June 24, 2009

The Importance of Audio in Gaming

Sound and Vision editor/blogger Will Greenwald wrote an interesting post about audio and gaming entitled The sound of gaming where he postulates the following:

"Video games and home theater enthusiasm seem like the perfect match. A far cry from the days of pixelated sprites and harshly synthesized sound effects, modern video games have all the hallmarks of a top-notch Blu-ray release: high-resolution graphics, Dolby Digital surround sound, and tons of interactive features. Unfortunately, the twin houses of gamers and home theater buffs almost never mingle, despite how well their equipment can work with each other. "

While we would recommend a Paradigm Cinema Phantom or Micro system over Mr. Greenwald's choice of speakers, we agree with his point about the lack of mingling between home theater and gaming buffs, despite the obvious shared interests.

Greenwald gets very specific in his breakdown of how quality audio can enhance the gaming experience, including this commentary on the importance of a subwoofer:
"When you have a subwoofer, the weak "Bang. Bang. Bang." that used to waft from your television becomes a proper "BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!" Bullets, rockets, bombs, anything involving combustion is going to sound better with the beefy bass of a subwoofer behind it. In Red Faction: Guerrilla, where virtually every man-made structure is destructible, the extra power is invaluable. Between the 5 satellites to provide the soundscape and the subwoofer to provide the rumble, I felt like an EDF stronghold was collapsing before me, thanks to the judicious combination of high explosives and a ridiculously overpowered sledgehammer."

We'd love to hear more noise like this from the gamer community and press.

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