Research - Do you turn off game music?

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jimmcgowan

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#1  Edited By jimmcgowan

I've been reading a lot lately about people muting music in games or listening to their own music in it's place.  I've always been one to play games 'as they were intended' by the developers, and only really played my own music for things like driving games.  But from things I've read (like this) and discussions I've been having, I'm starting to think I may be in a minority...  In the interest of getting a difinitive handle on this for my research (I'm studying for an MSc in Sound and Music for Interactive Games), I was hoping that the good people here could spare 2 minutes to do a quick, 7 question survey on whether you listen to game music: http://kwiksurveys.com?u=turnoffgamemusic  I'd really appreciate it if you could.  It would also be interesting to hear any discussion/thoughts people have on this topic. 
 
Thanks, 
 
Jim

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gamer_152

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#2  Edited By gamer_152  Moderator

Done! Really I'm all for playing games as the developers intended, at very least the first time through, the music in the game is all part of the experience and often enhances everything else going on. The only time I might listen to my own music is during sections where I've heard the music plenty of times before or where there is no music. So the Halo multiplayer, Burnout Paradise story mode and pretty much all MMOs I've played a lot are good candidates.

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thebatmobile

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#3  Edited By thebatmobile

Survey answered!

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SaturdayNightSpecials

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When I'm substituting my own audio it's most often a podcast, actually.

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dpedal1

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#5  Edited By dpedal1

First time through I play as the developer intended with music and all.  Most subsequent playthroughs I will typically play a Podcast, AudioBook, or my own music.  Right now I am collecting blast shards and cleaning up side missions for Infamous 2 and listening to The Name of the Wind audiobook.  

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wefwefasdf

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#6  Edited By wefwefasdf

Done! I usually listen to my own music when playing multiplayer by myself or racing games.

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MajesticOverlord

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#7  Edited By MajesticOverlord

Alright I completed it as well. The only time I ever really listen to something else is when I'm playing games with my friends. 

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probablytuna

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#8  Edited By probablytuna

I think the only time I ever really turned off game music and listened to music of my choice was when I was playing World of Warcraft for a good few months. I just got tired of hearing the same music in all the zones so I ended up listening to albums I had just bought. It was definitely not a good decision because now whenever I hear songs from the album I think about the days when I played World of Warcraft..

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FirePrince

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#9  Edited By FirePrince

Done. I always listen to the original score of the game.

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Nasar7

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#10  Edited By Nasar7

The only games I do this for currently are Street Fighter 4 (substitute 3rd Strike soundtrack) and Gran Turismo 5 (those tracks get old fast).

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Consaw

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#11  Edited By Consaw

The only games that I turn the music off on are racing games since almost all of the music in racing games except for Wipeout is terrible.

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BombKareshi

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#12  Edited By BombKareshi

Done!
 
I always keep the original music, unless it's unbearable (which very rarely happens).

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Quipido

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#13  Edited By Quipido

Done...
 
I ussualy listen to original music on my first playthrough of the game, espetially in heavy story games...
But sometimes I turn music off when I play the game again - I remember I played CoD4 without music once - it was "more realistic". That was few years ago, now I ussually play it as intended by developer.
 
Also it's worth noting in 70-80% of the games I bump music 10-20% up, I don't really know why, but if the music is good I consider it wery integral part of the experience and often it seems to me it's too quiet.

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FilipHolm

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#14  Edited By FilipHolm

Always the original music, unless it's an online game in Call of Duty or something...

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obcdexter

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#15  Edited By obcdexter

I usually turn it down a notch, but only ever disable it in racing games and Dynasty Warriors.

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MEATBALL

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#16  Edited By MEATBALL

I only really ever go with my own music when playing sports games, usually in multiplayer. (Filled out the survey)

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Stete

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#17  Edited By Stete

I only switch it off in racing games that have a garbage licensed soundtrack (Burnout 3, Burnout Dominator, Motorstorm 1-2 etc).

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BulletproofMonk

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#18  Edited By BulletproofMonk

Done! 

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ajamafalous

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#19  Edited By ajamafalous

Only during multiplayer games where narrative or immersion aren't the focus.

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harinosho

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#20  Edited By harinosho

Done - and i normally listen to podcast than actual music.

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Nekroskop

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#21  Edited By Nekroskop

Only when I'm doing second playthroughs that involve a lot of grinding.

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citizenkane

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#22  Edited By citizenkane

I never turn off the game's music. You are taking away part of the game.

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Shabs

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#23  Edited By Shabs

Done.

I almost always listen to the game music if it's some sort of audio visual experience.

For something like Super Meat Boy that's pretty much pure gameplay, after having experienced all of the music already, I turn it down and leave a podcast on. Makes the grind of constant failure more tolerable.

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medacris

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#24  Edited By medacris

Done. The only game where I ever really turn off the music is Killing Floor, and I'm admittedly not a huge fan of the generic industrial music they use, save for the boss theme. Pokemon I might, once in awhile, but only if I've been in the same area for three hours. Usually, I like the OST. Never on any other games.

I think you neglected to mention games that don't have music during gameplay at all...or do those not count, or what?

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YoungFrey

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#25  Edited By YoungFrey

I mute game music at times, But it's never to replace it with my own.  I simply don't listen to music. I'm not opposed to it but given a choice I'd rather podcast than music and there is simply no time for everything.  MMOs are the big one for me.  Hours spent and don't require that much attention means a whole lot of podcasts or video could be watched.  Most games require too much attention so I don't bother to mute the music.  I do usually turn the vlume way down, but then most games' default audio settings are terrible.  Music and ambient as loud as character dialog? 
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willin

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#26  Edited By willin

For atmospheric games like Oblivion and Fallout as well as situational games like Call of Duty I will turn off the music but anything else it's a must.

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jimmcgowan

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#27  Edited By jimmcgowan

Thanks for all the survey responses guys, keep 'em coming!!  
 
I'm really interested to hear about people replacing game music with audio books or podcasts.  I listen to a lot of books and podcasts, but I've never thought to listen to one while playing a game.  I think if I playing a single player campaign I would find listening to voices distracting and wouldn't really pay attention, but for something like CoD multiplayer I could see myself listening to spoken word stuff.  Will definitely give it a try! 
 
A few folks have mentioned altering the relative music/sfx/dialogue volume levels, I also do this alot as I often find the defaults to be poor.  There is a recording of a game audio designers having a round-table discussion about mixing in games available here, and they mention this problem - it seems that the lack of standardization between different PCs/TVs/Speaker systems makes it really hard to have a good default mix, so they throw in these relative volume controls as a workaround.

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Bwast

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#28  Edited By Bwast

The only games I don't mute are games with a ton of dialog and cinematics. Everything else I mute and play my own stuff. 

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imsh_pl

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#29  Edited By imsh_pl

Done.
 
I almost never turn off the in-game music but recently I started listening to my own tracks while playing Starcraft II custom games.

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Rattle618

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#30  Edited By Rattle618

Man you should make that test harder cause I knew ALL the answers. 
 
Seriously, I completed the survey, let us know what you find out cause this is interesting to me as well.

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Karl_Boss

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#31  Edited By Karl_Boss

Never.

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Mayu_Zane

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#32  Edited By Mayu_Zane

Survey completed. I tend to turn off the music for puzzle/casual games like Tiny Tower, but nothing else.

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blueaniman93

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#33  Edited By blueaniman93

I listen to podcasts when I have already played a game or I'm playing multiplayer. Usually the first time through, I don't turn off the music.

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Bass

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#34  Edited By Bass

The only games that I turn off the music in are multiplayer gamesl. I do this because the rest of the game's sound are so much more vital to my performance, that it really makes a difference.

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project343

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#35  Edited By project343

Answered. 
 
My problem with the survey is that I never go out of my way to turn off the music in a game--but I'm always playing my laptop's podcast library while playing games (effectively drowning out in-game sound/music). Sometimes I hit pause for key story moments were drama and voice acting become more prominent. Other times, like most of Oblivion, I just leave on the podcasts without stopping.

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tourgen

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#36  Edited By tourgen

some games don't use the music well - it doesn't support the mood of the game or doesn't add anything. Other games use music for promoting really terrible pop and rock bands (mostly driving games).

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jimmcgowan

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#37  Edited By jimmcgowan

Thanks for all the responses guys.  I'll let the survey run a while longer and post the results tomorrow.

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louiedog

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#38  Edited By louiedog

I generally only turn on off the game music while playing puzzle games like Clash of Heroes or PvZ. In those circumstances I'm much more likely to listen to a podcast than my own music. I mostly play single player games anyway. The game's audio, especially for the first time through the game, is important to the experience if the game is any good.

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dungbootle

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#39  Edited By dungbootle

I answered. I usually don't, I think its part of the game that the developers would want you to experience along with everything else.

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UnrealDP

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#40  Edited By UnrealDP

I turn the volume way down when im playing anything multiplayer, so i can listen to a podcast. MMOs are amazing if you're constantly listening to podcasts!

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ShaggE

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#41  Edited By ShaggE

Only after I've finished the game, and even then only with certain games.  
 
I've been meaning to swap out the music in Rock Band just to see how difficult it makes things. 

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sirdesmond

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#42  Edited By sirdesmond

Done!

I, like others it would seem, normally turn down a game's music volume in order to listen to a podcast or watch a show as I play.

In games where the overall experience is much richer though, I would never do this. For example, I wouldn't play an Elder Scrolls game with the music off and a podcast on, but I will when I'm blowing crap up in Just Cause 2.

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FluxWaveZ

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#43  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@528seven said:

When I'm substituting my own audio it's most often a podcast, actually.

Yeah, this. When I'm grinding in a JRPG is the only time I'll turn off the audio in a game, and that's to listen to a podcast.
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iam3green

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#44  Edited By iam3green

done, i don't usually turn off music in games. only game that i would if it had hip hop, or rap in the game. i don't like those types of games.

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xpgamer7

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#45  Edited By xpgamer7

Done - I usually listen to my own music in muliplayer matches like League of Legends or Halo Reach. Even on burnout paradise I'll usually listen to game music if occasionally switching the song.

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Rolyatkcinmai

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#46  Edited By Rolyatkcinmai

I usually turn it down to the point where I can barely hear it. Sometimes I just turn it off completely.

There's very rarely a time when I leave it on as intended.

I find audio levels in games tend to suck, music distracts me, and really adds nothing to the experience for me.

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SMTDante89

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#47  Edited By SMTDante89

I usually listen to the game audio the first time through. If I'm grinding in an RPG, playing an online multiplayer game or replaying sections of games I've already played then I'll usually switch to music I have or something else.

And I completed your survey.

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blackblade500

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#48  Edited By blackblade500

I only turn the music down when I am playing a game that does not have lots of story or cutscenes

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VoshiNova

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#49  Edited By VoshiNova

Dude I totally have picked up that bad habit.

I've been muting my sound and listening to the bombcast.

makes story games hard to play haha

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TheHumanDove

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#50  Edited By TheHumanDove

Dunn