Say that Again

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Allowing the PC/player to request to hear again.


Dialogue .
May call for:
Address Others , Variety .
Makes use of:
Dialogue .


Several circumstances may interfere with the player’s ability to grasp the meaning of a certain auditory message, particularly when the stimuli requires interpretation, as is the case of Dialogue. Those include:

  • improperly adjusted sound volume;
  • transient diversion of player’s attention;
  • noise (in the player’s environment);
  • difficulties in understanding the game’s native language;
  • resuming an interrupted session.

One typical instance of this scenario is when the person who is playing asks "What did he say?!" (referring to a character in the game). This problem may impair the experience.

Some games use mechanisms that allow the player to request the repetition of the message. Some solutions are diegetic (e.g., the PC addresses the NPC with that purpose – analogous to a real-life situation), others require the player to access a certain functionality in the interface (e.g., replaying a message listed in an inventory). The repetition may consist of strictly replaying the message or in presenting an equivalent message with the same meaning.

Repetition requires that the need for Variety is pondered.


Half-Life 2: Insisting on interacting with a character triggers equivalent messages.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Answers in the conversation menu can be replayed.
BioShock: Radio messages (Helper Voice) and collected audio diaries (Recordings) can be replayed through the menu.
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