The Digital Academy: The Power of Audio


It’s funny: we can create images and video, and even animation, so much more easily than we used to, yet it’s now that we’re turning back to the power of pure audio. Below are two examples of games that are using audio instead of video to evoke a sense of mission and place. Rather than try to build something that looks immersive, these games let your imagination to that part.

The Nightjar is an entirely audio-based iOS game narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. In it, you are abandoned in a failing space station and need to find your way to safety.

Put your earphones on and listen:

Another approach is Zombies, Run! This game also employs only audio, but it’s relying on a far more higher resolution image than they can produce: the real world. Zombies, Run! is a running app. You switch it on when you’re going for a run, and Zombies, Run! provides the motivation. The app pays attention to how fast you’re going and provides feedback based on that. It turns a run into an escape from zombies. Using pure audio and some data from its whereabouts, app makers are using the real world as their interface, overlaying information on top of it through audio.

Are there ways we can use audio? Can we overlay audio information on the library, or campus? On the stacks?

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