Whalen, in his article on music and video games, brings out one aspect in particular which he describes as “mickey mousing”. This effect is basically the synchronization of certain events or activities in a game and the music that accompanies them. Whalen uses the example of Mario’s jumping sound contrasting it when Mario is small and when he is super Mario. The game plays a “bouncing” sound that many people associate with a jump or an upward motion. The goal of this is to increase a players immersion in the game by having the music respond to what the player would do in a way that the player would expect.
This reminded me of the part of any Zelda game when the character opens a chest. Chest’s always contain good items and they are associated with a slowly increasing triumphant set of chords that culminate in a trumpet blast.
This music combines with a slow camera rotation around Link as he opens the chest and then holds the item aloft. The music definitely adds to the feeling of accomplishment or success when Link gains another item. Once my friend had this sound as his ring tone and when I heard it in a different context from the game it still gave me that feeling of accomplishment.
Do you think that playing the game made me associate this sound with discovery and completion, or did I already associate the sound with good feelings?
What if the same action were performed to a different sound, or an anti-sound like a dirge? Would I associate the action with the same feelings?
In what other more modern games do you see the concept of mickey mousing?