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And All That Jazz

Jazz is a distinct genre that is often overlooked when we think of music in video games.  For this episode, we uncover and dissect the world of jazz in video game music – from ‘live’ music to creating historical authenticity to establishing the genre of ‘film noire’ through its connection with jazz.  Each member looked Continue Reading

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Women Behind the Sound

Women have been composing music for video games since their inception and yet their stories can often be forgotten amongst a male-dominated industry. Today’s episode looks to focus in on a selection of women who are behind the sound we hear in video games, both past and present. From Yoko Shimomura’s iconic Street Fighter II soundtrack to Continue Reading

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Mental Health in Video Games

Mental Health awareness has become a global topic of discussion – and the video game industry has been getting in on the conversation. In this episode, the research team explores the impact and role that music plays in video games recognized as part of the mental health conversation. From The Last of Us to Gris to Hellblade to Celeste, the Game Music Continue Reading

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm

From Stardew Valley to Animal Crossing to Harvest Moon, the game genre commonly known as the “Farming Sim” often features calm, relaxing music.  Farming Sims music often makes explicit reference to musical elements associated with rural environments, such as Country and Folk music styles, but also incorporate subtler elements rooted in the concept of the Continue Reading

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Episode 4: Identity in DragonAge: Inquisition

This bonus episode focuses on composer Trevor Morris’s work on DragonAge: Inquisition.  Research assistants Brooke and Andrew tackle a variety of questions ranging from the controversy about switching composers mid-series, what harmonic factors distinguish the music, and how the music does (or does not) reflect Morris’s Canadian-ness. Music Tracks (all from DragonAge: Inquisition) ·       The Continue Reading

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Episode 3: “Geoculture”

Video games often take influences from real-world cultures, sometimes to reflect particular eras and locations in historically-based games, but in other cases as a ‘shortcut’ for suggesting particular cultural norms.  From Nordic influences in Skyrim to Middle-Eastern instrumentation in Assassin’s Creed and The Legend of Zelda, this episode will present a number of examples.  The Continue Reading

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The Human Side Of War

TFirst-person shooters often feature driving, pulsing music meant to propel the player onwards.  However, not all games evoking war follow this model!  In this podcast, the hosts will examine the music from games that evoke regret, grief, and sorrow in their attempt to create game worlds that more accurately depict the horrors of war and Continue Reading

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Tropes and Topics

The first episode in our podcast series will present the four hosts – Stephanie Lind (project supervisor) and undergraduate research assistants Brooke, Andrew, and Kaitlin.  Stephanie will outline how video games, and more specifically their music, often reference stock concepts derived from TV, film, games, and other pop culture references – known as “tropes” in Continue Reading

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