Video Game History
Sound in Video Games
Evolution of Video Game Music
100

TRUE or FALSE: The video game industry has recently experienced record-breaking years.

True

100

What was historic about the game Pong? What did it have and not have?

The first game to have true sound effects (but no actual music)

100

What does “Chiptune” music mean?

Music that was electronic and synthesized on computer chips (“chiptune” is now a nickname used for music that sounds like ‘older’ classic video games)

200

Where and when did video games first begin?

Arcades during the 1970's

200

Why did Arcades originally not like the process of using sound in video games?

Sound was primarily stored on analog cassette tapes (which were expensive and could easily break)

200

Why is music from older games very memorable?

‘Older’ music had to be melody-focused due to the limitations of music for home consoles

300

TRUE or FALSE: The earliest arcade video games had no sound at all.

True

300

 How did the game Pac-Man use music and sound effects?

Initially, music was primarily used in the game’s title sequence to lure players to start playing. However, once the gameplay began, the music dropped out and only sound effects remained.

300

How many music notes could 8-bit music play at one time?

Up to three notes at one time

400

When did home consoles first come onto the market? Why were they popular?

The late 1970s and early 1980s. Now gamers could play in the quiet privacy of their own living rooms instead of a noisy crowded Arcade.

400

Why was the game Space Invaders groundbreaking in its use of music?

The first video game to have consistent music throughout and to have music that responded to player’s actions

400

What is thematic music? How do Mario games show this concept?

Music changes depending on the specific themes of the visuals

500

What were some limitations of music for home console video games?

  • Music segments had to be short in order to be loopable
  • Music could only use a limited number of different instrument sounds
  • Music could only reach certain volume levels of soft and loud
  • Music could only play a limited number of notes all at once
500

What is “adaptive” / “dynamic” music?

Music that responds to players’ actions

500

How have technological advances impacted music in modern-day video games?

Video game music can now be scored in very similar ways as movies; video game music can be much more elaborated and extremely dynamic (such as using large orchestras), just like a film score

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