Series: The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia

The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia: Score and Licensed Music

Welcome to “The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia” Bioshock miniseries! In this three-part investigation, Paige Sammartino will sound out why this 2K Games series is music to our ears. This article contains spoilers for the Bioshock series. First-person shooters generally aren’t the type of video games best known for their ability to tell complex or thought-provoking stories, and yet for the Bioshock franchise, narrative is among the most highly praised elements of the games. In the original, protagonist Jack never speaks aside from grunts and groans while battling his way through the underwater ruin of Rapture. In the most recent...

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The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia: Sound Effects and Dialogue

Welcome to the second part of “The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia” Bioshock miniseries! In this three-part investigation, Paige Sammartino will sound out why this 2K Games series is music to our ears. This article contains spoilers for the Bioshock series. For video games, sound and dialogue are key components in communicating narrative elements, such as plot or characterization. The Bioshock franchise, first-person shooter games that dabble in the horror genre, doesn’t always have the opportunity to incorporate interaction between characters. However, much as with the games’ use of music, Bioshock titles make the most of sound effects and dialogue...

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The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia: Audio Diaries and Voxophones

Welcome to the final installation of “The Auditory Experience of Rapture and Columbia” Bioshock miniseries! In this three-part investigation, Paige Sammartino will sound out why this 2K Games series is music to our ears. This article contains spoilers for the Bioshock series. To integrate narrative more seamlessly into their first-person shooter horror settings, the Bioshock games make great use of score and soundtrack, sound effects, and dialogue. These elements weave into the time and place so well that they don’t often draw attention to themselves or else their significance doesn’t become clear until a second playthrough. Even on a first playthrough, however, every...

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