BCM 215

Week 7 Blog Post

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s background music constitutes part of the ‘multimediality’, the video game’s media elements – audio-visual components that help create the experience of ‘virtuality’ – an unreal world which is made to seem real for the purposes of the game – for the player to immerse themselves in the Mario world.

While playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, players’ attention does not usually focus on the music and sound effects in the game. They usually are part of the unobtrusive background, mostly there to complement the visuals. According to Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, “Game music has a purpose, and it does incorporate sound effects.” The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe soundtrack promotes players’ visual enjoyment by enhancing the game’s virtual dimension. It’s mostly soft, bland background music, but changes in volume and intensity to reflect exciting events. 

According to Kjetil Hallaråker’s research report, ‘It’s a me! Maria! Queering sound and vision in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’, he used Collins’ (2008) book, ‘Game Sound’, to explain sound in video games, (who draws on Jorgensen (2008) and Marks (2002)), who said ‘Although it is possible to play games with audio turned off, this can considerably lengthen the learning curve of a game and can make gameplay frustrating. Author Aaron Marks (2002, p. 190) explains, ‘‘Without [the audio], the player doesn’t have any foreshadowing and won’t know to take out their weapon or to get out of the room until it is too late. While this can lead to a learning experience for a player, repeatedly dying and having to start a level over can be frustrating enough to stop playing the game’’ (Collins, 2008, p. 130). This shows the game’s sound effects engage the player with the characters’ achievements and emotions.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also has a high degree of interactivity – which is the cybernetic relationship between players and the game. The game interacts with players by responding to their commands and providing challenges. Players exert a lot of game control through their avatar. Players can develop strategies, bank and reveal items at different times to gain the advantage.

There are 48 racetracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to immerse players in the game’s virtual worlds. For example, Star Cup, has the individual racetracks of, ‘Sunshine Airport,’ ‘Dolphin Shoals,’ ‘Electrodrome,’ and ‘Mount Wario.’ ‘Sunshine Airport’, is based on an airport, with its runways and terminals. There are planes taking off and a busy baggage carousel. In ‘Dolphin Shoals,’ there is an underwater track, with a large variety of sea life. ‘Electrodrome’ resembles a nightclub, with coloured lights flashing, a big sound system and characters dancing. ‘Mount Wario’ is a snow-covered mountain featuring a downhill ski run. 

The combination of Raessens’ framework is further demonstrated via the creation of these different worlds, the graphic designers are trying to make the Mario experience as fully visually descriptive and exciting as possible. Each track features different background music and sound effects, which also helps create the experience of virtuality and further immerse the player into the Mario game adventure. 

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/shigeru_miyamoto_443953

2 thoughts on “BCM 215

  1. Hi Adrian! I think this is a great idea! I like the way you have included a podcast in your pitch video, it allows the reader to see what you are going to produce. The way you have formatted your post is very clear and concise. Your video is also very eye catching with images that match what is being said. The sources you have linked seem to be very useful for your topic. The only note I have for you is to have a think about what your analytical frame is, and implement it for the beta. It will help you with your research process. Otherwise I think your pitch is very good and I am excited to see how your project goes.

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  2. Hi! I was a little confused as to which post was your actual pitch, the use of categories or something on your blog might help your audience to navigate through your posts a little easier. I liked how creative and detailed your video was and how you are planning an inclusive DA Project. I also think it is incredibly relevant how you have included COVID-19 in your post and isolation. I do enjoy all the statistics that you have placed in your post although I think maybe you could have provided a visual image or something to show a detailed explanation of the timeline of your project. I’m excited to see this project develop!

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