Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance (Oxford Music / Media)

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9780199753451: Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance (Oxford Music / Media)

Why don't Guitar Hero players just pick up real guitars? What happens when millions of people play the role of a young black gang member in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? How are YouTube-based music lessons changing the nature of amateur musicianship? This book is about play, performance, and participatory culture in the digital age. Miller shows how video games and social media are bridging virtual and visceral experience, creating dispersed communities who forge meaningful connections by "playing along" with popular culture. Playing Along reveals how digital media are brought to bear in the transmission of embodied knowledge: how a Grand Theft Auto player uses a virtual radio to hear with her avatar's ears; how a Guitar Hero player channels the experience of a live rock performer; and how a beginning guitar student translates a two-dimensional, pre-recorded online music lesson into three-dimensional physical practice and an intimate relationship with a distant teacher. Through a series of engaging ethnographic case studies, Miller demonstrates that our everyday experiences with interactive digital media are gradually transforming our understanding of musicality, creativity, play, and participation.

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About the Author:


Kiri Miller is the Manning Assistant Professor of Music at Brown University. She is the author of Traveling Home: Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism (2008). Her research stands at the intersection of ethnomusicology, popular music studies, and digital media studies. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Review:


"Taking music making in video games and online cultures as her focus, Miller develops powerful ideas that go far beyond Guitar Hero and YouTube to offer fundamental insights into performance and participation in music. Playing Along is an essential study." --Harris M. Berger, Professor of Music and Performance Studies, Texas A&M University, and President, Society for Ethnomusicology


"With Playing Along, Kiri Miller has produced a much-needed full ethnography on music gamers. A fascinating read full of insights into the impact that music-based games has on listening and performance practice, Playing Along is sure to become an important milestone in scholarship on games. A highly enjoyable and informative book!" --Karen Collins, Canada Research Chair in Interactive Audio, University of Waterloo and author of Game Sound (2008)


"Get ready for a wild ride...from page one of Playing Along, Kiri Miller vividly reveals how virtual can also be deeply visceral. Her insights about the world(s) we live in point ahead at future possibilities for fieldwork, as well as everyday life." --Tomie Hahn, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


"At a time when overheated rhetoric dominates the discourse surrounding video games and YouTube, Kiri Miller's Playing Along is sorely needed. Miller's years of immersive and sensitive fieldwork among gamers and amateur musicians have yielded keen insights into the complex and shifting relationship between modern media and popular culture. Both a substantial work of scholarship and a great read, Playing Along will appeal to everyone from gamers to media scholars, music teachers to ethnomusicologists." --Mark Katz, author of Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music and Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ


"Miller breaks new ground in this engaging, important examination of the performative and
participatory aspects of new digital media...A readable, fascinating exploration of new and increasingly common ways of experiencing and interacting with popular culture...Highly recommended." --Choice


"Kiri Miller's work is an important embarkation for examining the role of music in the lives of modern citizens, and exploring the intersections of the technological, social and physical worlds. Future research in music education should continue to examing this type of critical work and investigate how people interact with music in their virtual spaces."--Journal of Popular Music Education


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