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Feature: 'Audible Words'

In a special Gamasutra audio double feature, LucasArts' Jesse Harlin looks at how video game reviewers respond to game audio, while Radical Entertainment's Rob Bridgett e...
In a special Gamasutra audio double feature, LucasArts' Jesse Harlin looks at how video game reviewers respond to game audio, while Radical Entertainment's Rob Bridgett examines how academic thinking on game audio has evolved. In this extract, LucasArts' Harlin talks about how game audio is reviewed from a developer perspective: "There is a mysterious realm that every game must travel through on its way into the hands of the consumer: the video game press. There’s no denying the immense impact that reviews can have on shaping public opinion and influencing sales, and there’s a huge gap between the development team and the consumer’s living room sofa. Yet, as important as great reviews are to our collective bottom lines, most game developers know little—if anything—about the enigmatic processes that go into shaping a game’s final review scores." He then talks to GameSpot and IGN representatives about how the major game review sites handle the rating of audio: "To begin, I asked our insiders how much time is typically devoted to evaluating a game’s audio. Both admit that audio rarely gets singled out during the review process. According to [IGN's Peer] Schneider, “A trained reviewer listens to the audio the entire time while he plays through the game, and constantly notes what he likes and what he dislikes.” [GameSpot's Jeff] Gerstmann agrees, saying, “We’re really concerned with how the audio fits into the complete package, rather than taking the audio out of context.”" You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic, including plenty more on how game audio is perceived in today's ever more-complex game market (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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