Presence and biofeedback in first-person perspective computer games: The potential of sound

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As first-person perspective computer games converge with everyday reality in terms of the immersive-enabled experience they provide and as technology improves to the extent that biofeedback becomes more easily achievable, sound design for such games needs to concentrate on the attainment of the perception of presence. In step with the series 'breadth first' approach, the chapter presents the reader with an overview of current thinking on sound and immersion/presence before delving into biofeedback in the context of sound design for virtual worlds – such as first-person perspective computer games – before suggesting future directions. Following the chapter's introduction, I present a definition of sound on which I base the ideas presented in the following sections. The second section of the chapter deals with the elusive nature of presence and presents my thoughts on worlds and environments. Following the line taken by presence theorists, I differentiate between immersion, an objective measure such that computer game technology can be less or more immersive, and presence, a subjective, human response to that technology. The third section looks at current possibilities for biofeedback in relation to sound design for first-person perspective computer games; in line with the first section, biofeedback devices are treated as an immersive technology. I close the chapter by suggesting ways in which sound design in such games might make use of biofeedback to enhance the perception of presence. Throughout, although I refer to specific technology, I am careful to focus on principles of design in order that the chapter remains somewhat future-proof whatever the advances in technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoundations in Sound Design for Interactive Media : A Multidisciplinary Approach
EditorsMichael Filimowicz
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
Publication date2019
ISBN (Electronic)9781315106342
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesFoundations in Sound Design


  • Sound
  • Presence
  • Biofeedback
  • Environment
  • Computer games


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