Video Game Audio

From the moment I got my first CD player my headphones have been glued to my ears.
This is the actual one.

 Now with streaming through YouTube or Google's Play Music I have access to more music I never thought possible. Recently, podcasts have been getting more attention from me. There is a show for everything. You can come across some amazing content for free. In my car you will never hear the radio playing. I cannot stand the radio nowadays. Maybe it is because I am a music elitist and mainstream radio makes my ears bleed. That's fine with me. Thank any and every God for Bluetooth. Before that was the AUX cord that connected my phone to unlimited audio. Something is always on play when it comes to me. 

Am I truly cheating myself by not experiencing all the game developers put into a video game?

Audio is the unseen final touch to a movie. An amazing score can really set the tone. Sound design adds those little details that you do not notice automatically but make a huge difference. A poorly shot video is bearable if the audio isn't bad. It is unfortunate that the people involved in the audio side of movies do not get the recognition they deserve. I know for my work I do the best I can to not only capture great audio but do some sound design myself. 

Video games are no exception. Think of the most iconic video game music there is. Super Mario Bros. That theme is easily recognizable by everyone. Sonic 2's first stage brings me back to my childhood once that song starts. The work that was put into these songs is what makes them timeless.

Resident Evil 1 has an unnerving ambience that still creeps me out. 
The moans from the zombies had me terrified when I was younger and that is not including the dogs jumping through glass leaving me too scared to comprehend what was happening. 

The music in games always changes when it comes to boss battles. One Winged Angel for Sephiroth in Final Fantasy 7 is epic. The song fits perfectly with everything that is going on at that moment.
Any boss battle feels epic when their song comes on.

With all that said, the question remains, am I missing out?

Here is what I noticed about myself, I have my headphones in for online multiplayer. Yes, I am a bad teammate because I do not hear the plan of action or the cries for help. Do I need to hear a war going on when I am playing Battlefield? NO! I am playing for entertainment and I will not take it seriously. The same goes for any other modern online game. I do not feel like I am getting anything out of it. I prefer my music than the same repetitive call out of a special attack on Street Fighter. 

Classic games are no exception. I do not always listen to the game music. If it is a game I played a million times, that only gives me an excuse not to hear the music again. As nostalgic as it may be, I could be using that time to hear something that I have never heard before. 

When it comes to tabletop, background music does help the setting. That is an exception for me.  Music to go with my adventuring.

If you want the whole experience the way the game developers wanted you to have, then by all means go for it. But remember, there is no wrong way to enjoy what your'e playing. As for me, I am going to continue to listen to my own music. Sometimes, the right song can put me in the zone that gives me the edge over my opponent. 

What do you think? Do you prefer what the game offers or your own? Comment and let me know. 

Enjoy your drinks and game on.

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