Montreal International Game Summit 2014

Just came back from a fantastic experience speaking at the Montreal International Game Summit 2014!

Montreal is a beautiful city, and that’s reflected in the fantastic rainbow-tinted windows of the convention center where the summit was held – the Palais des congrès de Montréal.


The weather was relatively warm while I was there, but I spent most of my time at the summit… although I did enjoy the city views from the enormous walls of windows.


This year’s summit was more vibrant than ever, and the fun began in the wide hallways where attendees could test their video game trivia knowledge by taking part in “The Game Masters” quiz show.  I wasn’t brave enough to compete, but I had to get a picture of the set:

MIGS-Game-Masters The show floor was very exciting this year, with a lot of the activity centering around the two Oculus Rift stations.  My attention, though, was caught by two things.  First — the AudioKinetic booth, where the Wwise middleware was on display:


And second, this big green guy who was hulking inside the Ubisoft booth.  He looks brutish, but don’t let that fool you — he’s a real charmer.


Here’s the big schedule of sessions that was posted at the event.  My speech was towards the end of the second day of the summit, right before the MIGS Brain Dump (which is kind of similar to a GDC rant).


My talk was titled, “Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion.”  It was a great audience!


I had a wonderful time sharing some ideas about the role that music can play in helping gamers to achieve immersion. I’d first explored these ideas in my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, and it was such a joy to explore these ideas with such an enthusiastic audience!


I’ll be posting a video excerpt from my talk soon.  It was wonderful to speak at MIGS 2014, and thanks to all the creative and inspiring people I met this year in Montreal – it was a tremendous pleasure!

Game Music Talk at the Montreal International Game Summit


I’m pleased to be speaking again this year at the Montreal International Game Summit 2014!  My talk this year is entitled “Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion.”  It will take place at 4pm on November 11th at the Palais des congrès de Montréal convention center.

The Palais des congrès de Montréal convention center

The Palais des congrès de Montréal convention center

If you’re attending the event this year, please feel free to say hi!  It would be great to meet you!  Also, I’ll be very happy to sign your copy of my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, so please bring it along!  Here’s the official description of my upcoming talk at the Montreal International Game Summit:

Music, the Brain, and the Three Levels of Immersion

Game Music Talk / Game Audio Track – 4pm November 11th – Room 522 – Palais des congrès de Montréal


Music has the power to deepen player immersion through psychological effects documented in scientific research. This talk will explore the influence of music on the brain, and how these effects can aid game designers in meeting the criteria necessary for the “Three Levels of Immersion.” According to research, these levels of immersion require specific mental states that music can help the player to achieve. Through a discussion of several scientific studies, the talk will investigate the power of music to alter time perception, deepen our appreciation of visual details, enhance our mental prowess, increase the intrinsic motivation of activities, change our understanding of plot, and enhance both our attention spans and our memory capacity. The talk will also explore the techniques of music composition and implementation that provide practical strategies for composers, audio teams and game designers to maximize the ability of game music to help players achieve total immersion.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will gain an understanding of the effects of music on the brain, and how music can alter the experience of the player through specific documented effects.
  2. Study data will be discussed, including the “Three Levels of Immersion” from the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (sponsored by the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction), as well as several research studies on the relationship between music and cognitive function.
  3. Tips and strategies will be explored for the application of practical techniques to exploit the power of music to alter the mental state of the player, thus enabling deeper immersion in the gameplay experience.