Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford Music/Media Series)

Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford Music/Media Series)

By: Willam Cheng (author)Paperback

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Video games open portals into fantastical worlds where imaginative play prevails. The virtual medium seemingly provides us with ample opportunities to behave and act out with relative safety and impunity. Or does it? Sound Play explores the aesthetic, ethical, and sociopolitical stakes of our engagements with gaming's audio phenomena-from sonic violence to synthesized operas, from democratic music-making to vocal sexual harassment. Author William Cheng shows how the simulated environments of games empower designers, composers, players, and scholars to test and tinker with music, noise, speech, and silence in ways that might not be prudent or possible in the real world. In negotiating utopian and alarmist stereotypes of video games, Sound Play synthesizes insights from across musicology, sociology, anthropology, communications, literary theory, and philosophy. With case studies that span Final Fantasy VI, Silent Hill, Fallout 3, The Lord of the Rings Online, and Team Fortress 2, this book insists that what we do in there-in the safe, sound spaces of games-can ultimately teach us a great deal about who we are and what we value (musically, culturally, humanly) out here.

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About Author

William Cheng is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. His research on music, video games, opera, and other subjects have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Cambridge Opera Journal, Ethnomusicology, and 19th-Century Music. He is the recipient of the AMS Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship, AMS Philip Brett Award, and SAM Mark Tucker Award.


Foreword by Richard Leppert ; Introduction ; Chapter 1: A Tune at the End of the World ; Chapter 2: How Celes Sang ; Chapter 3: Dead Ringers ; Chapter 4: Role-Playing toward a Virtual Musical Democracy ; Chapter 5: The Wizard, the Troll, and the Fortress ; Epilogue ; End Notes ; Works Cited ; Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 15/05/2014
  • ISBN13: 9780199969975
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 264
  • ID: 9780199969975
  • weight: 388
  • ISBN10: 0199969973

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