The Secret to Emotional Game Moments

The Secret to Emotional Game Moments

What does it take to tug on your heart-strings?

If you’re anything a gamer like me, you have searched high and low, through the largest of video game libraries, in seek of that moment of emotion. Whether it be a sad, or happy moment-you search on, finding less than a handful of sequences that tug at your heart-strings the right way. Movies, music, and novels have all achieved their moment, and do it on a regular basis with me. Yet our beloved hobby continually struggles for it. Well, struggle it should not, for I have the answer, an answer that rings in our ears on a daily basis. Music.

Not your classically-composed original soundtrack (OST) music. Music with lyrics; songs! Laugh if you must, but let’s think back a few weeks to 2010. Many of the more-emotional sequences of games last year came from song & lyrics. The moment I saddled up for my ride to Mexico (Red Dead Redemption) and heard the wonderful tune “Far Away” (Jose Gonzalez), I was touched. So touched, I continued a slow-trot through the beautiful landscape, until the song faded, before speeding off. A warmth in my heart for John Marston, like no character I’ve had the joy of controlling in a vid-game.

Nier is another example; and while the vocals were sang in Japanese (?), it still had the same effect on me. Mass Effect’s ending tune did it too. Let’s not even talk about Alan Wake. I’m so suddenly struck with enlightenment that I’m not even typing sentences. It’s all too clear to me know, with little to no counter-argument to my thesis. There are far too many bands that compose amazing music, ready to hand over the rights to their songs for little to no money. Why aren’t the two industries (video game development & music) working together regularly?

Last time I checked, many games are selling in the “six-digit range”. For a chance to have 100,000 people listen to my songs, I’d give them away for nada. I can’t be the only one. The opportunity of exposure, alone, is worth the cost. I can only hope that this article will glare off the on-looking eyes of someone that can do something about it. It is, in my opinion, the missing link between cinema and video games. Think of all the moments in the history of films you’ve watched that have used a great songs to add dramatic-value to a scene. Now, what if video games did the same? Think about it.

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