So we’ve assessed what digital literacies are, and the digital divide (those lacking access or skills). Now, what about the masters of digital literacies, the professionals? There are many professions that now require media, information, and digital literacy. Starting at software developers and going down the ranks of programmers, animation artists, audio programmers, consultants, journalists, all the way down to teachers at a primary school level using SmartBoards. So for instance, audio programmers, programming sound for games, or animation. After all, being a career prospect for my major, I am the most interested in it. They have to be able to source or create music to fit their project.
Maxwell (2015) mentions a few audio programmers essays throughout his work, one of which discusses her choice of music was used to give authenticity to a historical context as it was sourced rather than created (Johnson 2012). Maxwell also goes on to discuss how music for videogames from monophonic beeps to complete orchestral pieces. There can be in-game music coming from the virtual environment, as well as out-of-game music that is fabricated for entertainment and accompaniment while playing, and even the cohesion of the two (Maxwell 2015).
The entire videogame industry could not be possible without an extensive knowledge of digital literacy – knowing how to use technology and be critical in that use. And even though Maxwell talks about all the successes, what about the issues Abraham (2011) raises? When the professionals just get lucky if they don’t have the answers. What about the creation of “happy accidents”, “forced marriage” (Abraham 2011) or the eventual attempt of the shower scene from Psycho in a videogame? Even though, Abraham talks about the sound designer/audio programmer, Martin O’Donnell, being proficient and having an overall comprehensive knowledge of sound, it seems as though even the professionals have their limits with technology. Despite their abundance of access, willingness to learn and emersion into it, digital literacies are still being developed – in this sense, music within videogames, as there is still clearly more to be learned as Abraham concludes (Abraham 2011) – and expanded and will continue until there don’t have to be happy coincidences to turn failure into success.
Abraham, B. 2011, ‘Halo and Music’, in L. Cuddy (ed.), Halo and Philosophy, Open Court, Chicago, pp. 61-70.
Johnson, S. 2012, Choosing the Soundtrack for Civ 4, Designer Notes, viewed 26/08/2016 2016, <http://www.designer-notes.com/?p=449>.
Maxwell, R. 2015, ‘A Review of KJ Donnelly, William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner’s Music in Video Games: Studying Play’, Critical Voices: The University of Guelph Book Review Project, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 64-71.