25 versus, respectively, 14 and 13. The music in Audio snippet 1 is very upbeat and happy, thus this could have led to people being more relaxed while visiting the Rariteitenkabinet. Disgusting - Pleasant Very Very Group - disgusting Disgusting Neutral Pleasant pleasant No Audio 1 2 3 11 6 2 Audio 1 0 0 3 6 12 4 Audio 2 0 0 3 12 6 4 Total 1 2 9 29 24 10 Table 19: Perception research: Groups and Disgusting - Pleasant This question was implemented because of the graphic nature of the Rariteitenkabinet. To me personally it did not seem like a very large issue, but I was told by Ms. Ria Aalders, my contact at the Universiteitsmuseum, that quite a number of people fall ill during their visit. 64% of the Audio 1 participants judged their visit to the Rariteitenkabinet to be ‘Pleasant’ or ‘Very pleasant’, against 32% in the base group (they responded mostly with neutral, and 5 people in that group found the environment to be ‘Disgusting’ or ‘Very disgusting’) and 40% in the Audio 2 group. These results seem to be in line with the results of the Annoying - Relaxing question, seemingly indicating a general more pleasant atmosphere being experienced by the participants when visiting the environment with Audio 1 playing.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 38
  39. 39. Novel - Recognizable Recogniz- Very recog- - Very novel Novel Neutral able nizable Group No Audio 1 7 3 7 5 2 Audio 1 0 2 5 4 11 3 Audio 2 0 6 3 4 8 4 Total 1 15 11 16 23 9 Table 20: Perception research: Groups and Novel- Recognizable When including this question, the expectation was that perhaps through the introduction Rariteitenkabinet to be more ‘Recognizable’ when confronted with the Audio 1 snippet in the background; 56% answered with ‘Recognizable’ or ‘Very recognizable’. 48% of the participants in the Audio 2 group chose one of those answers, and only 28% of the No audio group. This could be because of the repetition in the music; the audio snippets were put on a 3 minute loop. Several of the questions were answered largely with ‘Neutral’. I believe this is because of the fact that when the participants were posed a question they could not immediately place in their own experiences, An example of a question that was answered with mostly ‘Neutral’ is the Emotional - Cold question: Emotional - Cold Very - emotional Emotional Neutral Cold Very cold Group No Audio 1 2 4 15 2 1 Audio 1 0 0 3 17 2 3 Audio 2 0 1 0 15 7 2 Total 1 3 7 47 11 6 Table 21: Perception research: Groups and Emotional - Cold 62% of the participants chose to answer this question with ‘Neutral’. This also happened with the following questions: Thrilling - Restful: 55% Activating - Sedative: 51% Large Impact - Small Impact: 45% However, I do not regret giving ‘Neutral’ as an option. This could be a sign that the question is not clear enough, or it simply does not apply to many people’s experiences. Seeing the results of this research, there is almost no denying that the video game audio visited the Rariteitenkabinet during the Audio 1 phase, had an overall less scary experience, and seemed to have a more positive and pleasant experience.The difference between that music piece and Audio snippet 2 did not seem to be extensive, however. One of the expectations was that that snippet added a darker dimension to the environment; perhaps a scarier experience. Unfortunately, this could not be observed in practice. In the next chapter, I will discuss the approach taken for this research, and my advice for future research and implementation.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 39
  40. 40. 7 Discussion Because the research was held at the Rariteitenkabinet in the Universiteitsmuseum, many more children than I had initially anticipated participated in the questionnaire. This was due to the kabinet’s location inside the museum; one has to travel through the Jeugdlab (Youthlab) to reach it. This meant in practice that after doing several fun experiments inside the youthlab, children and their parents/grandparents went to take a look at the Rariteitenkabinet. Often this resulted in people entering and leaving the environment after spending a mere minute inside, as something unexpected had occurred, which is not all that strange when dealing with children. Sometimes I had to ask people, who wanted to participate in the questionnaire, to go back inside and spend some more time in the Rariteitenkabinet. I feel that a combination of all these things happening the questionnaire, and how they experienced the Rariteitenkabinet overall. However, because of the location, I was able to conduct the research inside a real museum environment, as opposed to a simulated environment, and with actual museum visitors, as opposed to test subjects invited to a location. I believe that up until a certain point that holds up against the negative consequences of my choice for the Rariteitenkabinet. Ideally, I would have liked to have many more people participating in the research. Instead of 75 participants in total, I would have preferred that number per group. - tionnaires in total. At one point, I wanted to ask a birthday party group for their opinion. Sadly, this particular group was not interested, and many of the adults expressed their apologies saying that they did not have the time. This was due to the length of the ques- tionnaire, and that brings me to my next discussion point, the questionnaire. In retrospect, after listening to feedback from the participants and observing how long should have gotten ‘more to the point’. However, this last point is dangerous, as revealing participants. This is because as soon as the participants realize that the research involves the music played, they will think about how they feel about the music, and less about how they experienced the Rariteitenkabinet. Also, I believe some of the PSMV scale questions were too vague for many people. Perhaps a better idea when implementing this theory is to look for words that cover the same grounds, but are not as abstract and confusing. Quite a number of people also complained about a certain repetitiveness in the questions, however, I implemented this as a failsafe, to make sure that when participants answered a question a certain way, they would really feel that that was the case. However, I do feel the PMSV scale covered the many different facets human perception adequately for this purpose. visitors, with either a research method adapted to children, or a location without a large I would advise to incorporate an observational plan, to see whether people act differently when in an environment with immersive audio. As I have personally experienced, it isResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 40
  41. 41. Even though not as many conclusions could be reached as I had hoped for, I think this research can be taken as proof that using audio to enhance museum visitor experience for academics, but actual implementation in museums. I hope to have shown you the many possibilities of immersive audio, and how much we can learn from video game audio in that respect.Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 41
  42. 42. 8 References Afrika Museum (n.d.), Blueprints of Paradise blueprints-of-paradise-exhibition. Black, G. (2005). . Oxon: Routledge. Collins, K. (2008). . Farnham, UK: Ashgate. Collins, K. (2008). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992). . Washington, DC: Whales- back Books. Hein, George (1998). . London: Routledge. Jørgensen, K. (2006). . Audio Mostly Conference, 2006, Piteå, Sweden. Jørgensen, K. (2007): “What are these Grunts and Growls over there?” Computer Game Audio and Player Action. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Copenhagen University. Cifaldi, F., Read November 2011, on Another_800K_Subs_In_Three_Months.php Griggs, S. A. (1990). Perceptions of traditional and new style exhibitions at the Natural History Museum (London). ILVS Review, 1(2), 78 - 90 McAdams, S. (1993). . Thinking in Sound: The Cognitive Psychology of Human Audition, Oxford University Press, USA. Musée d’Art et d’Industrie La Piscine (n.d.), , read November 2011: http:// Letty Ranshuysen Onderzoeksinstituut Rotterdam. (2008). . Ijzeren wetten en trends. Downloaded November 2011 from http://www.lettyransheysen. nl/ Letty Ranshuysen Onderzoeksinstituut Rotterdam. (2009). . Ijzeren wetten en trends. Downloaded November 2011 from http://www.lettyransheysen. nl/ Miami Science Museum (n.d.), read November 2011 http://www. North, Adrian C.;Hargreaves, David J.;McKendrick, J. (1999) . Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 84(2), Apr 1999, 271-276Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 42
  43. 43. Stockburger, A. (2003). . Level Up, Digital Games Research Conference, 4-6 November 2003 Utrecht, NL Vliet, H. van (2009). . Utrecht: Hogeschool Utrecht Walker, B. & Kramer, G. (2004) Ecological Psychoacoustics and Auditory Displays: Hearing, Grouping and Meaning Making. Ecological psychoacoustics. Emerald Publishing. Whalen, Z. (2004). . Retrieved from http:// Whitmore, G. (2003). Designers. Read on: shtml0 Woyach, S., (2003) , read on index/article/107/immersion-through-video-games/Research Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 43
  44. 44. 9. Appendices 9.1 PMSV Scale By Taylor and Francis, 2007 1 Unique 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Common 2 Powerful Impact 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Weak Impact 3 Didn’t give me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gave me goose- goosebumps bumps 4 Novel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Ordinary 5 Emotional 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unemotional 6 Boring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Exciting 7 Strong visuals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Weak visuals 8 Not creative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Creative 9 Not graphic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Graphic 10 Arousing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not arousing 11 Unusual 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Usual 12 Involving 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uninvolving 13 Not intense 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Intense 14 Weak soundtrack 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strong soundtrack 15 Undramatic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dramatic 16 Stimulating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not stimulating 17 Strong sound 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Weak sound effects effectsResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 44
  45. 45. 9.2 Questionnaire Questionnaire Beste deelnemer, Ik studeer af aan de Hogeschool Utrecht, en ben geïnteresseerd in uw mening. Deze vragenlijst is opgesteld uit een aantal algemene vragen, en vragen over het Rariteiten- kabinet. Deze enquête is anoniem, en de antwoorden worden alleen voor onderzoeks- doeleinden gebruikt. Alvast bedankt! Manon Jacobs 1) Wat is uw geslacht? Man Vrouw 2) Wat is uw leeftijd? 16 of jonger 17-21 22-35 36-55 55 jaar of ouder 3) Wat is uw hoogst voltooide opleiding? Basisschool Middelbare school MBO HBO WOResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 45
  46. 46. 4) Hoe vaak bezoekt u gemiddeld musea? Zelden tot nooit 1 keer per jaar 1 keer per kwartaal 1 keer per maand meer dan 1 keer per maand 5) Omcirkel het cijfer van uw keuze. In hoeverre passen de onderstaande woorden bij de ruimte die u net verlaten hebt (bijv. 1 als u de ruimte opwindend vindt, 5 als u deze berustend vindt)?: Opwindend 1 2 3 4 5 Berustend Fascinerend 1 2 3 4 5 Oninteressant Irritant 1 2 3 4 5 Relaxend Weerzinwekkend 1 2 3 4 5 Aangenaam Tegenvallend 1 2 3 4 5 Verrassend Saai 1 2 3 4 5 Interessant Droevig 1 2 3 4 5 Opgewekt Verbazingwekkend 1 2 3 4 5 Voor de hand liggend 6) Bent u al eens eerder in het Rariteitenkabinet geweest? Ja Nee 7) Bezoekt u vaker tentoonstellingen zoals het Rariteitenkabinet (historische, zeldzame verzamelingen van voorwerpen)? Ja NeeResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 46
  47. 47. 8) Omcirkel het cijfer van uw keuze. In hoeverre passen de onderstaande woorden bij de ruimte die u net verlaten hebt? Uniek 1 2 3 4 5 Alledaags Grote impact 1 2 3 4 5 Kleine impact Ik kreeg er kippenvel van 1 2 3 4 5 Ik kreeg er geen kippenvel Nieuw 1 2 3 4 5 Herkenbaar Emotioneel 1 2 3 4 5 Koud Saai 1 2 3 4 5 Boeiend Sterke beelden 1 2 3 4 5 Zwakke beelden Opwindend 1 2 3 4 5 Kalmerend Ongewoon 1 2 3 4 5 Normaal Niet intens 1 2 3 4 5 Intens Niet meeslepend 1 2 3 4 5 Meeslepend 9) Omcirkel het cijfer van uw keuze. In hoeverre passen de onderstaande woorden bij de ruimte die u net verlaten hebt? Plezierig 1 2 3 4 5 Onplezierig Activerend 1 2 3 4 5 KalmerendResearch Report - VIDEOGAME AUDIO IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT - Page 47