New SSSMG Executive Director

The Trustees of the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games, on behalf of the Society’s Executive Committee, are very pleased to announce that Dr Michael Austin has been confirmed as SSSMG’s new Executive Director, effective November 1, 2023.

Michael is a highly respected scholar of game music and sound, and he has been deeply involved with SSSMG’s mission and goals since the Society’s founding. Michael has served as Secretary of SSSMG’s Executive Committee, and as a Trustee of the Society. Michael brings to this position a wealth of experience in administration as well as scholarship, and we are excited to continue to grow and advance the Society with Michael’s leadership.

Michael has been a longstanding presence in game music and sound research. He is Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University, and was previously the Founding Director of the School of Music at Louisiana Tech University. He is the editor of Music Video Games: Performance, Politics and Play (Bloomsbury, 2016), and his articles include ‘From Mixtapes to Multiplayers: Sharing Musical Taste through Video Games’, which was nominated for a Video Game Music Online award. He has presented regularly at Ludo and NACVGM, including delivering the keynote at Ludo2018 and co-hosting NACVGM 2022. His work draws on a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and includes themes such as game music and representation.

Michael steps into this role as SSSMG’s second Executive Director, after Dr Mark Sweeney, who has led the Society in this role since its founding. We are extremely grateful for Mark’s service to the Society, and Mark will continue to serve as a Trustee.

SSSMG Executive Committee & Trustees

Stephen Baysted

Karen Cook

Melanie Fritsch

Lidia López Gómez

Elizabeth Medina-Gray

Alia Miroshnichenko

Aaron Price

Jennifer Smith

Tim Summers

Ryan Thompson

Weida Wang

Call for Proposals: “Hades” Special Issue for JSMG

Guest Editors: Christopher Hill (University of Birmingham), Demetrius Shahmehri (Columbia University), Silvia Mantilla-Wright (University of York), Stephanie Lind (Queen’s University).

This special issue focuses on the sound and music of Supergiant Games’ rogue-like dungeon crawler Hades. Winner of “Best Indie Game” and “Best Action Game” categories at the Game Awards 2020, Hades has emerged as one of the most critically acclaimed games of recent years and remains popular among roguelike and action fans and casual players alike.

Hades focuses on Zagreus, the son of Hades and prince of the underworld, as he attempts to escape his father’s realm and find his mother. As a rogue-like, Hades requires players to lead Zagreus to numerous, repeated deaths in trying to make their first successful escape. The game then rewards the player with narrative progression with each successful run as each death returns Zagreus to his father’s House of the Dead. This merging of disparate elements — the repetition of the dungeon crawl through the underworld and the slowly unfolding narrative surrounding Zagreus, the underworld’s denizens, and the Olympians — makes for an emotionally moving and fulfilling gameplay experience for players. The sound and music of the game similarly merge disparate stylistic elements, one of the reasons the game’s soundtrack has been intriguing to scholars in music.

In this context, this issue will showcase how the music and game sounds of Hades shape and contribute to the gameplay and player experience; act as a conduit to the narrative development of the game; and establish the game environment from a sonic perspective.

We especially welcome submissions on topics that address:

  • How the soundtrack sets up or subverts player expectations.
  • Theoretical and narratological analysis of the soundtrack and its relationship to the gameworld and story.
  • Relationship between game design, setting, or narrative and Hades’s cross-genre sound aesthetics.
  • Musical representation of identity (e.g., gender, sexuality, and/or race/ethnicity)
  • The influence of contemporary/popular music genres on the composition of the soundtrack.
  • Genre and genre-bending.
  • Representation (arguably re-presentation) of Greek myth and how this is achieved between game and soundtrack.
  • Comparative analysis between Hades’ soundtrack and other games in an Ancient Greek mythological setting.

The submission process will be two-part: interested participants are asked to submit a 500-word abstract summarizing their potential article. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full article for consideration, which will be blind peer reviewed.

Abstracts should be sent as a Microsoft Word or PDF document and should be submitted by January 20th, 2023. Please submit abstracts or any questions about the application process by email to  Contributors will be contacted by February 20th, 2023, and full paper submissions will be due June 1st, 2023.

JSMG Special Issue Call: Music in Non-Digital Games

Edited by Christoph Hust (Leipzig, Germany) and Martin Roth (Kyoto, Japan)

The planned issue focuses on music in non-digital games – board games, dice games, card games, pen-and-paper role-playing games – within a global perspective. Its aim is to give a first overview of a broad topic that largely has not been explored before. Proposals that deal with sources from the 20th and 21st century are especially welcome. The aim is to consider games as cultural artifacts that store information about how music is conceptualized in a certain historical and cultural environment. Among others, possible topics might include:

– games that include practical music making

– quiz games about music

– depiction of musical canon formation in games

– atmospheric background music for pen-and-paper role-playing games

– music as a plot device in P&P games

– depiction of individual musical genres in games

– games about the musical market

– music games as a means of product placement, marketing, and advertising

– depiction of cultural and/or gender stereotypes in music games

– games in the service of music pedagogics

– music games and TV

For further inspiration, a small collection of relevant games can be found via this link:

If you like to contribute to this issue, please send an abstract (English only) of no more than 300 words to until October 31, 2022. Contributors will be contacted by December 31 at latest, and texts will be due on June 1, 2023. Texts intended for publication will go through a peer review after that, and the issue is planned to be published in 2024.

You can access JSMG’s style guide here: .

JSMG Special Issue Call: Videogame Music and Sound – Approaches from Latin America

Call for Contributions

Edited by: Karina Moritzen (Universidade Federal Fluminense / Universität Oldenburg), Ignacio Quiroz (National University of Litoral), Ariel Grez Valdenegro (LUDUM/University of Santiago de Chile).

This special issue intends to provide a meeting ground for the knowledge produced in Latin America on the topic of sound and music in video games. Latin America here will be understood in a broad sense that is not limited to its geographical area: it will also be regarded as a wide fertile space in which cultural objects, creative processes, currents of thought, aesthetics, epistemologies and methodologies are constructed through multiple perspectives.

Due to the uneven global videogames circulation (as most of the AAA games are created in the Global North and distributed globally), the studies that focus on the issue of sound and music in this media have mostly covered titles from the large games industry, and the theoretical production in this field has mostly been written from the Global North through eurocentric points of view. This had an impact on the theoretical direction that research has taken, and on the way in which questions have been proposed and dealt with. There are many epistemologies still missing from the conversation, as there are varied ways of comprehending the particularities that emerge around video game music given the cultural context in which it is perceived.

Therefore, the present issue intends to articulate a collective effort to gather research around the topic that reflects the plurality of thought that exists in Latin America, displaying an anti-essentializing portrayal of a continent that subsumes so many different experiences with media. The aim is to generate a space for discussion that addresses games, materiality, trajectories and social implications of video game music and sound in a weave that faithfully represents the particularities of Latin America, its games, its authors and its multiple realities. Additionally, the edition hopes to highlight and stimulate this academic circuit, exposing the work developed here to an international audience.

We welcome submission on topics such as:

  • Case studies involving video games of Latin American origin, and their music, sounds and artistic production in general;
  • Satellite studies on sound sources of Latin American origin;
  • Problems of Latin American sound representation in the global industry;
  • Theoretical frameworks and analytical synergies from Latin American authors;
  • Effects of local modding/piracy in the listening experience;
  • Issues located in the overlap of a global industry and Latin America;
  • Social effects of video game music influence in Latin America;
  • In-game music scenes focusing on Latin American audiences and music genres;
  • Music scenes in Latin America anchored out of the game influenced by video game music.

Submissions should be 6000–7000 words, in English, and should follow the journal’s style guide available here.

Articles should be emailed to by February 28th, 2023. Authors should avoid clear identification of their name and affiliation throughout the text, and should remove all metadata from submission files. For additional information, please contact the issue’s Guest Editors directly at We welcome all questions from prospective contributors.

Announcement: New JSMG Editors-in-Chief

Our editorial team for JSMG has now completed work on the last issues of Volume 3, and with that, we reach the end of a critical milestone in the journal’s history. Under the leadership of Professor Stephen Baysted, the journal has been well established as a high-quality publication with diverse authorship and growing readership. At our recent annual editorial board meeting, we were pleased to review data pointing to strong growth in downloads and views. Launching journals has never been easy, and especially in relatively small research domains. With Stephen’s guidance, a lot of hard work from the editorial team and our partners at the University of California Press, and the support of the whole editorial board, JSMG has established a strong foundation. The journal was nominated for a G.A.N.G award last year, is highly regarded as a successful new launch publication in the broader research community, and has also recently been approved for indexing by SCOPUS – an endorsement of its quality and vitality. Stephen is now stepping down as Editor-in-Chief, although he will remain on the Editorial Board to continue to guide the journal, with a particular focus on continuing to develop the journal’s connections with industry professionals. We are tremendously grateful to him for the important role he has played in launching JSMG and establishing such a diverse and quality research publication.

We are delighted to announce that Dr Elizabeth Medina-Gray and Dr Timothy Summers will succeed Stephen as co-Editors-in-Chief for JSMG effective for Volume 4. Elizabeth and Tim have been critical to the journal’s success, and the supportive work they do with authors has been especially welcome and valued. We will continue to promote diversity and inclusion, and seek to further improve access to the journal as it continues to grow its impact.

To further these goals, we are also pleased to announce that we are seeking an addition to the editorial team, joining Elizabeth, Tim, and Dr Jennifer Smith, our Reviews Editor. We are now recruiting a new Development Editor to help increase the journal’s engagement with new topics, disciplines and audiences. This is a senior position, and an exciting opportunity to significantly shape the direction of the journal and inform the work of SSSMG on a wide-ranging and strategic level. Further particulars are available in the job advert here (please feel free to circulate.)

New Affiliation with GAiN

GAiN logo

We are pleased to announce a new affiliation between the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games (SSSMG) and Game Audio in Norway (GAiN,, further expanding our existing partnerships with regional organizations dedicated to sound and music in games.

We are delighted to be affiliated with GAiN and to be associated with their efforts to support industry professionals in Norway and beyond! The SSSMG’s mission is to support the development of sophisticated understandings of sound and music in video games from any and all perspectives, and we’re always excited to be able to collaborate with diverse groups of scholars and practitioners from all over the world. GAiN’s mission is highly complementary to our own, and we look forward to opportunities to further develop this partnership.

Mark Sweeney

Executive Director

Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games

The Journal of Sound and Music in Games: Call for Papers

Intersections Between Game Music and Electronic Dance Music

The Journal of Sound and Music in Games <> invites contributions to its first special issue, in which stylistic and cultural intersections will be explored between game music and electronic dance music.

With electronic dance music, we refer to musical styles that are produced and developed by and for DJs and their dancefloors at clubs, raves and festivals (Rietveld, 2018). Game music is understood here as the soundtrack to interactive digital video and arcade games, in which the musical outcome exists in a dynamic relationship with the game play. Such nonlinearity may also be identified in how the dance DJ interacts with the dancefloor, selecting a set from a range of musical recordings.

Like game music, electronic dance music internally consists of loop-based musemes, encouraged by the affordances of digital audio workstations (DAWs) that are available for personal computers (Austin, 2016). Embraced for digital gaming in Europe, affordable home computing also offered access to electronic dance music production as Weinel (2018) observes in the context of rave culture. In addition, Gallagher (2017: 13) notes that grime (a genre that shares its genealogy with electronic dance music) “has always had strong ties to gaming, from producers who cut their compositional teeth on Mario Paint (Nintendo R&D1, 1992) to MCs who incorporate videogame references into their lyrics, album titles and aliases.” Not only at home, but also outdoors it is possible to identify cultural points of connection between game and dance cultures. Due to age-related licencing parameters in many parts of the world, game arcades are more accessible to younger participants than dance clubs; for some, games may well offer a first encounter with electronic dance music.

In this context, we wish to investigate how game music and electronic dance music developed not only in parallel worlds but also in tandem. The intersections between game and dance music cultures are manifold, including homage and reference to game sounds and culture in electronic dance music; commonalities in composition and production technologies; as well as references to electronic dance music and its concomitant cultures in music and dance games.

We invite proposals for research articles on game music and electronic dance music, which will be double-blind peer-reviewed and published as a special issue of the Journal of Sound and Music in Games. We also welcome proposals for other kinds of materials, which should be discussed with the editors in the first instance.

Themes can include:

  • Influences of game music techniques on dance music production techniques
  • Relationships between game culture and electronic dance music culture, in terms of design, sound, music techniques
  • Game cultural references in electronic dance music
  • Games that employ electronic dance music
  • References to electronic dance music culture in game design
  • Uses of electronic dance music as core game element
  • Dance music, identity, and games

Submit proposals to by 3 September 2021, including a 300-word abstract, supported by a provisional bibliography, and a 150-word author biography.

Successful authors will be invited to submit full articles (c. 7,000 words) for double-blind peer-review by 10 April 2022.

For further information, please contact the Guest Editors, Dr Melanie Fritsch and Prof Hillegonda C Rietveld, at


  • Austin, M (2016) Sample, Cycle, Sync: The Music Sequencer and Its Influence on Music Video Games. Austin, M. (Ed) Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play. New York & London: Bloomsbury. 107-124
  • Gallagher, R. (2017) “All the Other Players Want to Look at My Pad”: Grime, Gaming, and Digital Identity. GAME: The Italian Journal of Game Studies. 6/1. 13-29
  • Rietveld, H.C. (2018) Dancing in the Technoculture. Emmerson, S. (Ed) The Routledge Research Companion to Electronic Music: Reaching Out with Technology. New York NY & London: Routledge. 113-134
  • Weinel, J. (2018) Inner Sound: Altered States of Consciousness in Electronic Music and Audio-Visual Media. New York NY: Oxford UP.

Journal of Sound and Music in Games seeks a Reviews Editor

The Journal of Sound and Music in Games (JSMG) is seeking a Reviews Editor. The Reviews Editor is a voluntary position on the JSMG Editorial Board, and responsibilities include:

  • Identifying recent books and other material for review.
  • Contacting potential contributors to solicit reviews of particular material, and respond to potential contributors who contact the journal wishing to write a review.
  • Contacting publishers to request review copies of books and other material.
  • Receiving and editing submitted reviews.
  • Contacting authors of reviewed material to ask if they would like to respond to the review; receive and edit subsequent responses.
  • Coordinating with the Associate Editors and Editor-in-Chief to prepare reviews and responses for each quarterly issue of the journal.
  • Ensuring a diversity of voices and perspectives in the reviews section of the Journal.
  • Representing the Journal at conferences/other events, and participate in editorial meetings to contribute to the development of the Journal.

Position Requirements

  • University education (or significant experience dealing with scholarly materials), ideally in a broadly relevant subject area.
  • Excellent working knowledge of the field of scholarship.
  • Very good English language proficiency.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with authors in order to produce timely delivery of materials.
  • Ability to navigate delicate situations and communicate with authors diplomatically. 
  • An understanding of the tone appropriate for review in an academic journal.

Professional editing experience is not required for this position.

We welcome expressions of interest to the editors ( in this post by 31st July 2021.

JSMG 1:1 Published

We hope everyone is already aware of the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Sound and Music in Games, and wanted to formally post our gratitude to the editorial team, authors, peer reviewers and staff at the University of California Press for all their hard work in bringing this excellent inaugural issue to fruition.

With the ongoing and widespread impact of Covid-19 affecting all walks of life, UCP have extended the free trial period through to the end of June so please do take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy reading the journal!

In other news, despite the disappointment of having both NACVGM and Ludo 2020 in-person conferences cancelled this year due to the pandemic, SSSMG have recently finalized a formal Code of Conduct policy that has not only been adopted by the two conference committees, but also now applies to all society members and covers online as well as in-person conduct.

The Executive Committee wish all members and the wider community our best wishes during these challenging times.

JSMG Accepting Submissions

We are pleased to announce that JSMG is now accepting submissions. While we finalize the configuration of our peer-review management system with our publisher, we will temporarily accept submissions via email. Please feel free to get in touch with the Editors if you have any queries. More information about the vision for the initial issue will be shared in due course.

See here for instructions.

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