• Martin Nielsen
4. semester, Musik, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In this thesis I study what role sound plays in the experience of sensory presence in a virtual environment. I have studied theories that describe the concept of presence and how we as humans are able to experience presence in virtual environments. Through this I have learned about the 3 categorizations of presence based on Kwan Min Lee typology of presence, and how to what sounds in virtual environments that can increase the feeling of physical, social and self-presence respectively, and how we as humans automatically make use of 'Folk Physics' and ‘Folk Psychology’ to interpret sensual experiences in the real world, and ‘The Media Equation’ in virtual environments. Subsequently, I have investigated how the experience of anxiety, fear and suspense can increase the feeling of sensory presence in a virtual environment. This is done by examining the theories and experiments that have been made about the subject in question, and which sound factors contribute to increasing the feeling of fear, anxiety and thus the feeling of presence.
With this knowledge, I have analyzed how modern survival horror games make use of sound, to give the player an increased sense of physical, social and self-presence respectively. Besides this, I have also studied how to make use of sound to accentuate characters, objects and the diffrent games environments and how this will ultimately give an increased sense of sensory presence in a virtual environment. The games use primitive sounds to bring life to the virtual world and bring information to the player about the virtual environment. Synchronization of sound and player inputs to the playable character's movements gives an increased sense of self-presence. You increase the sense of physical presence by having a synchronized auditory event added to the physical objects of the game when interacting with them. Through interaction with the characters of the games, it is possible to increase the player's sense of social presence and influence the player's emotional state through interpretations of the speech patterns, mimicry and body language of these characters. You use sound to influence the player's sense of fear and anxiety using the game's warning signals. Here you can make use of shock-effects, looming sounds, ambient sounds and sounds that use previously cognitively stored knowledge to create a further increased sense of presence in a virtual environment.
Subsequently, I have made an auto-ethnographic analysis that highlights what sounds that had a great influence on my own experience of presence in a virtual environment. Through these analyzes I have come to an understanding that sound plays an important role when interacting with a virtual environment. The sounds bring added value to visual events, and can be information-bearing in themselves. You can thus use sound to create a knowledge of the areas in the virtual environment, characters and warning signals, and without these you will have the feeling of sensory presence diminished. I also define which deficiencies occur in the different video games and how these can be improved to create a further increased sense of presence in the virtual environments. Finally, a discussion on which sounds and similar theories have the greatest effect on my subjective experience of presence. To this is discussed the benefit and disadvantages of using an auto-ethnographic method. Furthermore a discussion on the use of the “Silent protagonist”, and discussion on the research methods used to gather knowledge on how sounds affect the feeling of fear, anxiety and suspense in virtual environments. I finish the thesis by reflecting on how to use this knowledge for further research, and which research areas require further research to further develop the understanding of the experience of sensory presence in a virtual environment.
SpecialiseringsretningPopulærmusik og Lydproduktion
SprogDansk
Udgivelsesdato2019
Antal sider63
ID: 304948299