Evaluating Musical Foreshadowing of Videogame Narrative Experiences

Marco Scirea, Yun-Gyung Cheong, Mark Nelson, Byung Chull Bae

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We experiment with mood-expressing, procedurally generated
music for narrative foreshadowing in videogames, investigating
the relationship between music and the player's
experience of narrative events in a game. We designed and
conducted a user study in which the game's music expresses
true foreshadowing in some trials (e.g. foreboding music
before a negative event) and false foreshadowing in others
(e.g. happy music that does not lead to a positive event).
We observed players playing the game, recorded analytics
data, and had them complete a survey upon completion of
the gameplay. Thirty undergraduate and graduate students
participated in the study. Statistical analyses suggest that
the use of musical cues for narrative foreshadowing induces a
better perceived consistency between music and game narrative.
Surprisingly, false foreshadowing was found to enhance
the player's enjoyment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th Audio Mostly: A Conference on Interaction With Sound : AM '14
Number of pages8
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-3032-9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Procedural generation
  • Narrative foreshadowing
  • Mood-expressing music
  • Player experience
  • Videogame analytics


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