Those without the trait can experience simulations in new games
Posted Jun 19, 2013
For those who would like to experience synesthesia, there are a number of video games in the marketplace loaded with special effects mimicking the experience. And for you old school gamers, a new board game in development named "Synesthesia 7" just debuted on Kickstarter.
Here is the gorgeous trailer for the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuYWLYjOa_0
The game Rez is set in futuristic computer network called the K-project where an artificial intelligence named Eden controls the information flow. Eden is overwhelmed by the amount of data on the network and begins to shut down. The video game player must hack into her system and reboot it. Much of the game's visual features were inspired by the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky.
"Rez is basically the foundation for which all modern synaesthetic games are based," according to www.fastcodesign.com. "The game is played like any other on-rails shooter, but all the sound effects & visuals in the game are synchronized with the beat to the music, and tonally & sonically crafted to become a complement to the song. This gives the effect of the user basically creating a song as they play the game normally, as opposed to a rhythm game where playing a song is the entire purpose, and failure results in dischordance. Failure in a synesthesia game simply results in a less complex song."
Here is the trailer for Rez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a1qsp9hXMw
Tetsuya Mizuguchi is famous for pioneering this genre, and later went on to apply the design philosophy to the Tetris-like "falling block puzzle" genre with Lumines. Since his creation of Rez, many more games have popped up with synesthesia as a main concept, such as Space Invaders Extreme. See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI0XrW9d-hY
Those who would like a retro look should check out 140, by Danish designer Jeppe Carlsen. There's still plenty of sound but the design is minimalist and there is no storyline or characters. You simply sync your movements to the soundtrack and watch as your avatar changes from a triangle to a square to a circle according to different landscapes.