Author: Mark Sweeney

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

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.

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.



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: | 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.

Press Contact: Peter Perez, Director, Public Relations & Communications, UC Press | +1 (510) 883-8318 | Email: | 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 Some basic graphic design skills would be particularly useful.

Update your profiles and let the virtual networking commence!

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