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Digital interactive audio is the future of audio in media - most notably video games, but also web pages, theme parks, museums, art installations and theatrical events. Despite its importance to contemporary multi-media, this is the first book that provides a framework for understanding the history, issues and theories surrounding interactive audio. Karen Collins presents the work of academics, composers and sound programmers to introduce the topic from a variety of angles in order to provide a supplementary text for music and multimedia courses. The contributors cover practical and theoretical approaches, including historical perspectives, emerging theories, socio-cultural approaches to fandom, reception theory and case study analyses. The book offers a fresh perspective on media music, one that will complement film studies, but which will show the necessity of a unique approach when considering games music.
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Karen Collins is based in the Canadian Centre of Arts and Technology at the University of Waterloo, Canada.Review:
'For anyone labouring under the misapprehension that gaming is the preserve of nerdy teenage males and that games soundtracks consist of repetitive monophonic beeps, this book will come as a salutary shock. A collection of contributions from academics and practitioners, this book covers virtually every aspect of sound and music relating to the multi-billion industries of computer games and mobile phone software. From corporate synergy to 8-bit chip nostalgia, from educational psychology to the imminent obsolescence of the ringtone market, this book is full of useful facts, ideas and insights. The book is well edited: it contains an informative introductory overview, as well as an extensive bibliography and list of other references. It is a serious but thoroughly readable volume about phenomena of contemporary mass culture that are not only 'big bucks': they also provoke, as contributors to the volume demonstrate, important questions of economics, technology, music making, copyright, democracy, education, aesthetics and subjectivity.'
Philip Tagg, University of Montreal, Canada
'From Pac-Man to Pop Music is the first book to bring together writings of such a wide range of practitioners in the fields of computer games and mobile media technology. As the media themselves converge, so sound and music makers face new demands and challenges. Karen Collins has ensured that this is a practice-focused discussion, ranging from practical details of how music engines within video games are assembled, through to speculative writing on ways current shortcomings may be overcome and the field may develop. The book is informative and thought-provoking, and is essential reading for all who work in or study modern visual and communications media, music and sonic art.'
Simon Emmerson, De Montfort University, UK
'I was deeply impressed by the range of topics and quality of the essays from fifteen contributors whose backgrounds range from academia to practitioner-based. ... While providing essays on social trends and changes in audio within games and new media, this book also provides technical discussions ... more geared towards those with an interest in audio engineering. ... an excellent source of information and suitable for a wide audience'
m/c reviews - culture and media
'... fresh, informative, very clearly written and very pleasurable to read... this is a highly recommended and well edited piece of work.'
Journal of Music Technology and Education
'This collection of 12 essays represents something of the flavour of this burgeoning interest in video games and the far-reaching implications of music. ... I write in a month that saw The Beatles Rock Band game released and a legal furore erupt over the nature of Kurt Cobain's avatar in Guitar Hero 5, this is clearly the time to reflect on how video games are growing up and growing into other media.' --Popular Music
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