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|Session Name:||How Music Enhances Virtual Presence|
|Company Name(s):||Generations Productions, LLC|
|Track / Format:||Audio|
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|Overview:||"Virtual presence" is a state in which gamers fully accept their existence in a virtual world. This talk will explore how game music can enhance virtual presence in VR gaming. The talk will begin with an exploration of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory and Paul Cairns' research on psychological engagement in video gaming. By understanding how player mental activity interacts with game design, composers can create music that induces psychological states conducive to virtual presence. The discussion will include techniques to draw attention to mission objectives, facilitate concentration, enhance emotional empathy and intensify player focus. Also discussed: some of the drawbacks to virtual presence, including its fragility when exposed to negative emotions, and its possible susceptibility to the "event boundary" phenomenon. Musical solutions will be explored. Phillips' talk will offer techniques for composers and audio directors seeking to employ music to enhance virtual presence.|