Contributor: Ryan Thompson (University of Minnesota)
First and foremost, this blog post is announcing the creation of an online forum where we might communicate in a public space about the work that we do, and the things surrounding that work that are of interest to us. I was recently named as the moderator for such a space graciously hosted by the folks at OverClocked ReMix, an “organization dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form.” While of course we are not specifically dedicated to that end, OCR’s goals certainly intertwine and meet our own goals of developing research and facilitating a greater understanding of audio in digital media.
In addition to having a space for two way discussion of current events in our field, I am hoping to utilize the new forum to maintain active databases of resources, including literature specifically dedicated to game audio (whether written by scholars or industry professionals) and conference announcements, among other things. This helps both researchers focus on research instead of scouring lists of books and articles looking for these types of resources in the first place. Together, we can create a space to discuss game audio in a way that invites people who approach the topic both from academia and from the industry, who have a different set of skills and insights to contribute to discussions surrounding digital media. Game studies of all types are interdisciplinary by definition we can help find those places where music intersects with gameplay, artistic design, computer programming, and countless other aspects of video games. Having a space for people with all of those skill sets to engage in discussion will prove fruitful for everyone involved.
Lastly, as a field, we currently don’t have a well designated space for interested people not specifically connected to academic research to communicate and reach out to us. As OverClocked ReMix has proved over the more than 15 years it has been operating, fan interest in game music continues to be a powerful force both online and at conventions. There are useful ways that researchers can tap into that body of knowledge researchers looking for obscure games or obscure events in game audio could ask questions to a much larger group of game players than their academic peers.
It’s my hope that this new forum helps drive conversations about game audio between all sorts of people who wouldn’t have been in touch as readily before, and that it is just the beginning of how we can partner with organizations larger than ourselves. Come join the conversation about game audio at OverClocked ReMix, and all of us might learn a thing or two from each other in the process.