Sound is emotion! Even when the gamer is unaware of it the soundtrack of a game is shaping his play, in times of quiet the music is peaceful, when the action picks up so does the music. For example in halo: combat evolved, as you make that final run to the pelican drop-ship the music is playing full blast until that final crescendo when it goes to the end cut scene. Looking to key composers some of the greatest are from the east, Nobuo Uematsu (final fantasy), and Hideki Naganuma (jet set radio future), and the west’s Martin O’Donnell(halo: combat evolved). Their works have lead many gamers to inadvertently enjoy games more than they would normally expect.
Some important points in my sonic game history, hmm, they would have to be the victory music from final fantasy vii, the end music of halo, and the sound track of jet set radio future. Many, many hours have been wasted on those games intricacies.
But of course! Sound is not limited to just music, looking at games like left 4 dead where you learn quickly to listen out for the sounds that enemies make so as to avoid as much trouble as possible. Cause let’s face it if you have a huge scary looking enemy running at you shouting “Cheerio pip pip and what not” your reason for shooting it is kinda different, it also detracts from the overall gameplay.