And thus ends another chapter of my life; that of being an undergraduate student. I printed, bound and submitted my thesis last Friday and I have been Walking on a Dream since.
I plan to turn the more compelling parts of it into a blog series, either here or elsewhere, and elaborate a bit on my findings. I'll also make it publicly available at the same time, which should be around mid-November when I get it back from being marked. In the intervening time, you can read the abstract of my Thesis:
Unlike traditional artistic endeavours such as literature, painting or sculpture, videogames and their creation, according to Janet Murray, are still in an incunabular period. Various efforts have been made to view videogames in light of other media such as film and narrative while few have yet to address, specifically, ways in which videogames present unique opportunities for expression. This thesis draws upon a number of authors to identify areas unique to videogames, and examines the implications for the employment of music within them. After examining the case for videogame uniqueness, the thesis looks to the current musical paradigm within videogames and, finding it somewhat lacking, offers a critique of the paradigm. A number of games that do, however, break from tradition and utilise music in exceptional ways are then discussed and their potential for adoption in future games is assessed. The final component of the thesis is an investigation into the use of music within the Xbox videogame Halo 2 (2004) through discussion with the composer, Martin O’Donnell, and an analysis of the music and sound of the game. In the process I discover that the game uses music in a way similar to the dominant paradigm, while also exhibiting a musicality within the in-game sound effects and level ambience. The result is a ‘soundscape’ style approach well suited to attaining both the emotive power of linear compositions as well as a closer relationship between music and visuals, seemingly a ‘best of both worlds’ videogame musical approach.