Michael Austin gives us a little insight into his new anthology of essays on video game music,
Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play.
Thanks to the hard work of a handful of dedicated ludomusicologists (from a variety of academic fields), I’m very happy to announce that Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play was released last month by Bloomsbury Academic Press!
The book is the first anthology dedicated solely to the genre of music video games, stretching well beyond Guitar Hero and Rockband to include handhelds (such as SIMON from the late 1970s), to mobile music games, to music making and the representation of musicians in games in which performing music or rhythm matching isn’t necessarily the main objective. Other chapters investigate themes of composing with video games, authenticity and “selling out,” and pedagogical uses for music games.
The book is part of Bloomsbury’s Approaches to Digital Games series (Gerald Voorhees and Josh Call, series editors). It was released on July 28, along with Gareth Schott’s Violent Games: Rules, Realism, and Effect – a monograph that investigates the mediation of violence in video games and gameplay.
In addition to excellent chapters by an international collection of scholars, Music Video Games also includes a “Glossary of Gaming and Musical Terms” – for the benefit of non-specialists in either field.
Many thanks to scholars who contributed chapters to the project. Their chapters are listed below.
You can get your own copy of the book here. You can get 30% off of the price of your copy when you use the code “game studies” at checkout.
For more information about Bloomsbury’s Approaches to Digital Games Studies series (including current and pending volumes), or to propose a volume of your own, visit the series website here.
Introduction – Taking Note of Music Games (Michael Austin, Howard University, USA)
Part One: Preludes & Overtures
Chapter 1 – SIMON: The Prelude to Modern Music Video Games (William M. Knoblauch, Finlandia University, USA)
Chapter 2 – Mario Paint Composer and Musical (Re)Play on YouTube (Dana M. Plank, Case Western Reserve University, USA)
Chapter 3 – Active Interfaces and Thematic Events in The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (1998) (Stephanie Lind, Queen’s University, Canada)
Chapter 4 – Sample, Cycle, Sync: The Music Sequencer and its Influence on Music Video Games (Michael Austin, Howard University, USA)
Part Two: Virtuosi, Virtues, & the Virtual
Chapter 5 – Consumerism Hero: The “Selling Out” of Guitar Hero and Rock Band (Mario A. Dozal, University of New Mexico, USA)
Chapter 6 – Beat It! Playing the “King of Pop” in Video Games (Melanie Fritsch, University of Bayreuth, Germany)
Chapter 7 – Virtual Jam: A Critical Analysis of Virtual Music Game Environments (David Arditi, University of Texas at Arlington, USA)
Part Three: Concerts, Collaboration, & Creativity
Chapter 8 – Guitar Heroes in the Classroom: The Creative Potential of Music-Games
(David Roesner, University of Kent, UK, Anna Paisley, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK, and Gianna Cassidy, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK)
Chapter 9 – Rocksmith and the Shaping of Player Experience (Daniel O’Meara, Princeton University, USA
Chapter 10 – Rhythm Sense: Modality and Enactive Perception in Rhythm Heaven (Peter Shultz, University of Chicago, USA)
Chapter 11 – Pitching the Rhythm: Music Games for iPad (Nathan Fleshner, Stephen F. Austin State University, USA)
Afterword – Toadofsky’s Music Lessons (William Cheng, Dartmouth College, USA)
Glossary of Gaming and Musical Terms
About the Contributors