Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts


Contemporary Music


Video games have been one of the most popular forms of entertainment since the turn of the 20th century. Starting in pinball machines that developed into arcade games and now lovingly into virtual reality, console, and handheld gaming systems, video games have become a normal factor in people's lives. It is no mystery why they are so popular; games not only give us a sense of accomplishment beyond what our physical and mental limits could achieve, but also evoke our imaginations by drawing us into a new world that is magical or something we would never have seen before. Think about an arcade--inside there are flashing lights, loud music; some cabinets even call out to you. Every sound is designed to entice the players. That remained the case as video games improved. To deepen the immersion for the player, the sounds need to be more realistic: there are more dialogue options; the sounds are varied and authentic; and they respond to what the player does. The storylines and relationships are deeper, and the players begin to feel honest emotions towards the characters in the story. Video games are so popular that other games have fallen out of popularity, board games included. Board games are nostalgic, and bring back fond memories for many people, but when placed against video games, the old classics barely stand a chance, specifically with younger generations. Board games typically require multiple players in the same space/location and a decent understanding of the rules. There are no flashing lights, music, or any of the immersion methods seen in successful video games. However, within the last decade, board game developers have begun releasing applications that can accompany board games. The games can still be played without the apps, but with the companions apps player can now play alone or with people. There are sounds that introduce monsters, and some, like Mansions of Madness, have dialogue you can hear from the enemies. These games have become very popular, and several games released now have advertised their companion application as well. Dead of Winter released an app that plays sounds of a blizzard, creaking, and low suspenseful tones, as well as narration. The app is designed to replace the event cards and supply background ambiance. Ultimate Werewolf guides the players through the game, explaining the rules, and plays background music and sound effects. Now the question is: how can we make board games more immersive? This paper will explore the history, techniques and successful immersion techniques of video games, and then explore what can be applied to a board game companion application.