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Music and Shared Experience in Mother 3

  • Liam Clark MMus Musicology, The University of Edinburgh
Keywords: Shared Experience, Leitmotif, Fragmentation


This essay discusses how music in video games can create a shared experience between the player and the characters within the diegesis by using the game Mother 3 as a case study. Doing so further explores how empathetic music is used in gameplay and narrative contexts. This is done by using Ben Winters’ framework of music and shared experience with added insights from academic literature on video game music and composition. Several key points that arise include the use of leitmotif to catalyse shared experience by changing instrumentation and melodic fragmentation, encouraging interaction with music via sound battles, and the relationship between music and the state of player agency during gameplay. These points serve as a few examples of how music in video games create shared experience, especially in consideration of the ludic nature of video games.