Music, interaction and cinematicability: between Bound and Abzû

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Videogames, being an audio-visual media which makes use of presentation and visual techniques mainly linked to cinema, are distinguished due to their focus on interactivity and the relationship between media and user. Interaction is key not only for the image itself but for the music that accompanies it. And the soundtrack of a videogame only exists if there’s an agent that controls the universe, allowing its audition and perception. However, it’s possible to note the convergence between videogames and visual characteristics of films regarding image and what’s present on the screen in the last decade of the mainstream overview – videogames aim to be, in a growing rate, more cinematic. The absence, or reduction of informative elements in the screen, the increased development of graphic quality and design, alongside the notion of spatiality and open environments, are being frequently integrated and invested in by not only big companies but also independent studios. Through two case studies — Bound (Plastic Studios 2016) and Abzû (Giant Squid 2016)—, this paper examines the role of cinematicability and its use as a narrative tool where music builds an ergodic process of communication, meaning and interactivity. The soundtrack, game mechanics and the cinematic compose an interactive musical experience where the user is, at the same time, the interactive and performative agent in the narrative universe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVideojogos 2018
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Conference on Videogame Sciences and Arts
EditorsMiguel Carvalhais, Pedro Amado, Pedro Cardoso
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherInstituto de Investigação em Arte, Design e Sociedade (i2ADS) - Universidade do Porto
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-54111-6-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event10th Conference on Videogame Sciences and Arts - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 21 Nov 201822 Nov 2018


Conference10th Conference on Videogame Sciences and Arts


  • Soundtrack
  • Cinematic
  • Interactivity
  • Narrative


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