Like many other event organizers all around the world, the committee have been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving public health situation. With WHO’s recent decision to declare the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and increasing travel restrictions across Europe in particular, we have decided with great regret to cancel the in-person conference this year. The University of Malta has simultaneously announced that they are cancelling or postponing all their events.
For delegates who have already registered, the University will reach out to you directly with full refunds; you don’t need to do anything. Unfortunately, we cannot provide refunds or support for privately booked travel and accommodation.
We are exploring alternative options including a digital conference and will announce further details in due course.
We’re pleased to announce that the registration site for #ludo2020 is now live! See details here with further accommodation, travel and registration details on the University of Malta site. We’ll be adding more detailed programme information in the coming weeks.
We also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone to get your submissions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible!
We are now accepting proposals for Ludo2020 , the Ninth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, taking place at the University of Malta, April 24th-25th next year.
Please share our Call for Papers poster online and around your institutions.
welcome proposals on all aspects of sound
and music in games.
year, we are particularly interested in papers that support the conference
theme of ‘Participation, Performance,
and the Body’. Papers on this topic may include:
of the body through sound and music in games
of gender/sexuality and game sound
interactivity with music and games
and drama as lenses for conceptualizing game audio
and game sound
music and accessibility
should last twenty minutes and will be followed by questions. Please submit
your paper proposal (c.250 words) with a short provisional bibliography by
email to email@example.com by
January 6th 2020. We aim
to communicate the programme decisions by January 20th 2020. If you
require more information, please email the organizers.
encourage practitionersand composers to submit proposals for showcasing
practice as research.
The conference will feature as a keynote speaker:
Prof. Hillegonda Rietveld, Professor of Sonic Culture at London South Bank University, musician and electronic music specialist, co-editor of the special issue ‘Hear the Music, Play the Game’ for GAME.
And more to be
Hosted by Costantino Oliva, Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta.
Organized by Melanie Fritsch, Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers & Mark Sweeney.
Continuing our series of posts about game music research around the world, Ariel Grez gives us an insight into the activities of our friends in South America.
At first glance, the ludomusicological research in Chile is as recent as the foundation of the Chilean’s Research Group of Video game music (LUDUM), at least when it comes to the use of the term ludomusicología (the self-proclaimed translation of the term ludomusicology). LUDUM is formed by musicians and researchers who met at University of Chile. Daniel Miranda is a pianist, composer, producer and researcher, Joaquin Gutiérrez is an electric guitarist and composition student, Guillermo Jarpa is a bassist, researcher and cultural manager, with formal training on audiovisual communication, Ariel Grez is a clarinetist, singer and songwriter, researcher and adjunct professor at the Music Department of University of Chile and Sean Moscoso is a percussionist and artist, and professor at the Sound Studies Department of the same university. We started this group in February 2018, and although we were the first to centralize research and documentation, the work from agents outside LUDUM before and after its beginnings must not be ignored.
That’s why our first assignment was to identify the state of academic video game music and sound research, including the social and cultural reach of its music, and the advances of Chile’s video game music industry.
In 2014 Gerardo Marcoleta, an academic member of the Autonomous Center of Musical Research (CIMA) of University of Valparaiso, presented “Music for Video Games” and other papers about the matter in different instances, including academic ones like the “1st Meeting of Contemporary Music” in Rengo or the “1st International Instance of Music and Audio” in ARCOS’s institute.
The Chilean videogame industry is in an adolescent, but evolving, condition. The Chilean Association of Video Game Development Companies (VG Chile) is a guild of 38 companies (representing more than the 85% of games companies operating in Chile). In regards to the video game music that these companies make, we have observed that the composers of the games with the higher reach, are Chileans who graduated from music-related programs from colleges or academic institutes. Among them we have Francisco “Foco”, Patricio Meneses, Ronny Antares, and others. Since 2015 the 101 Training School of Creative Technologies has offered the diploma of music production for video games, the only program in our country that specializes in music for this media, with “Foco” as their main teacher.
In Chile, Video Game Music is also experienced as a collective cultural experience taken from its original designed setting (video games) to – literally – the streets and festivals. There are many video game music bands and groups of different levels of professionalization that play music of (or inspired by) video games. Ludópatas and Jazztick make regular concerts in the capital Santiago de Chile, with the latter having performed weekly in different streets and venues. The Plasmas have been sporadically playing game music for more than 10 years in Valparaíso. Pokérus and Thennecan have smaller, but growing audiences. The Popular Music Orchestra in Concepción and the Student’s Orchestra of Federico Santa María’s Technical University in Valparaíso have included video game music in their repertoire.
As in other parts of the world, the chiptune scene has developed in our country since the mid-2000s with different waves of artists. First with Una Niña Malvada and Noobelesia, later from 2008 to 2012 with H#xz, Analog and Foco, then from 2012 to 2016 we have Kbt, Utsuho, Clsource and YZYX, and in recent years Jota Capsula and Bluu whose point of reunion in Santiago was the Once Super Portable/Mutante, a regular music festival (‘circlo’) in which chiptune musicians gathered and played among peers and fans. These events are on hold since March 2019, because their point of reunion Casa Ruido recently closed.
These musicians have been building
networks of social interchange to promote their music and create financial
opportunities of collaboration between each other, as seen with the chiptune scene, the collective of game
music “Pixel Quemado” and the Ñoño Party (the word ñoño is used colloquially to describe
someone who pertains to geek culture). This last event aspires to congregate
players, who want to have fun while listening to the video game bands of the
capital. After a successful first Ñoño Party,
that took place in April 2017 in Santiago de Chile, there was a second
version of this event in October 2018, and the Ñoño Party 3 will be held in November
2019. But, that was not the first time that this kind of event was held in our
country, as in May of 2014 the Festival
of Video Game Music was held in our capital.
Three international video game
music ensembles have come to our country: Symphony of the Goddesses (2015),
Distant Worlds (2014) and Video Games Live (2012), all of them with excellent
Chile is a highly centralized
country, both in politics and economy. Our work as game music scholars is
dedicated mostly to uncover the state of video game music in our close
environment: the capital, Santiago de Chile. This is because our members are students,
graduates and/or workers of the University of Chile and are all living in
Santiago. But, there is still a lot to unravel in other areas of our country.
Our research group started with
seminar activities that consisted of getting an overview on the state of the
art of the discipline by assigning readings and making summaries on each
reading. Here, we read some of the seminal works on video game music, and came
to realize the first and most important challenge to disseminating our interest
in video game music research: the lack of research in Spanish on the topic.
So, in an attempt to activate the academic community, we organized our first public event. We held the 1st National Meeting of Ludomusicology in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Chile in November of 2018, with the sponsorship of its Music Department, and the Latin American Aesthetics Research Centre, with the support of the “Espacio Elefante” Cultural Center. Even though LUDUM is an independent research group, we are working to strengthen our bonds with different institutions, such as the University of Santiago de Chile or the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso.
The meeting’s program consisted of
three days with academic, artistic, formative and musical activities open to
the public: A daily session consisted of seminars, where papers were presented,
and different activities with artists and video game music producers. A forum
of productive experiences was held the first day, with the Creative Director of
Niebla Games Nicolás Valdivia and
Composer René Romo. A Workshop on interactive music was held the second day
with the composer Francisco “Foco”. Musical performances were realized every
day, with arrangements of video game music made by students of musical
composition David Bustamante and Joaquín Gutiérrez, the latter being a member
of our group and also director of the ensemble composed by students of the
University of Chile. Foco also performed his chiptune project and Ludópatas
closed the last day with a concert, where a full Sala Elefante danced and jumped to some classic video game tunes. A
review of this concert? was published in the Chilean Musical
Also, LUDUM members have presented
papers at academic conferences. Ariel Grez has presented papers both at the
Ludo2018 and Ludo2019 conferences, using different analytic approaches to video
game music, aesthetic, semiotic, ludic and ethics fields, bringing the input of
Latin American thinkers like Katya Mandoki and Enrique Dussel to the
ludomusicological field, to deepen our understanding of the reception of video
game music, aiming to finally being able to characterize the specificity of
Latin-American gamers experience in the complexity of the geopolitical problem
of distribution of video games. On the other hand. Daniel Miranda presented a
paper in the Third Chilean Congress of Popular Music in Alberto Hurtado
University. In this paper entitled A
Contained Princess: a Vocal Analysis of Super Mario 3D World’s Characters
he proposes a methodology to analyze these voices comparing the pitches and
sentences used by each character, doing a gender performance reading inspired
by Butler (1990) and also studying the reception of Princess Peach’s voice,
categorizing popular comments of an online viral video. He concludes that the
Princess’ voice responds to a voice direction that overcaricaturizes her among
other characters through a process of infantilization that is increased over
time in the games she appears in and by using a template of an already
caricatured version of a sexualized woman (Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe). A
continuation of this research was presented at Ludo 2019, in which the
reception of Peach’s voice was studied through Philip Tagg’s methodology of
semiotic analysis, categorizing different profiles of gamers that responded in
different ways to her voice, suggesting that experienced male gamers were more
likely to refrain from playing with her character because of her voice.
Our objective is to consolidate a
space of debate and knowledge building on video game music, articulating the
Spanish-speaking community, while also connecting with the academic and
professional field and the public in general. To that effect, we are preparing
several investigation projects, ranging from characterizing the local video
game bands scene, to analysing the Chilean production of video game music, and
continuing to test different analytical methods to investigate the experience
of listening while gaming. Last but not least, we are currently preparing our
second academic event, the Second National Ludomusicology Gathering, here in
Santiago de Chile.