Author: Mark Sweeney

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 <https://online.ucpress.edu/jsmg> 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 SpecialJSMG@gmail.com 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 SpecialJSMG@gmail.com

References

  • 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  https://www.gamejournal.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/GAME_06_HearTheMusic_Journal_Gallagher.pdf
  • 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 (jsmg@sssmg.org) 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.

SSSMG partners with University of California Press to launch Journal of Sound and Music in Games

The Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games is pleased to announce the launch of the Journal of Sound and Music in Games (JSMG), to be published in partnership with the University of California Press (UC Press).

JSMG will be an academic peer-reviewed journal presenting high-quality research on video game music and sound. The journal will be an outward-looking publication that seeks to engage game audio practitioners and researchers from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, computer science, media studies, psychology and sociology, as well as musicology.

“With their strong pedigree in these fields, we are delighted to be partnering with UC Press for the launch of our journal”, said Mark Sweeney, Executive Director of the SSSMG. “We are grateful to SSSMG for this wonderful opportunity to work with them on developing and launching the Journal of Sound and Music in Games, which serves a unique, diverse, and growing area of scholarship and practice”, said David Famiano, Journals Publisher at UC Press.

The new journal features a world-class editorial board, led by Editor-in-Chief Professor Stephen Baysted. “Scholarly research in what has, until very recently, been considered an embryonic field of enquiry has grown exponentially in the past decade and a half and so today our discipline comes of age with the launch of the world’s first journal dedicated to the study of sound and music in games.”  said Professor Baysted. “We are especially delighted to be working with the University of California Press whose vision and aims for this project are entirely aligned with our own.”

JSMG welcomes contributions from academics and industry professionals and aims to publish research from across the disciplinary spectrum. More information will be shared through the SSSMG website in due course.

 

About SSSMG

SSSMG was founded in 2016 to bring together the emerging community devoted to the study of sound and music in games. The Society is a not-for-profit organization for members who primarily identify themselves as academic and professionals working in the video game audio industry.

Press Contact: Mark Sweeney, Executive Director, SSSMG | Email: mark-sweeney@sssmg.org | Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games, University of Chichester, Bognor Regis Campus, Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis, PO21 1HR, United Kingdom

 

About University of California Press

University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 120 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, UC Press collaborates with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing. www.ucpress.edu

Press Contact: Peter Perez, Director, Public Relations & Communications, UC Press | +1 (510) 883-8318 | Email: pperez@ucpress.edu | 155 Grand Avenue, Suite 400 | Oakland, California 94612-3758

 

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SSSMG Executive Committee Appointments & Journal Announcement

We are delighted to announce that the SSSMG Board has formally appointed its Executive Committee. The Committee has been very busy over the past few months on a new project that is at the heart of the Society’s mission, and we are therefore pleased to finally share with the community that the SSSMG intends to launch a new journal entitled the Journal of Sound & Music in Games (JSMG).

JSMG will be an academic peer-reviewed journal presenting high-quality research on video game music and sound. The journal will not seal game audio into a scholarly suburb, but will instead be an outward-looking publication that seeks to engage game audio practitioners and researchers from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, computer science, media studies, psychology and sociology, as well as musicology. After consultation with leading academics in the field over the past several years, SSSMG believe that there is demand for such a journal, and such a publication is necessary for the evolution of research.

After completing a rigorous selection process, we are especially excited to announce that Professor Stephen Baysted has been appointed as the inaugural Editor-in-chief of JSMG. Professor Baysted will work closely with Dr Elizabeth Medina-Gray and Dr Timothy Summers who have accepted roles as Associate Editors, and this team will be supported by the Editorial Board, who simultaneously comprise the SSSMG Board.

We’re thrilled to have such a strong editorial team in place to launch JSMG, and look forward to sharing more information on our plans as things progress.

SSSMG Executive Committee

Michael L. Austin, Secretary
Stephen Baysted, Editor-in-chief
Karen M. Cook
Melanie Fritsch, Communications Officer
William Gibbons
Elizabeth Medina-Gray, Associate Editor
Timothy Summers, Associate Editor
Mark Sweeney, Director

SSSMG Website Updates

Following Ludo2017, we’re pleased to announce some minor updates to the website that we hope members will find fun & useful:

  • Gaming ID handles – members can now share their Steam/PSN/Xbox/Other IDs on their profiles to better facilitate… international research collaboration! Please do feel free to join me in some Portal 2 Co-op (other games are available).
  • Enhanced gamification – members may have noticed that from the outset, they accrue activity points for engaging with the community via the website. We have done some ‘balancing’, added more ways to gain points, and have in place a badge system to further encourage engagement! If anybody would like to volunteer to work with me on creating a range of fun ludo-punning achievement badges for SSSMG members, please get in touch at mark-sweeney@sssmg.org. Some basic graphic design skills would be particularly useful.

Update your profiles and let the virtual networking commence!

SSSMG Launched!

We are excited to announce the official launch of The Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games (SSSMG)!

The SSSMG is a network that’s been developed by the Ludomusicology Research Group, the North American Conference on Video Game Music, Audio Mostly, and an extensive advisory board of leading academics and practitioners. The aim is to provide a hub to connect together people working on game audio and to support advances in the understanding of sound and music in games.

The SSSMG helps anyone who investigates game sound and music, whether in an academic or professional setting, to discuss the topic together, exchange ideas and information, and keep up- to-date with new research. Anyone can join, and the members are always looking for new approaches to the subject.

SSSMG will make publically available:

  • General news
  • General Society contact info
  • Links to other affiliated societies/groups
  • Events Calendar (view only)
  • Newly revised, keyworded and searchable Bibliography

Registered members will have additional access to:

  • Network with searchable, keyworded members’ directory
  • Submit events for publication on the Calendar
  • Share conference presentations and Green OA publications in a subject repository
  • Compose and submit news posts
  • Contribute to Bibliography Project

Further member benefits and services will be added in the future.

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