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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the inherent conflict between player autonomy and musical structure within videogames. Ludic music in games is typically congruent with the action and can heighten feelings of mastery by providing emotional rewards for player achievements. However, the confirmations or violations of musical expectancy that are effective in provoking emotional responses in the kind of tonal music typically utilized in games are difficult to achieve within the temporal uncertainty of a game, where the player has the autonomy to act at any time. The chapter examines the changes in attitudes, tools, and production processes that would allow the progression from current dynamic or adaptive approaches, which treat the music system as a passive receiver of instruction, to a more authentically two-way interactive approach where musical structure inputs to the game’s decision-making processes in order to create a more powerful alignment of musical emotion and game events.

Keywords: games, video, music, interactive, adaptive, dynamic, ludic game

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