Katja Rogers and Michael Weber. 2019. Audio Habits and Motivations in Video Game Players. In Proceedings of Audio Mostly (AM’19). ACM. doi:10.1145/3356590.3356599
Game music is increasingly being explored in terms of empirical effects on players, but we know very little about how players actually perceive and use background music in games, and why. We conducted a survey (N=737) to gain an understanding of players' in-the-wild audio habits and motivations, which can inform future research and industry practices regarding game audio design. The results indicate a wide variance in players' estimation of the importance of music in games. Further, we identify and provide evidence for the comparatively new multitasking phenomenon: a substantial number of players who do not listen to games' provided background music, often in favour of additional/parallel media usage. Based on these findings, we discuss implications for game audio design, ground existing common knowledge with empirical support, and delineate future research directions.