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Plug-in to fear: game biosensors and negative physiological responses to music

Mitchell, Helen


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Ms Helen Mitchell
Senior Lecturer in Media Audio/ Collaborative Provision Coordinator, School of Arts


The games industry is beginning to embark on an ambitious journey into the world of biometric gaming in search of more exciting and immersive gaming experiences. Whether or not biometric game technologies hold the key to unlock the “ultimate gaming experience” hinges not only on technological advancements alone but also on the game industry’s understanding of physiological responses to stimuli of different kinds, and its ability to interpret physiological data in terms of indicative meaning. With reference to horror genre games and music in particular, this article reviews some of the scientific literature relating to specific physiological responses induced by “fearful” or “unpleasant” musical stimuli, and considers some of the challenges facing the games industry in its quest for the ultimate “plugged-in” experience.


Mitchell, H. (2015). Plug-in to fear: game biosensors and negative physiological responses to music. Music and the moving image, 8(1), 37-57.

Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Nov 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Music and the moving image
Print ISSN 2167-8464
Electronic ISSN 1940-7610
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 37-57
Keywords Biometrics
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Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article published in Music and the moving image, 2015, v.8 issue 1.


Article.pdf (309 Kb)

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©2015 University of Illinois Press

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