MPSG 2017 Themed Session: Music in Video Games


William Gibbons (Texas Christian University)
Derek Matravers (Open University)


Michiel Kamp (Utrecht), “Musical Moment in Video Games between Filmic and Natural Beauty”

Gerald Munters (Twente, Enschede), “A Song of Good and Evil: Music as Ethical Stimulus in Video Games”

Tim Summers (Royal Holloway), “Having Fun with Phantasmagoria: Opera and Video Games”


There has been great deal of interest in the past few years within musicology and music theory in the contribution of music to the experience of playing video games. The topic has been relatively neglected in philosophy, although it is related to several extant discussions concerning other media. We would like to invite papers from any discipline which reflect on this topic, thus contributing to developing a philosophical take on the role of music in video games.


Indicative Bibliography

The below brief bibliography comprises a selection of works that may be of particular relevance to those with an interest in this topic, or to those seeking to orient themselves therein, but is intended to be neither exhaustive nor prescriptive; there is no obligation to cite any particular work or works, either in abstract submissions or in final papers.

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

Donnelly, K.J., Gibbons, W., Lerner, N. (eds.) 2014. Music in Video Games: Studying Play. London: Routledge.

Kamp, M., Summers, T., Sweeney, M. (eds.) 2016. Ludomusicology: Approaches to Video Game Music. Sheffield: Equinox.

Levinson, J. 1984 ‘Hybrid Art Forms’ in his Music, Art, and Metaphysics. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 26-36.

‘Music as Narrative and Music as Drama’ in D. Bordwell and N. Carroll (eds.) 1996. Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies. Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press. 254-288.

Sangeng, John Richard, Fossheim, Hallvard J., Mandt Larsen Tarjei (eds.) 2012. The Philosophy of Computer Games. New York: Springer.

Tavinor, Grant. 2009. The Art of Videogames. Oxford: Blackwell.


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