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Soundscapes: What sound does to games and brains

"When a game is in development there is often a clear intent of whether the game is designed to be played in short bursts or in longer sessions. What you might not realize is that the audio of the game and especially the volume of all sounds have a big impact on whether the player will be able to handle longer play sessions or not.

It’s linked to something called dynamic range of sound. When anyone speaks of dynamic range in audio they talk about the difference between the volume of sounds. As an example, in the thick of battle in Modern Warfare there is a low dynamic range as all the sounds are about on the same level. Your gun is loud, people shouting are loud and the enemy is loud. An example of wide dynamic range would be the classic scene when the dogs jump through the windows for the first time in Resident Evil 1. Intentionally the scene has no music or ambient sounds which results in as much emotional impact as possible when, without warning, there is a sudden loud noise against the silent background."

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