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 PLAY ALONG: VIDEO GAME MUSIC AS METAPHOR AND METONYMY              By  ZACHARY NATHAN WHALEN               A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA  2004
 
 
 
Copyright 2004  by  Zach Whalen
 
 
  
 
 
 
To Stacy—partner, friend, lover, wife.
 
 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I thank Jane Douglas and Donald Ault for their tireless investment in this project;
the Graduate Game Studies group for moral support; and, most importantly, my wife for
her patience and cookies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
  page  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................. iv LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................... vi LIST OF OBJECTS ......................................................................................................... viii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ix CHAPTER 1 STUDYING VIDEO GAMES .....................................................................................1 Introduction...................................................................................................................1 Context..........................................................................................................................5  2 FRAMEWORK ..........................................................................................................12 Immersion, Engagement, and Flow ............................................................................12 A Linguistics Model ...................................................................................................16 Game Genre and Music..............................................................................................20  3 FORMS.......................................................................................................................23 Ancestral Forms..........................................................................................................23 Perspectives on Animation and Causality ..................................................................31 Examples.....................................................................................................................34 Super Mario Brothers..........................................................................................35 Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time......................................................................41 Silent Hill.............................................................................................................45  4 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................54 LIST OF REFERENCES ...................................................................................................55 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............................................................................................60
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 LIST OF FIGURES
Figure page  1 Relationship of the metaphoric (paradigmatic) axis of language to the metonymic (syntagmatic) axis demonstrating a reading of the first two levels ofSuper Mario Brothers....................................................................................................................17 2 An example of mickey mousing in Disney’sThe Skeleton Dance..........................28 3 Mickey rides into town on an ostrich inGallopin’ Gauchos...................................30 4 Mickey flips a cigarette into the air and catches it with his disembodied teeth to impress Minnie .........................................................................................................30 5 Regular (small) Mario jumping produces a musical phrase which is repeated continuously as one plays the game .........................................................................36 6 When “Super Mario” jumps, his mickey mousing effect becomes exactly one octave lower .............................................................................................................36 7 Mario dying”..........................................................................................................37 8 In the Underworld the music changes to match the shift of location that has occurred in the story-line..........................................................................................38 9 Excerpt from arrangement of Underworld theme for piano.....................................39 10 The space of the castle levels is even further compressed than the Underworld levels.........................................................................................................................40 11 Approximate score for castle level...........................................................................40 12 Playing the ocarina inThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. ...............................42 13 Scale of base Ocarina note positions........................................................................43 14 “Saria’s Song” fromLZ:OT.....................................................................................43 15 “Normal” school building.Silent Hill© 1999 Konami, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan .................................................................................................47 16 Same space in the school—radically altered ............................................................47
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Silence vs. “danger music” inRE:CV......................................................................48
“That’s strange. It’s getting darker”.........................................................................50
Further down the alley.Silent Hill...........................................................................50
Further still. Organ sound seems to trigger when Harry steps over puddle of blood50
End of the alley. “What’s going on here?”..............................................................51
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