There's more to Sound than Meets the Ear: Sound in Interactive Environments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


How important is sound in an interactive environment? For example, what happens when we play a video game without sound? Does the game still have the same impact? Even if sight is the primary sense in interactive environments, sound is also important, and should not be overlooked during the development process. The necessity of sound for perceptive quality enrichment in virtual environments cannot be underestimated. However, how designers should integrate and leverage the benefits of sound design effectively in an interactive environment can be challenging. This short article, discusses a variety of important and intriguing psychological concepts and immersive sound techniques, used in interactive environments, such as video games, to improve engagement and enhance the experience (from passive background music to active and procedural sounds). Computer graphics has proven itself in many fields of entertainment and computing as a means for communicating and engaging users (visually). This article discusses the hidden abilities of sound in interactive environments (e.g., the emotional, subconscious, and subliminal impact). We explain how different sounds can be combined with visual information to help improve interactive conditions and stimulate the imagination, not to mention, control (or steer) the user's emotions and attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Issue number4
Early online date21 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Attention
  • Design
  • Ear
  • Emotions
  • Engaging
  • Entertainment industry
  • Experience
  • Games
  • Immersion
  • Interactive
  • Mood
  • Music
  • Procedural
  • Sound
  • Unconscious
  • Video Games
  • Virtual environments
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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