“Ludomusi…what?” Introduction to game music
research /departure talk
researcher video games, performance and music, Berlin
Since the turn of the millennium video game research or Game Studies has gradually become a field on its own. Despite its interdisciplinarity and heterogenous approaches, the field can build on a comprehensive body of research by now, while being still on the rise. Nevertheless, there had been a blind spot for a long time: Compared against other topics the sound and music of video games was mainly ignored. Even though music is often considered as a pivotal factor in order to “make the player feel” only a few researchers engaged in this area. Since Karen Collins’ publications “Game Sound. An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music” and “Sound Design and From Pac-Man to Pop Music” (both 2008) this situation has finally changed.
In this talk, the developing field of game music research or Ludomusicology and its several manifestations will be introduced. Besides the history and practice (compositional approaches, implementation) of game music, Ludomusicology engages with the relationship between music and game during play, from an aesthetic as well as from a designer’s point of view. Furthermore, questions of play, performance, and the broader spectrum of game music culture and musical fan practices are approached. In doing so, concepts prominent in the field of Game Studies such as interactivity and immersion are revisited in the discourse.