Sound of Play starts with the all too familiar noise of Pong, transitioning to the din of an arcade, and then continues to move through an array of video games, expressed through their most recognisable sounds. At points, these are musical, like the theme tune of a classic PS2 game. A key part of this is that the piece doesn’t just focus on the games themselves, it also uses sounds like the whirring of a dial-up router and the sound of a PS2 turning on. There’s not much more to it than that. There isn’t any big profound message or subversion of the premise, this is a piece which very much does what it says on the tin, and does it very effectively.
The sound design and music are solid and do exactly what they need to do, and it's all very succinct and tight. Depending on who you are this could be a trip into nostalgia, or an education in the history of games – whichever perspective you come from it’s an experience which is pretty cool and fun, even without being enlightening.
Ultimately, Sound of Play gives a simple but interesting history of video games told through sound.
New Creatives is a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, delivered in the Midlands by Rural Media. You can find this audio piece here.