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.

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