Journal of Sound and Music in Games

We are pleased to announce that JSMG is now accepting submissions. See below for full instructions.

Aims & Scope

The Journal of Sound and Music in Games (JSMG) is a peer-reviewed journal that presents high-quality research concerning all areas of music and/or sound in games. It serves a diverse community of readers and authors, encompassing industry practitioners alongside scholars from disciplinary perspectives including anthropology, computer science, media/game studies, philosophy, psychology and sociology, as well as musicology. JSMG is the only journal exclusively dedicated to this subject and provides a meeting point for professionals and academics from any tradition to advance knowledge of music and sound in this important medium.

Though JSMG primarily focuses on video games, the journal welcomes studies of music and/or sound in any form of game (for example, sports, historical games predating video games, and so on). JSMG publishes original research articles, supplemented by a range of other content including review articles surveying important subjects, reviews of pertinent books and games, communications with responses, and interviews. The journal will also occasionally present topically themed special issues and conference proceedings.

As the journal of the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games, JSMG acts as a lively forum for the presentation and dissemination of knowledge, uniting theory and practice in this domain of musical-sonic activity.

Submissions

To submit to JSMG, please refer to the instructions for contributors (below) in preparing your manuscript first. All submissions must then be processed by the editorial office here: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jsmg. If you have any questions you can contact the editorial office at jsmg@sssmg.org.

Editorial Board

First NameSurnameRoleEmailSSSMG Profile
MichaelAustinSecretarymichael-austin@sssmg.orgmichaelaustin
StephenBaystedEditor-in-chiefstephenbaysted@sssmg.orgstephenbaysted
GiannaCassidyBoard Membergiannacassidy
WilliamChengBoard Memberwilliamcheng
KarenCollinsBoard Member
KarenCookMember-at-largekarencook@sssmg.orgkarencook
KevinDonnellyBoard Memberkevindonnelly
MelanieFritschCommunications Officermelanie-fritsch@sssmg.orgmelaniefritsch
WilliamGibbonsMember-at-largewilliam-gibbons@sssmg.orgwilliamgibbons
MarkGrimshawBoard Member
IainHartBoard Memberhartacus
MichielKampBoard Membermichiel-kamp
AnahidKassabianBoard Memberanahidk
JesseKinneBoard Memberjessekinne
NeilLernerBoard Membernelerner
KennyMcAlpineBoard Memberthesonsiebogle
ElizabethMedina-GrayAssociate Editor (North America)emedinagray@sssmg.orgemedinagray
KiriMillerBoard Memberkirimiller
RogerMoseleyBoard Memberrogermo
JamesNewmanBoard Memberjimmy
LeonardPaulBoard Member
DanaPlankBoard Membermusicologess
StevenRealeBoard Membersmreale
DavidRoesnerBoard Memberdavidroesner
AndrewSchartmannBoard Membera-schartmann
RichardStevensBoard Memberrichardstevens
TimothySummersAssociate Editor (Europe)tim-summers@sssmg.orgtim-summers
MarkSweeneyDirectormark-sweeney@sssmg.orgmark-sweeney
RyanThompsonBoard Memberbardicknowledge
Isabellavan ElferenBoard Memberisabellavanelferen

Instructions for Contributors

Also available for download in PDF format.

The Journal of Sound and Music in Games (JSMG) welcomes original articles in all areas of scholarship concerned with sound and music in games, from any disciplinary perspective, including anthropology, computer science, media/game studies, psychology and sociology, as well as musicology. Please note, JSMG does not consider articles that are under consideration with other journals.

JSMG is a specialist journal for scholars and industry practitioners of video game music and sound. While the core audience is game music scholars, the interdisciplinary nature of the field means that the journal encourages submissions from authors who identify primarily with other fields (such as game studies, computer science, educational science, performance studies etc.), as well as practitioners (game music composers, sound designers etc.). While JSMG primarily focuses on video games, we welcome studies of music and/or sound in any form of game (for example, sports, historical games predating video games, and so on).

JSMG’s principal focus is original research articles, supplemented from time-to-time by a range of other content including review articles surveying important subjects, reviews of pertinent books and games, communications with responses, and interviews. We will also consider topically themed special issues and conference proceedings on occasion. Should authors wish to propose any other kinds of material or a topical issue, please contact the editors at jsmg@sssmg.org .

We expect articles to show engagement with the body of scholarship on game sound and music, and submissions should aim to make a contribution to this corpus of knowledge, with original interpretations and conclusions. JSMG does not consider articles that have been published elsewhere or are under consideration by another journal, though we may consider the publication of translations of material published elsewhere, or under consideration elsewhere (subject to rights and permissions). The Journal’s peer-review process is double-blind; JSMG promises an unbiased reading of submissions. Any information identifying the author should be removed from the article and its file prior to submission. Further guidelines on the submission of articles is outlined below.

We allow inclusion of music examples where necessary, and other illustrations and supplementary material (videos, sound recordings, etc.) may be hosted on the journal website. Figures to be included in the body of the article should make a substantial contribution to the article. As an electronic publication, JSMG is interested in exploring innovative uses of multimedia as integral components of (or as the main body of) the article. Authors who wish to pursue any non-standard article content or format should contact the editors at jsmg@sssmg.org to discuss this prospect prior to submission.

The typical length for submissions is 7,000–10,000 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography). We are happy to consider shorter and longer contributions, but may require editing for length.

JSMG follows a ‘footnotes and bibliography’ system. In most matters, JSMG follows the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/

Submissions should be processed through our electronic editorial office system at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jsmg, in the format of a fully double-spaced Word document (.doc or .docx). The first page of the document should be a cover sheet containing the following information: article title, author name, author email address, abstract of 300 words(written in the third person), and three to six keywords. Figures, tables, and musical examples should be included, but for the initial submission, these can be in a low-resolution format. Be sure to number and caption all visual materials (figures, etc.) and ensure the reader is directed to them in the text. Please consult the full formatting and style guidelines included in this document.

Upon acceptance, the manuscript will by copyedited to conform to the JSMG house style. The managing editor will send the copyedited article to the author for review and approval; copyedited book reviews will be sent to the book review editor for review and approval. Prior to publication, all necessary permissions need to be secured and authors are required to sign an Author Agreement.

JSMG is open to proposals for other materials for inclusion in the journal, such as conference reports, position papers, interviews, etc. Authors proposing such contributions should, in the first instance, contact the editors at jsmg@sssmg.org. If authors have questions about the format of manuscripts or anything else about the submission process, please direct queries to jsmg@sssmg.org.

Further Guidelines

Ensuring Anonymity

Do not include any identifying information after the cover page in the submitted file, and ensure that author properties have been removed from the file’s metadata by using Microsoft Word to remove author data.

In the initial submission, please do not include personal notes, such as acknowledgements, or references to previous exhibitions of the research, such as antecedent articles or conference presentations.

If the article makes reference to other publications by the same author, please cite these in the third person.

Footnotes

Please provide a full citation for a source upon its first use, but short form citations will suffice for subsequent references to the same source. Avoid ibid. and idem/eadem citations.

Beyond bibliographic reference, footnotes (not endnotes) may be used for explanation or supplementary information, but please keep these concise and pertinent to the article’s content.

Abstract

The article submission should include an abstract of 300 words, written in the third person. This abstract should summarize the argument and methodological approach of the article. Please include three to six keywords along with the abstract.

Quotations

Introduce quotations with a colon or comma, unless the context suggests another formulation. Use [ ] for editorial interventions in quotations, […] for omissions and [sic] if necessary to indicate accurate transcriptions. Any original ellipses should be indicated as such. Omit leading and trailing ellipsis dots, capitalize or make lowercase the first word of the quote as necessary, and change or add closing punctuation as needed to fit the context of the quotation.

Quotations from languages other than English should be translated in the text. The original may be included in the body of the text, or in a footnote. It should be clear whether the translation has been created by the authors, or another party. Individual words from languages other than English should be italicized, and, where required, in-text translations provided, typically in brackets.

Style and Language

Please use gender-inclusive language where possible.

We use American spelling (-ize), punctuation, and musical terminology. Please use commas after each item in a list.

Dates should be formatted as DD Month YYYY.

For dates and numerical ranges, please use dashes, not hyphens. Do not abbreviate numbers.

Avoid “the fact that”, “in conclusion”, and sentences beginning with “however,”

Avoid “impact” as a verb.

Avoid epigraphs, unless immediately directly commented upon.

Avoid nouns as adjectives.

Give full names when first mentioned in a text.

Use hyphenation for compound adjectives.

Game, album, and film titles should be italicized with the year added for the first time it is mentioned in the text: Channel Orange (2012)The Wizard (1989), but cue and song titles should be in inverted commas: ‘Pac-Man Fever’, ‘One-Winged Angel’.

After punctuation such as colons, full stops, and semicolons, a single space is sufficient, rather than two.

Text Formatting

Text should use a normal, plain font (e.g., 12-point Time New Roman, be double spaced, flush left with a ragged (unjustified) right margin. Footnotes should be single spaced. Italics should be used for emphasis, not underlining. Number pages using the automatic page numbering function. Indent paragraphs, unless they are the first paragraphs following a heading; see below for details.

Headings

 Headings should be informative and help guide readers through the article’s analysis. Headings should be preceded by a blank double-spaced line to separate them from the prior section, but there should not be a blank line between the headings and the text that follows. The text should start flush left on the next line after a heading.

Musical Symbols and Terms

For musical symbols, place instructions for the typesetter in angled brackets, as in:

<half note>=60

3/4 <meter signature>

E<flat> (where a symbol is preferable to spelling out “E-flat”)

For musical terms, please use English plurals (cellos, concertos).

Use “measure(s),” not “bar(s).”

Use “sonata form,” not “sonata allegro form.”

Write out numbers for intervals, e.g., “seventh,” not “7th.”

Images and Captions

Use ‘Figures’ for pictures, diagrams and line drawings, ‘Tables’ for tabulated information, and ‘Examples’ for musical excerpts. Please ensure that the reader is directed to these materials in the body of the text. Figures, Tables and Examples should be numbered in the order they are mentioned in the text.

The order of information is: Figure Number: Description, Source.

For example:

Figure 1: Hyrule Field in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998). Screenshot by author from Nintendo 64 PAL console, 12 May 2018.

If the article is accepted for publication, the author must provide high-quality images:

  • 300 dpi minimum at 5 inches wide or 3.6 megapixels. Images need not exceed 1200 dpi.
  • In TIFF format, RGB for color, grayscale for monochrome. Color is preferred.
  • Line art should be at 1200 dpi in 1-bit ‘black-and-white’ mode.
  • File name should include the primary author’s name and Figure/Example number.
  • Sibelius files are acceptable for musical examples.

We recognize that achieving high quality images is not always possible for older video game materials, but we ask that authors attempt to meet these requirements as best as is practicable.

As a general guideline, screenshots should be taken by authors and not sourced from third parties like YouTube.

Supplementary Materials

JSMG is able to embed video and audio in articles as well as publish them as supplementary materials.

Video

  • Recommended resolution of 1280 x 720 (16 x 9 HD) and 640 x 480 (4:3 SD)
  • The original frame rate of the video should be preserved.
  • Codec: H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 preferred.
  • File types: MP4 or FVL preferred.
  • File size: Up to 1 GB.
  • Duration: Up to 10 minutes.
  • File name should include a key word from the title.

As a general guideline, game capture should be taken by authors and not sourced from third parties like YouTube. Game capture should also define the version of the game, platform and source of capture.

Audio

  • Codecs: MP3 or AAC preferred.
  • File size: Up to 100 MB.
  • Duration: Up to 10 minutes.
  • Sampling rate: 44.1 kHz.
  • Bit rate: 128 kbps preferred.
  • Channels: Stereo preferred.
  • File name should include a key word from the title.
  • As with images and video, we recognize that these parameters are not always possible or appropriate for the materials under discussion, but these criteria serve as general guidance.

Permissions

While JSMG believes in defending the legitimacy of the Fair Use of copyrighted material in academic research, the realities of corporate litigious culture require that we err on the side of caution when requesting that authors seek permission from copyright holders for the reproduction of copyrighted material in contributions to the journal. Please discuss any concerns about copyright with the editors and publisher.

For further information, please consult the Press guidelines at https://sites.google.com/ucpress.edu/authors-permissions-resources/home

Here are some general ‘rules of thumb’ that may be useful:

  • Many game companies have policies that automatically grant non-commercial use of game assets. Check whether these would apply to the submission.
  • Seeking copyright clearance can be a lengthy process. Please initiate such discussions for permissions as soon as possible.
  • English language, digital/online, worldwide permissions would be required.
  • Remind any copyright holders that this is a non-profit academic journal.
  • Authors are legally responsible for obtaining rights to reproduce copyrighted material.
  • Please forward any documentation concerning the process of securing the rights to the Editors.
  • If in doubt, please contact the Editors, who will be happy to provide advice, or seek further assistance to help authors with submissions.

Sample Citations

JSMG follows the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/ We suggest authors consult the online guide, but here are some examples of the most commonly cited materials.

Book

Footnote citation:

Theodor Adorno and Hanns Eisler, Composing for the Films (1947; repr. London: The Athlone Press, 1994), 44. Citations refer to the 1994 edition.

Karen Collins, Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008), 122.

Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture, trans. R.F.C. Hull (London: Routledge, 1949), 42.

Aaron Marks, The Complete Guide to Game Audio, 2nd ed. (Burlington, MA: Focal Press, 2009), 210.

Richard Stevens and Dave Raybould, Game Audio Implementation: A Practical Guide Using the Unreal Engine (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2016), 106.

Short form:

Adorno and Eisler, Composing for the Films, 45.

Collins, Game Sound, 105.

Huizinga, Homo Ludens, 55.

Marks, Complete Guide to Game Audio, 210.

Stevens and Raybould, Game Audio Implementation, 205.

Bibliography:

Adorno, Theodor, and Hanns Eisler. Composing for the Films. 1947. Reprint, London: The Athlone Press, 1994.

Collins, Karen. Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008.

Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. Translated by R.F.C. Hull. London: Routledge, 1949.

Marks, Aaron. The Complete Guide to Game Audio. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Focal Press, 2009.

Stevens, Richard, and Dave Raybould. Game Audio Implementation: A Practical Guide Using the Unreal Engine. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2016.

Edited book

Footnote citation:

Michael Austin, ed., Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play (New York: Bloomsbury, 2016).

K.J. Donnelly, William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner, eds., Music in Video Games: Studying Play (New York: Routledge, 2014).

Short form:

Austin, Music Video Games.

Donnelly, Gibbons, and Lerner, Music in Video Games.

Bibliography:

Austin, Michael, ed. Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016.

Donnelly, K.J., William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner, eds. Music in Video Games: Studying Play. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Chapter in edited book

Footnote citation:

Karen M. Cook, “Music, History, and Progress in Sid Meier’s Civilization IV,” in Music in Video Games: Studying Play, ed.K.J. Donnelly, William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner (New York: Routledge, 2014), 166–182, at 174.

Melanie Fritsch, “Beat It! – Playing the “King of Pop” in Video Games,” in Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play, ed. Michael Austin (New York: Bloomsbury, 2016), 153–176, at 167.

Short form:

Cook, “Music, History, and Progress,” 174.

Fritsch, “Beat It!,” 166.

Bibliography:

Cook, Karen M. “Music, History, and Progress in Sid Meier’s Civilization IV.” In Music in Video Games: Studying Play, edited byK.J. Donnelly, William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner, 166–182. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Fritsch, Melanie. “Beat It! – Playing the “King of Pop” in Video Games.” In Music Video Games, edited by Michael Austin, 153–176. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016.

Journal article

Footnote citation:

William Cheng, “Role-Playing toward a Virtual Musical Democracy in The Lord of the Rings Online,” Ethnomusicology 56, no. 1 (2012): 31–62, at 33.

Short form:

Cheng, “Role-Playing toward a Virtual Musical Democracy,” 40.

Bibliography:

Cheng, William. “Role-Playing toward a Virtual Musical Democracy in The Lord of the Rings Online.” Ethnomusicology 56, no. 1 (2012): 31–62.

Online journal article

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) are preferred over URLs, where possible.

Footnote citation:

William Gibbons, “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams: Popular Music, Narrative, and Dystopia in Bioshock,” Game Studies 11, no. 3 (2011), http://gamestudies.org/1103/articles/gibbons.

Short form:

Gibbons, “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.”

Bibliography:

Gibbons, William. “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams: Popular Music, Narrative, and Dystopia in Bioshock.” Game Studies 11, no. 3 (2011). http://gamestudies.org/1103/articles/gibbons.

Website content

For a source that does not list a date of publication or revision, include an access date.

Footnote citation:

“Privacy Policy,” Privacy & Terms, Google, last modified 17 April, 2017, https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.

Short form:

Google, “Privacy Policy.”

Bibliography:

Google. “Privacy Policy.” Privacy & Terms. Last modified April 17, 2017. https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.

Online news

Footnote:

Hope Corrigan, “This Bag of Doritos Will Play the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 2,” IGN, 25 April 2017, accessed 26 April 2018, http://uk.ign.com/articles/2017/04/26/this-bag-of-doritos-will-play-the-guardians-of-the-galaxy-awesome-mix-vol-2.

Short form:

Corrigan, “This Bag of Doritos.”

Bibliography:

Corrigan, Hope. “This Bag of Doritos Will Play the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 2.” IGN, 25 April 2017. Accessed 26 April 2018. http://uk.ign.com/articles/2017/04/26/this-bag-of-doritos-will-play-the-guardians-of-the-galaxy-awesome-mix-vol-2.

Dissertation

Footnote citation:

Michiel Kamp, “Four Ways of Hearing Video Game Music” (PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2015), 33–34.

Short form:

Kamp, “Four Ways of Hearing,” 55.

Bibliography:

Kamp, Michiel. “Four Ways of Hearing Video Game Music.” PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2015.

Online video

Footnote citation:

Austin Wintory, “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Raw Scoring Session Footage,” video, 3:39, 18 September 2016, posted by Austin Wintory, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOdfvC2NwsI.

Short form:

Austin Wintory, “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Raw Scoring Session Footage.”

Bibliography:

Wintory, Austin. “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Raw Scoring Session Footage.” Video, 3:39. 18 September 2016. Posted by Austin Wintory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOdfvC2NwsI.

Conference presentation

Footnote citation:

Ryan Thompson, “Operatic Conventions and Expectations in Final Fantasy VI” (presentation, 8th Conference of Music and the Moving Image, New York, 31 May 2013).

Short form:

Thompson, “Operatic Conventions.”

Bibliography:

Thompson, Ryan. “Operatic Conventions and Expectations in Final Fantasy VI.” Presentation at 8th Conference of Music and the Moving Image, New York, 31 May 2013.

The following materials are not normally cited in footnotes, but are included in the bibliography.

Film and television

Scott, Ridley, dir. Thelma & Louise. 1991; Santa Monica, CA: MGM Home Entertainment, 2004. DVD.

Murphy, Ryan, dir. American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson. Episode 6, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Aired March 8, 2016, on FX.

Video games

Title. Year. Developer/Publisher. Region/Language, Original platform of edition and platform(s) used, if different.

The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery. 1995. Sierra On-Line. English, PC on GOG.com redistribution.

Destroy All Humans!. 2005. Pandemic/THQ. PAL/English, Xbox version on Xbox One.

Fantasia: Music Evolved. 2014. Harmonix/Disney. PAL/English, Xbox 360.

Grim Fandango Remastered. 2015. Double Fine Productions. PC.

Jeff Wayne’s Video Game Version of the War of the Worlds. 1984. CRL. PAL/English, ZX Spectrum 48k on ZX Spectrum +2 and Fuse PC emulator.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. 1998. Nintendo. PAL/English, Nintendo 64.

Mother/Earthbound Beginnings. 1989. Ape/Nintendo. NTSC/English, Famicom version on Nintendo Virtual Console, Wii U.

Pac-Man. 1980. Namco. Arcade machine. Science Museum, London.

True Crime: New York City. 2004. Luxoflux/Activision. German, PC.

Scores

Schubert, Franz. “Fantasie.” In Klavierstücke Klaviervariationen, 42–62. Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 1992.

Schubert, Franz. “Fantasie in C.” In Werke für Klavier zu zwei Händen, Band 4 Klavierstücke I, edited by David Goldberg. Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, vol. 7, no. 2, 83–97. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1988.