Case Study: Film Music vs. Video-Game Music: The Case of Silent Hill

Zach Whalen

in Music, Sound and Multimedia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625338
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671038 | DOI:
Case Study: Film Music vs. Video-Game Music: The Case of Silent Hill

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This chapter investigates some of the similarities and differences between video-game music and film music, using Silent Hill as a case study through which to explore such issues. It uses a ‘unit operations’ approach that theorises video-game music in the context of the gaming environment as it interacts with a number of other codes. Ian Bogost's Unit Operations provides an instructive example for analysing Silent Hill. As this video demonstrates, examining the interaction of musical and programmatic objects within the same system allows for an approach which simultaneously covers the fundamental logic of both. The innovation of Silent Hill is that within its environment, silence expresses the loneliness and exhaustion shared by Harry and the player. It may be attributed that the game's music is more accurately a result of the dissonance that obtains in the configuration of relationships between the player and the game objects.

Keywords: video-game music; film music; Silent Hill; unit operations; Ian Bogost; silence; Harry; player

Chapter.  6609 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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