MPSG 2017 Themed Session: Music in Video Games

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

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.

Topics of interest might include (but are not limited to):

  • The contribution of music to the experience of playing video games.
  • The relation between the music and other aspects of the video game, in particular the game’s narrative content
  • The contribution of music to the nature of video games and their status as art
  • The ontological status of video game music between real and virtual worlds
  • The role of games in (re)defining the musical act
  • Video games and the idea of musical play

Proposals of no longer than 300 words should be submitted to Derek Matravers with the subject heading “MPSG Themed Session” by 15 October 2016.


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.