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Article

William Gibbons

Ludomusicology is the study of music and sound in, or related to, games. Broadly speaking, the term may apply to any type of game or sport, or to the relationship between music and play more generally (see Moseley, 2016; Fritsch, 2018). In practice, however, ‘ludomusicology’ has most commonly referred to the study of music and video games, or interactive media.

The study of video game audio presents unique challenges. Games themselves, which are typically the objects of study, are often unstable. This instability may emerge because of the interactive nature of the medium, in which each user’s experience may differ; because games exist in multiple formats or versions; or because they are constantly evolving, as in updates to online games (see Summers, 2016; Reale, 2019). Furthermore, copyright restrictions, regionally restricted releases, and/or technological obsolescence sometimes render archival materials – even entire games – inaccessible to scholars. As a result, overviews of game music history and style have by necessity focused on readily available ‘canonic’ titles that were released widely in North America, Western Europe, and (to a lesser extent) Japan....