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Beep is a documentary about the history of video game sound

Are you intrigued how sound in video games has evolved over the years? Now’s your chance to help fund a documentary about it.

There’s no doubt about it, video games have come a long way since Pong. But not just visually – the sound has also come on leaps and bounds. The earliest games had basic bleeps and bloops, whereas now a big production will have its own orchestral score.

So how did it evolve over the years? Which were the key titles marking shifts in the way games use music? Luckily, a documentary should answer all our questions and more.

It’s called Beep, and it’s the brainchild of Karen Collins, the author of Game Sound and Playing With Sound. She’s also edited From Pac-Man to Pop Music and The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio, so she certainly knows her onions when it comes to sound in video games.

She’s seeking $40,000 CAD to make the documentary. The project has already raised over half that, and still has 32 days to go, so fingers crossed it’s successful.

It claims to be the definitive documentary on game sound, with interviews with the people who made them, and the stories behind some of the most well-known audio effects in video games.

It will also be an exhaustive history of game sound, from Victorian mechanical arcades, pinball machines, and the arcades of the 1970s and 80s right up to present day scores and surround soundtracks.

Plus it will touch on the psychology of game sound, feature behind-the-scenes footage for sound effects and music, and explore the ‘chiptune’ scene, which makes video game effects into music in its own right.

As a backer, you’ll also get exclusive access to bonus footage that didn’t make the final cut. You can donate anything from $1 CAD.

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