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The reality paradox: Authenticity, fidelity and the real in Battlefield 4

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This article examines how the ‘Battlefield’ (EA Games) series of games generates authenticity in its soundtrack both through a meticulous approach to modelling the physical world and through the appropriation of audio characteristics from our, typically mediated, experience of conflict. It goes on to examine how we might reconcile such ‘authentic’ audio with the more ludic features of the soundtrack, required to support gameplay, that are typically presented as inauthentic. The absence of these sounds during narrative-based sequences and the acceptance of them without negative impact on immersion during gameplay implies that these inauthentic sounds appear not to disrupt the immersive qualities of the ‘authentic’ but only when clearly positioned as ego-ludic (heard only by the player, non-spatialized and synthetic in quality) and only within the context of challenge-based sequences of the game.

Keywords: audio; authentic; immersion; ludic; mediation; realism; video game

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leeds Beckett University

Publication date: October 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • The Soundtrack is a multi-disciplinary journal which brings together research in the area of music and sound in relation to film and other moving image media. A complex cultural, technological, industrial and artistic phenomenon, sound-with-moving image is a rich area for analysis, investigation and speculation. We encourage writing that is accessible to audiences from a diversity of intellectual backgrounds and disciplines as well as providing a forum for practitioners. The Soundtrack's aim is to nurture this new and expanding area of academic investigation in dialogue with soundtrack producers of all kinds.
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