Evaluating musical foreshadowing of videogame narrative experiences

Marco Scirea, Yun-Gyung Cheong, Mark J. Nelson, Byung-Chull Bae (2014). Evaluating musical foreshadowing of videogame narrative experiences. In Proceedings of the Audio Mostly Conference.


We experiment with mood-expressing, procedurally generated music for narrative foreshadowing in videogames, investigating the relationship between music and the player's experience of narrative events in a game. We designed and conducted a user study in which the game's music expresses true foreshadowing in some trials (e.g. foreboding music before a negative event) and false foreshadowing in others (e.g. happy music that does not lead to a positive event). We observed players playing the game, recorded analytics data, and had them complete a survey upon completion of the gameplay. Thirty undergraduate and graduate students participated in the study. Statistical analyses suggest that the use of musical cues for narrative foreshadowing induces a better perceived consistency between music and game narrative. Surprisingly false foreshadowing was found to enhance the player's enjoyment.

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