Walking the streets of a virtual metropolis. The audiosphere of the game Grand Theft Auto IV

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Jakub Kopaniecki


On the basis of works devoted to the topic of sound studies and video games, the author presents ways of processing and using sounds in order to create virtual phonic spaces. He examines the means by which contemporary game developers influence immersivity, i.e., the process of immersing the gamer in virtual environments, as well as indicating the mutual influences of audial and visual spheres. Analysig the video game Grand Theft Auto IV from the perspective of the sound which accompanies the action, he compares in this respect three areas of the game’s Liberty City with their equivalents in New York on which the virtual city is modelled. The similarities and differences between the digital and virtual spaces are identified, and the reasons for them explained. This makes it possible to show how the use of the tools (explained earlier) employed by the developers of the game enable them to create a credible sounding virtual metropolis.


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Kopaniecki, J. (2019). Walking the streets of a virtual metropolis. The audiosphere of the game Grand Theft Auto IV. Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology, (19), 173-184. https://doi.org/10.14746/ism.2019.19.12
Biogram autora

Jakub Kopaniecki, Institute of Musicology, University of Wrocław

MA, completed his licentiate and masters studies at the Institute of Musicology
at the University of Wrocław and is now a PhD student at that Institute. In 2015 he defended his
licentiate thesis titled Muzyka w służbie dramaturgii gier komputerowych [Music in the service of
dramaturgy in computer games], and in July 2017 his MA thesis titled Madonna – ikona popkultury.
Transformacje wizerunku jako narzędzie komercyjnego sukcesu [Madonna – a popculture icon.
Transformations of image as a tool of commercial success], both written under the supervision of
Professor Dr. Bożena Muszkalska. He is now working on his PhD thesis titled Muzyka popularna w
przestrzeni fonicznej Wrocławia [Popular music in the phonic space of Wrocław].


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