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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 latjsmgissue@gmail.com by December 31, 2022. 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 latjsmgissue@gmail.com. We welcome all questions from prospective contributors.

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, https://www.gainorway.com/), 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 <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.

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