• Seth Singleton - Editor

The Sound of the Video Game

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

There is a certain magic to videogames. It comes from a source deeper than code and feeds our very hearts and minds. What we see and how we feel differs from game to game, from console to console, and from genre to genre. We get so many visceral feelings that our thoughts often cannot grasp the spectacle before our eyes.


These games wrap around our subconscious and sometimes can lead to obsession. Hopefully your obsession is somewhat healthy. But before we see the beauty of the design of the game, before we can start that level, we must pay homage to the most imminent sensory shock that hits you as a child the first time you turn on your favorite system.


The sound, that raw untapped potential of the minds that brought such ingenuity into existence. From the early Playstation where you could hear the sound of the CD spinning and the heart of the console warming up, to the click when your first popped in your cartridge in the old school gameboy. The internal and external sounds make for a layer that defines we experience before we even begin to interact.


As a musician of over 25 years who played with Jabari — the creator of Blue Alchemy

— I can say from experience, there is a love for all forms of sound that courses through us all. It lets us know that your  Xbox or PC is running in harmony. When you hear that fan running from older PC models or hear that startup screen you know good times are ahead.


Before we go into actual music from developers I want to take you through two of my favorite sounds that are iconic to gaming consoles we love. I will show my two favorite consoles of my childhood. Comment below and let me know yours whether you are a millenial, baby boomer or a true old, old school gamer.


Playstation


SEGA Startup Screen


OMG! The word  SEGA means a music tradition characterized by strong syncopated beat and percussion instruments. The moment we heard that SEGA intro we knew gaming had changed forever. The sound of the word literally reflects the melody, staccato like beats we hear from game from sonic the hedgehog, Alex Kid, and Streets of Rage.

We are not going to forget Street Fighter. This two syllable word started a trend in music that over a decade. One cool fact is that depending on the videogame the start up screen sounds would change. 


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