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Ekman, I. 2005, Meaningful noise: Understanding sound effects in computer games. Paper presented at Digital Arts and Cultures, Kopenhagen. 
Added by: sirfragalot (01/25/2008 09:21:54 PM)   Last edited by: sirfragalot (10/14/2008 01:21:01 AM)
Resource type: Proceedings Article
BibTeX citation key: Ekman2005b
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Categories: Typologies/Taxonomies
Keywords: Diegetic/non-diegetic
Creators: Ekman
Publisher: (Kopenhagen)
Collection: Digital Arts and Cultures
Views: 2/481
The various roles of sound in computer games are yet not very well understood and sound is an underused artistic potential in many games. This study presents a framework for understanding game sounds to remedy the situation. The framework is based on examining sound effects and distinguishing between diegetic and nondiegetic sound as signals and referents. In games, diegetic is something that that belongs to the game world, whereas nondiegetic is something from outside the game’s fictive environment. The framework provides a tool for classifying game sounds, but may also be used as a design tool.
Added by: sirfragalot  Last edited by: sirfragalot
A simple semiotic taxonomy of game sound based on its description as diegetic or non-diegetic.

Added by: sirfragalot  Last edited by: sirfragalot
Section 3.1   To be diegetic, game sound must be considered real in the context of the story.   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Diegetic/non-diegetic Realism Reality/Virtuality/Actuality
Section 3.2   A game sound that is a diegetic referent, references or signifies something real inside the game.   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Diegetic/non-diegetic Realism Reality/Virtuality/Actuality
Section 3.3   From the supplied table, there are four types of sound:

  • diegetic
  • symbolic
  • masking
  • non-diegetic

comprising relationships between the signal (diegetic or non-diegetic) and the referent (diegetic or non-diegetic).

Diegetic sounds are 'real within the game world'.

Symbolic sounds have a non-diegetic signal but a diegetic referent. For example, a cartoon-like sound to accompany a diegetic action, the use of some music that changes with the game's action (e.g. pac-man, space invaders) or the use of one external sound FX to represent another game action.

Masked sounds have a non-diegetic referent and a diegetic signal. The example Ekman gives is the sound an unseen monster in the game makes when the player wanders into the monster's vicinity. According to Ekman, the signified event is non-diegetic because neither the monster nor the player can see each other.

Non-diegetic sounds have both non-diegetic referent and signal. The examples given are that of interface sounds, background music and some forms of game narrator's voice.   Added by: sirfragalot
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