Music & Video Games | S3:E12

Daniel A. Kaufmann, Ph.D
Dr. Gameology on Twitch & The Gaming Persona Podcast
Owner of Area of Effect Counseling
Director of Gaming Services at Kindbridge BH

Music & Video Games

In this episode of The Gaming Persona, we discuss how music is used in video games. We take a look at some classic titles and explore how the music helped to define the game’s atmosphere and narrative. We also dive into the role of licensed soundtracks, composers, and sound designers in creating unique audio experiences that leave an impact on gamers. Join us as we explore the different ways music is used in gaming!

Download & Listen to this episode of The Gaming Persona Here:

Gaming Library:

Dead Space, Journey, Final Fantasy XIV Online, Mariokart, God of War: Ragnarök,  The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, The Legend of Zelda, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Alien: Fire Team Elite, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros., Chrono Trigger, Persona 3, Persona 4, Persona 5, Just Dance, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XIII, Halo Reach, Silent Hill, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 4, Fallout: New Vegas, Grand Theft Auto 5, Tony Hawk Underground, Star Wars: The Old Republic


What are we talking about from the world of video games today?

We are going to be talking about music and video games.

Music & Video Games: The Ordinary World

I sometimes we get an episode topic, and I can’t believe with the number of episodes we’ve had. That we haven’t done it yet. No. So let’s go ahead and step into The Ordinary World so we can share our everyday life through our video games. All right, Gene / Jenny, how was your week in the world of gaming?

Okay. Well, I finished up my first go through of that space. And now I’m in the middle of New Game Plus.

Oh, wow. What difficulty Are you playing New Game Plus on?

Well, it’s hard and then still hard.

Okay, so you’re not doing impossible yet?

Yeah, you can’t New Game Plus on impossible. You have to start a second playthrough.

Oh, that’s awful. Yeah. All right. Well, I don’t think I’m ever going to be doing that difficulty. I also completed a game this week though. I finally finished God of War Ragnarök on stream last night. It was a very emotional ending. Although the battle was not as climactic as I thought it would be. I think the individual fights were done very well. But I really was expecting one more big fight somehow. Because Odin was kind of lame compared to Zeus. But maybe that’s how mythology works. Odin is kind of lame compared to Zeus.

Well, I think the problem was they left out various aspects that they could have made use to make Odin cooler. Like, they didn’t have slept near at all his magical flying six-legged horse or at leg or whatever. Like, that could have been soften.

Yeah, we could have had a fight where we one by one remove the legs and beat the horse over the head with it. Yeah, Quan Chi style. That was a Mortal Kombat reference, Jenny in case. You are you you’re familiar with Quan Chi. Ah, we’re also cool here. So Jenny, what have you been up to with your life and games?

So I played some more Magic the Gathering in person this time. I haven’t played much more of the online version. But we have started watching The Last of Us episodes with some friends that we played magic with. So we’ve kind of tied a weekly tradition of a magic night plus me cowering, watching the last it was great though the show I finally got to the second episode. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was very scary but you know I made it through and then episode Three was just incredible. Really, really good. I cried. And then Episode Four was a good nice little filler episode, looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

Yeah, their journey through Kansas City, which is substituted in for the show in the game. I believe it was Pittsburgh. Yeah. But it’s the same feint where the guy runs up and is asking for help. And Joel knows that play he’s run it before, probably killed many people with that trick. So he knows that they’re in for a problem. And so going through that building and down those streets and seeing why the concrete is crumbling and bubbling like a volcano is going to be a fun episode.

I don’t know what the heck that was about. I’m very confused that we’ll see.

if you watch on HBO, Max, you are going to be able to watch the episode on Friday this week, because the athletic cosplayers have decided to take over Sunday with their beer and chicken wings and gambling commercials. And I’m referring to the Super Bowl where two incredible football teams that I totally love are playing a sport.

Yeah, I’m actually going to a Super Bowl party, but it’s called a Rihanna concert party because none of us really care about football. But we’re excited about the halftime show.

Amazing. Jenny, I actually wrote a blog post today, which I wasn’t thinking about you, I swear. But it would be an amazing article for you to read, it would provoke some thoughts, because you’re always sharing about how scary games are not your jam on the gaming persona episodes. But what I realized when I was playing D&D last week, I had Dr. Anthony Bean, Dr. Shane Tilton, Dr. Joe Atanasio. And so we’re the Geek Therapy D&D team. And I’m their cranky wizard. And they were talking about the Dead Space remake and also the original trilogy of games. And they’re just talking about like, it’s the most terrifying thing ever. And I’m playing the first one right now. I’m on chapter six, which is chapter wise, that’s halfway through the game. I’m not terrified. I’m doing fine. I, I have played Resident Evil seven and village I have played all the Last of Us is, and I just have gotten to the point where I didn’t realize that this is one of the most terrifying games of all time. But they were talking to me like it was so then I’ve been thinking about that. And so I wrote a blog post about how maybe I’m desensitized, and that’s Dead Space’s fault. And by the way, here is how survival horror games gives us the therapy tactic called systematic desensitization. And I actually shared an infographic about systematic desensitization in the discord about a day and a half before it went out on social media. But it’s a four-step process for if you went to therapy, and you needed to work on your fear of something, how would you take the steps to overcome that, but it’s all themed after Dead Space the infographic is in the blog post near the end. And I also started tinkering with some AI art, I got some cartoony Isaacs sitting down in a therapy in an empty therapy room and Isaac about to open a door you know, just trying to get in on that trend and see if it works. And I found out more terrifying the dead spaces if you try to do humans with AI art, they’re all blurred. Like, like, yeah, the AI doesn’t know what humans are. So it’s like maybe they won’t notice they don’t have faces and it’s like, nightmare fuel. Like, the eyes are drooping weird, the Mauser like weird shaped like, I want to make a human but I don’t want them to realize I’m going to make a human because I’m AI.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen some pretty good AI faces. They’ve come a long way. But the hands are the are the creepiest. There’s always like 17 fingers.

Oh, wow.

I’m so curious. The concept of desensitization. How does that compare to like expose Was your therapy or is it similar?

Well, the third step is really the exposure step. There are just some things you do to get yourself mentally ready, so that the jump scares have less of a jump, and so that the panic is less of a panic. And so comparing the version of me that is playing dead space on the PS5, with the version of me that did not endure dead space on the ps3, when Gene lent it to me, and I kept it for nine months and didn’t even get past the second chapter. It’s all the gaming experiences that were meant to be scary, I think have taught me plus, I did Halloween Horror Nights last year, which no, I don’t understand. We did talk about that, Jenny. But that was a super long episode. And I believe that got edited out. So our audience doesn’t necessarily know all of the things that I realized in my head when I was going through the weekends house because I love his music. And I did go into that with a chicken stance, and then realized, “oh, I need to be looking at this” and so near in one of the final rooms, you see him dancing on the stage, just going back and forth. And one of his really good songs is playing, and you look up and it’s not the weekend, obviously. But it’s an actor in a like zombie scare mask of the weekend face contorted with a giant tongue coming out of it, and the eyes are like bug guide. And then if you do get scared by that, in turn the other way, there’s a nurse from that one music video where the nurses take the severed head and decapitate the mailman and sew them together and get freaky with the weekends head on the mail man’s body.

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Well, After Hours is a whole 12 music video storyline. That makes very little internal sense. But it’s amazing to watch. And that’s what the haunted house was themed after. So I actually got double scared, double jump scared by that room. And then I just like realized, I need to just look at the layout of the room and I can predict everything. And then it’s not scary because I have guessed that somebody is around every corner. And when you think someone’s around every corner, in a video game and you have a gun, you can either shoot or run a lot easier. So it’s all about keeping your poise and realizing in a video game, what can I actually do in the situation other than via passive scared person. And I never used to play the games that way for whatever reason. Gene in Resident Evil for near the end, what are the things that they slither on the ground? And they like shoot spikes out of their skin? What are they called? Are we talking about the regenerators? Yes, the regenerators used to terrify me because they slither on the ground. They send hundreds of spikes out of their body when they get close to you. And they have these giant teeth and they eat the top of your head. And I used to be so scared of being in a hall with them. But if I were playing that game now and I wasn’t 20 years old, I would sort of look at it and just say I can shoot you ng it’s like wait, you didn’t realize you could shoot them a decade ago? What’s wrong with you? All right, well, that’s my Ordinary World.

Music & Video Games: The Call to Adventure

Let’s do The Call to Adventure. So we can get into our topic for the week. So this time around, we are going to be covering music in video games. And there’s a very important reason for that. And that is finally video game music is being respected the way that I have always respected it. There’s a Grammys category and that actually was awarded out for the first time this past Sunday. And so the award went to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which that is a game that unfortunately for me is on my backlog. I haven’t played it. Have either of you played it?

No, I have not. Because Wow. Word on the street is it’s God of War, but less great.

It came out before God of War did right or, or I don’t remember, they came out after the 2018 God of War. So I guess if you have a choice between playing that game, or Assassin’s Creed, you can just stick with Kratos and Atreus. And, but the score won a Grammy and it beat my all-time favorite video game music composer Austin Wintory, who was nominated for Alien: Fire Team Elite, which is a game that I’m sure I’m going to end up playing because my family finished their six-movie adventure into the Alien franchise this past week, as well. So I wanted to talk with the two of you about some of your favorite musical scores and musical moments in video games. So, Jenny, I’m going to nominate you to start us off. What are when I say video game music? Where does your mind instantly go?

So for me, I think about just the nostalgic type of video game songs, the little eight bit music from back in the day, used to play Mario Kart, and Sonic the Hedgehog, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, all those kinds of just really simple songs that mean a lot, because it was at a time in the beginning of my video game journey, like, laid the foundation for my love of video games. And it’s just very recognizable and nostalgic, I can pick the tunes out. And I even like, listen to different, like orchestral versions of these different older video games. And like Lo Fi versions, and it’s just it’s it’s a nostalgia thing for sure.

Yeah, absolutely. And, by the way, I was holding back a laugh, not because of your music memories in games, I went and looked at the blog post and oh, my gosh, the AI art of the first picture, he had too many fingers.

They cannot get the fingers. Right. It’s really weird. Why is that hard? I don’t know. I really don’t.

Okay, well. I’m so sorry for that. I just, I couldn’t believe it. So Gene, what are some of your definitive memories or thoughts about music and video games?

Well, all of my top choices would be, you know, classic Japanese soundtracks. So the Final Fantasy series, the Chrono Trigger, Chrome across games, and then, you know, of course, all of the Persona games. Persona three, technically, is the reason I got married.

Wait, whoa, you have to tell this story.

Basically, my wife and I, the only reason we really interacted it was because when I bought the persona three portable, original release, the collector’s edition came with June pays baseball cap. And I don’t think I have that right now. But somewhere in the house. And so me wearing that hat around campus, got us to interact because we realize we had mutual interest. And classic. Back in the day when no one knew about persona, except like five people.

That’s so cool. June is such a span as to, at least while he’s less of a spaz than the other two surpasses/ Yeah. Like every game has that companion character that you meet early in the game. That’s so cool. Gene. I didn’t know that. And you’re right. The persona music is so amazing that three, four and five both have a rhythm game, after the music from those games. So if you don’t want to play Just Dance and you want to button mash to Persona music those games exist. And you can do that. And by the way, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is getting a final version coming out on the switch soon. Yes. And that that is an amazing series, I had it on the 3ds for sure. And that that game is actually so good. If you are the kind of person who wishes you had played all the Final Fantasy games, but you haven’t. So I’ll at least play the music from those games and enjoy the cutesy versions of the characters fighting monsters for a few minutes.

Yeah. And you got a very, very watered-down version of the plots in the game.

Yeah. But that’s enough for me, because when I was a dark student, I didn’t have time for the full-fledged plot. At least that’s why I told myself.

So my, my other contribution to this would be Final Fantasy 14. It’s the only Final Fantasy that I’ve really played. And the music in that game is amazing. It’s incredible. Some of it sucks, like the tug of war theme. But other than that, it’s even like each mount has its own song that it plays it’s it’s a huge part of that game.

But Jenny, if you played Final Fantasy 13 Two, you could unlock the rock version of the chocobo and that is actually one of my favorite Final Fantasy songs.


I love it. I love it. It’s got so much energy and rage.

That’s part of why I like the music and Final Fantasy 14 is because like, you’ll be playing a boss fight and it’s really hard. But the music is so hard to you and it just like lines up with your mood and with your like, objective. It’s amazing.

Like every fight in that game, except for the first part of the leviathan battle.

No, oh my goodness. Oh, that was do that every single week for mugs.

Because we couldn’t beat the boss, it was traumatizing. Capital T trauma. Okay. I, I wasn’t thinking about this story. But a couple of weeks ago, I did one stream with WWE 2K22. And at the beginning of the stream, I went into the settings and turned-on streamer mode. Because a lot of WWE music is licensed plus you have licensed mainstream music in the menus that play and that would get my stream flagged and copyright strike and all that. So I turned on streamer mode, which when you do streamer mode in some games, like the dark picture anthologies, it just switches it out to pretzel rocks, style music, it’s rights free kind of music that you’re not going to get in trouble for. But the song selection still matches the emotional flow of the game. And I actually prefer that version in dark pictures versus the licensed music they choose. Because that takes me out of some of the game spending way back to WWE. Their solution is not alternate music that is free use. It’s no music at all. And wrestling requires music for the same reasons the video games do, the character enters the music plays, it gives you a connection with the character what you’re supposed to feel, what their vibe is, when they when the music turns on. It’s the backdrop of their victory, or them rubbing their opponent’s face in their failure to win if it’s a heel character. And that whole stream was weird because I would win with my favorite wrestlers. And so you’re the rock you hit the People’s Elbow 123 And you just expect the game to go if you smell you know, and didn’t it didn’t. So the rock is like with his hand up and talking to the person on the ground about how it doesn’t matter what their name is and all that kind of stuff. And there’s no music and it completely changes the emotional feel of playing the game.

Without John Cena trumpets!

Yeah, so a couple about a month ago now Kenny Omega entered with full Sephiroth cosplay and theme song. And that brings me to Final Fantasy seven will forever be one of my favorite music soundtracks. I listened to it all the time when I’m driving, when I’m grading things when I’m stuck doing a computer task that does not require the use of my headphones for the task. And that song in particular, plus a couple others, like the song that plays at the beginning. I don’t know the name of it, but it’s you know, you see the live stream and you see Aerith picking the flowers and the train and Midgar. And just man, that soundtrack is so good that’s Nobuo Uematsu. And there’s so many good soundtracks I’m never going to run out of energy, praising Austin Wintory and the soundtrack for Journey. I listen to that soundtrack every day, almost because I have to grade papers every day or write something every day. And that soundtrack is the theme song for my productivity. Are there any others in our list of games that really stand out as influencing the way we feel about video games or our desire to even play them?

I just for me, when it when it comes to like, how the music and video games affects me, it honestly, it really just helps me to understand what I should be feeling in this moment. So like, if I bring it back to the simple 8-bit, Super Mario Brothers music is like, okay, the first level, it’s just like a kind of like a cheery little tune. And it’s a, it’s a relatively simple level. And then you go into, like the underground. And the underground level has its own specific kind of sound to it. And it’s like, it’s a few octaves lower. And it’s kind of like it really brings you into that space. And then there’s some levels where it’s like, the music is really ominous and scary. And it’s like, there’s fire everywhere, and you have to beat the boss. So that’s the simplest form of that. But like I was saying earlier about, or I don’t even know if we’re recording at this time. But when those battles in Final Fantasy 14, those like epic battles that we’re participating in, when they’re the soundtrack, or these like, awesome rock type songs, it just really it helps you understand a little bit more about like the story, the environment, and what you shouldn’t be feeling.

You know, completing the wondrous tales journal on a near weekly basis, puts you into a situation where you have to go through the extremes from the early history of the game, and you end up fighting Shiva on a near weekly or biweekly rotation. And it’s an easy boss fight now, but that’s not really the point. The music makes that fight. Because you have the orchestral score for the first half, you fight her, she brings out her four adds from the four directions, they come crashing into the center, you AOE attack them down, and then she starts flying around the room. And the score is still orchestral until she gets to the center and spikes her foot down and it and the sound just snaps. And then the rock music plays the ice breaks. It shatters and then you go from being frozen to being animated and able to fight and do the burn phase for the battle with the rock style music playing now. And that tells you everything that you’re supposed to be experiencing as a player during the fight. You don’t even have to be the one playing in order to get an emotional reaction. You can get that reaction by watching a video watching a streamer on Twitch even driving in your car and not even seeing the fight if you were to have the sound of the music do that in sequence, you would understand the shift in the emotional weight of the battle. So you made me think all that Jenny, that was a really good point. And I want to acknowledge our chatters right now have already pointed out something that we’re completely ready for Martin O’Donnell has contributed a lot of big moments in the history of video game music in the Halo franchise. And that’s another franchise that I’m not really a part of, because breaking news, I’m a PlayStation person, I have never owned an X Box. So that makes it really hard to cross over and experience Halo, but video games would not be where they are without Halo, and the impact it has had things would be very different. And I think that there are certain games in that franchise that have a great recognition for their musical influence. And I believe Halo Reach is one of the top ones as far as musical impact with gameplay. Also have both of you seen the second Sonic the Hedgehog game movie?

No, I have longer seen the first one?

You’ve always oh my gosh, I was trying to like segue so that one of the two of you could take over the sound. Okay, well, there’s a scene. It’s in the trailer too, if you remember the trailer, but they’re at a wedding. And James Marsden, who is the human dad for Sonic, his cell phone goes off. And it’s the Green Hill Zone song. And that is a really cool way to induce nostalgia into a game that is heavily based on a game franchise, a movie that’s heavily based on game franchise, but is adding the real world into it. So there’s that adjustment of this is not just Sonic in the green hills zone. But by hearing that song play on this cell phone that’s in the scene, you get the feeling that everyone has when they first start up Sonic one or two or three. And that’s the first zone and so that’s the zone I’ve played the most because I’ve never been great at Sonic, but you are guaranteed to hear that song. Yeah. So that’s another one that’s really big. Gene, are there any in this list that we haven’t given time to shine that we would be missing?

There’s kind of more than more to list than we have time to really discuss.

Okay, so Silent Hill and Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania are also very memorable. Yes. Nailed it.

 Music & Video Games: The Ascent

 Okay, well, let’s go on The Ascent. So we can elevate the topic. And when we’re talking about that, I want to apologize, I emerged. The Call to Adventure in The Road of Trials together, which is maybe a referendum against the poor formatting on our show notes tonight, the text was not the right size, and I didn’t see The Road of Trials. So we covered it. We didn’t cut the segment. It’s just It doesn’t exist either. Okay, so we have two articles to cover in our ascent. And we’ve already touched on some of the concepts which is amazing, because you get these concepts by playing the game even if you’re not the one doing the research on how the game affects the player. What is a game where the music has helped you understand the world better? I need a second myself actually to think about my answer for this question.

Well, maybe I kind of already given Example of this but Super Mario Brothers even so, did it. Yeah, it’s like such a happy, joyous kind of song. You’re outside you see the clouds, the sky is blue. And then I just love the like, change when you get to level two and it’s underground and it’s like yeah, even the octaves are lower. And it’s a dark place so the music is a little bit more. It’s not really ominous, but it’s, it’s definitely different than

It’s ominous for 1980s NES. Oh my gosh. Did either of you watch Saturday Night Live This Week?


Oh, Pedro Pascal was the host.

Oh my gosh, yes, I know exactly what you’re about. And they

Did a skit of Super Mario Brothers done as if it was The Last of Us. Oh, like and so you see a gritty run-down Mushroom Kingdom and Mario Kart track and you meet Luigi who’s like, surviving shooting ghosts with a shotgun and a mansion. And Pedro Pascal, of course, is playing Mario and he’s got to take Princess Peach Across the Rainbow Road. So Princess Peach is like an Ellie character. But at the end of the skit all the awesomeness in the skit, I can’t even give it full credit for how amazing the skit was.

Everyone needs to watch it. It’s so good. It’s like they put money into it. It’s like a budget little skit.

Yes. But the guitar at the end, Jenny. The guitar is the way that the trailer and the main menu screen of The Last of Us tells you what you’re about to be in for its solemn, it’s slow. It’s very few strings plucked at a time. It’s just relaxed because you’re not dead yet. And they played the Mario tune that way on the same guitar sounding instrument. And my brain loved it. It had weirdness style Jaya, and I didn’t know what to do with myself because it’s like, I want to watch that entire movie.

I know it really did make me want to watch. I loved it. It like juxtapose the fact that like the zombies were like a fungus and Super Mario Brothers, mushrooms, mushrooms and Goombas. And oh, so good. So good.

Nintendo. I’m sure there’s a way you can get around copyright and give us a gritty Mario where there’s mushroom zombies. Come on.

Please do.

We also have some great games being mentioned in our Twitch chat right now. Gene, have you played either Cyberpunk 2077 or Fallout 4?

I played Fallout four, but not cyberpunk.

I haven’t played cyberpunk yet either. That is a game that I owned. But I haven’t played it yet. Can you speak to the music in Fallout 4?

A lot of it. So I didn’t listen to the music so much. So as I listened to the radio, the game that game so much of your background. ambiance is through the radio, you know, radio programs tell you what’s going on in the game. As well as play the music. So you’re, you’ll be running around shooting, you know, Fallout zombies, radioactive zombies, and a radio broadcasting show will be like, here’s what’s gone on in New Vegas. Yeah, whatever.

Yeah, that’s fun. I think there are a few other games where the radio system is the entry point for music. Isn’t that what Grand Theft Auto does also?

Yeah, in a sense, but Grand Theft Auto also has just straight up real-life music in it because it’s, Yeah, parody in real life.

Yeah, that is a different thing, really, than what we’ve been talking about the whole time if we’re going to open up to that. You know, I’ve had conversations with my wife actually recently about how our entire taste of music comes from Tony Hawk Underground. So that’s a thing, but those are real songs. Those are licensed commercial copyrighted things where a band has performed them and that’s their livelihood. So whereas these, the music we’re talking about is more designed and composed to tell the story in the video game, the way that the score supports movies. So Star Wars without John Williams is weird. Yeah. And, by the way, happy birthday, John Williams, and Aerith Gainsborough? Same day. That’s as strange coincidence. One is real person, of course, the other is not. Well, Aerith you’re real in our hearts. So back to the regularly scheduled program. The, for me when I think about music telling you what to feel, again, this game means so much to so many people, particularly if you’re academic, for whatever reason, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is one of those games that does an amazing job of pairing settings and environments with music. And this was a Nintendo 64 game. So that area of game is where you’re starting to get into that territory of games are really telling stories. Now they’re not just implying stories. They’re not just giving you things to read into, they are delivering a story with characters and actions and motivations and dialogue in the form of lots of texts at the bottom of the screen. So super, Nintendo didn’t quite tell stories that same way. And so Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time has The Hero’s Journey stages almost to the letter, and it has a score. So whether you’re in whether you’re in Hyrule Castle, whether you’re in the Gorons, and their mountain, whether you’re in this the Zora area and underwater, the music is going to be telling you the emotional battle that link is going through, and also how much hope and joy are you allowed to have right now? Yeah. So if you want to read more about that one of our good friends on the show, and my favorite Bard in my D&D campaign, Shane Tilton wrote a chapter in the psychology of Zelda published by the Geek Therapeutics crew, and that chapter was on the music in Zelda.

Music & Video Games
Music & Video Games | The popularity of many game franchises had led to the growth of gaming and live events related to the stories told in the play of games as an artistic medium.

So I actually went to a concert once done by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, where they played the score for Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. I wasn’t as familiar with those songs. So it was still very enjoyable. It was a beautiful concert. But I have not played that game. So most of the songs I didn’t really know.

That’s a really good game for trauma narrative and overcoming adversity. It’s really dark. Because if you don’t play the game, well, from the very beginning, you have a very limited amount of time when you first start that game to stop the moon from crashing into the planet and everyone dying, okay. And so you have to collect masks and complete tasks in a certain amount of time. And then you learn some time manipulation to extend your window. But still, the entire game is “save the planet.” Reset the days stop the moon from crashing into the planet. It’s not as aspirational as Ocarina of Time was and they were both on the N 64. And majorities mask is a sequel of sorts. Although, if you just play Majora’s mask, you’re not going to be at a loss from not playing Ocarina of Time.

Yeah, most of our time is spent dealing with a punk kid.

That’s true. Yeah, if we want to be sad about it. Let’s see. There is there we have one more article and it’s about time perception being altered by music. So not only does music tell us about our connection with the virtual world, but also allows us to experience psychological flow and lose track of time and become immersed in the game so that we’re rather than thinking about I have exactly 12 minutes left to play this game and I will stop exactly on time. We have this perception of time that fluctuates, it’s not as easy to measure exactly what does 30 seconds or 60 seconds feel like because the music it loops in cycles. And it’s cued by our actions in the game. So if we listen to a track on our smartphone, Apple, or Spotify, what have you, it’s going to be the recorded version for the original soundtrack. But in a video game, you have looping points. So songs that could be three minutes long, are actually designed to play forever, until you trigger the next song to play. So there’s an interactive element to playing a game that sometimes can drive you crazy. So do we have any going crazy because of music and video games stories?

Going crazy?


I mean, the choke bubble thieves really annoy me. I had to turn I had to mute my joke about because I couldn’t stand it.

Yeah, they do have a setting. So in Final Fantasy 14, at first, I thought it was really cool that the music changes when you mount up because after playing Star Wars, The Old Republic for almost a decade, that idea had never crossed my mind that there could be mount specific music. But then then I had only a chocobo for three months and realized I cannot handle this. So then I turned off the music for mounts and just relied on what area am I flying around in? Because I found all the ether currents Jenny so I can fly everywhere in the game.

Aren’t you special?

Yeah, I am. And then I was playing with Jessica and my wife one time and they mentioned how cool the song for one of the mounts was. I was like, I actually don’t know. I don’t have mount music turned on. So then I realized I missing some coolness of some of my newer mounts. So they turned it back on. That’s the story.

That was a good choice.

Yeah. I think I talked right through gene though to tell that story. Was there anything on your mind?

No, I was saying, you know, I played 14 back then. You only had one mount.

All right!

No choice.

Any chance to come back and get some more mounts and experiences with us?

Because the chance is not zero. I will say that.

You are saying there’s a chance? Yay.

Music & Video Games: The Return

All right. That sounds like a good time to go on The Return. So we can go back to our daily lives and take our next step forward. This has been a fun conversation. I can’t believe it took us 94 other episodes to hit music and video games as a concept. I want to just I’m going to throw this out here. If we could have any music composer come on the show. Who would it be?

Oh, leave that to you all I don’t know.

Nobuo Uematsu. So I did meet him at a meet and greet once. He’s a very jolly dude.

So cool Gene.

I’m sure he’ll make a good guest. If he really did it.

You know, one of my favorite podcasts to listen to is play, watch, listen, and I like it because they talk about video games from the perspective of different jobs in the video game industry and representing music is Austin Wintory. So I know he’s amazing at podcasts. And I know he’s amazing at scoring video games. So that would be that would be a person I would just love to talk to person in person about video games and specifically music. Yeah, that that would be like, if we did that on the show. We could have a conversation afterwards about was that the final episode of The Gaming Persona? Did we accomplish everything we wanted to do? I mean, there’s always the Twitch chat. They can talk us off of that ledge and remind us we have other quests that we need to complete. Oh, by the way on the topic of there’s always another quest. This is a big part of The Hero’s Journey is movies tend to end at the point where the bad guy has lost the good guy has won and there might be some bittersweet things but usually there’s a definitive ending and you feel good about it. And usually that’s why happens in video games too. But last night when I finished the game I was streaming and then it leads directly into Oh yeah, you have more to do. You’re not really done. Don’t leave, you’re still playing this game didn’t you know, I was like what I don’t know if I remember a game that has ever done that to me. So there’s always another journey that you can go on. That doesn’t mean that the one you completed wasn’t worth the time or wasn’t a momentous accomplishment. But enjoy it. restore your energy and get ready for the next one so we can have Austin wintery on the show and then still do 100 More episodes. That’s all that story was about. Any thoughts about what you might notice differently playing games this week or thinking about video games at all in the coming weeks?

I hope I get to play again. That’s my only hope.

We had an amazing turnout for the Sunday night Final Fantasy stream on my channel. We had some AE people jump into discord as soon as they saw me finish what I was doing. We got the entire eight-person group and everyone was in discord and it was so much fun. And Jenny, you should totally Yes, you should totally be around to do that with me at 8pm on Sundays or other days.

I will say this Sunday’s out because the Rihanna concert party, but the following Sunday.

Serious people cosplay extravaganza

The following Sunday looks like a contender.

All right. And Gene, you should subscribe and you should play 100 hours so that you can finish Endwalker from wherever you are and do endgame content with me.

It’s what yeah, like I said nonzero trick. It’s not a zero chance.

Yeah, what? What class do you think you would play right now if you did come back?

My main class was always the combo of Summoner and Scholar. Yeah, I know. Level caps and gear is all out the window from this point on so but so it doesn’t really matter that happened last year at that time.

It doesn’t because everyone can get that gear with their tomestones they don’t even care about. But you’ll get there. It doesn’t take that long. Yeah, I would love for you to come back. We haven’t battled a bus together since like story mode. Revan in 2015. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, if these conversations sound fun to you, and you’re looking for some great people to play online games with check out AIE at, and I have one last quest for everyone to collect for the day.

Follow the melody and Continue the Journey.

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