Follow the Raven : A Study of Audio Diegesis within a Game’s Narrative

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för teknik och estetik; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för teknik och estetik

Abstract: Virtual Reality is one of the next big things in gaming, more and more games delivering an immersive VR-experience are popping up. Words such as immersion and presence has quickly become buzzwords that’s often used to describe a VR-game or experience. This interactive simulation of reality is literally turning people’s heads. The crowd pleaser, the ability to look around in 360-degrees, is however casting a shadow on the aural aspect. This study focused on this problem in relation to audio narrative. We examined which differences we could identify between a purely diegetic audio narrative and one utilizing a mix between diegetic and non-diegetic sound. How to grab the player’s attention and guide them to places in order for them to progress in the story. By spatializing audio using HRTF, we tested this dilemma through a game comparison with the help of soundscapes by R. Murray Schafer and auditory hierarchy by David Sonnenschein, as well as inspiration from Actor Network Theory. In our game comparison we found that while the synthesized sound, non-diegetic, ensured that the sound grabs the player’s attention, the risk of breaking the player’s immersion also increases.

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