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Call for papers: Learning from Video Game Music

The Ludomusicology research group will be hosting the two day conference on video game audio “Learning from Video Game Music” to take place on the 9th and 10th of April, 2015 at Utrecht University. The call for proposals is open for papers on the topic of video game music and sound. Papers may contain interdisciplinary import of any type. Paper proposals are welcome from both academics and those working in the video game industry.

While all proposals are welcome, there is a particular interest in papers that support the education theme in terms of how we learn with, learn from, and learn about, video game music. Possible paper topics on this theme include:

Instrumental teaching through video games
Pedagogics of ludomusicology
Composition in video games
Music, sound design and video games in higher education
Game audio outside games
Trans-media interactions
Lessons for musicology from game music

A keynote address will be given by Karen Collins, author of Playing with Sound (2013), Game Sound (2008), and From Pac Man to Pop Music (2008). Our second keynote address will be given by David Roesner, the author of Musicality and Theatre (2014), and the leader of the Guitar Heroes in Music Education AHRC research network.

Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, with 10 minutes allowed for discussion. Shorter papers will also be considered for inclusion. Proposals should be no more than 250 words in length and sent as an attachment to


Organizers: Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney.

Hosted by University of Utrecht.

Supported by The Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON).

Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures is now out


Amsterdam University Press has now published the edited volume “Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures”. See here.

Digital media technologies increasingly shape how people relate to the world, to other people and to themselves. This prompts questions about present-day mediations of identity. This book explores the notion of play as a heuristic lens to look at changing media practices and identity construction. Playful media culture is analyzed far beyond its apparent manifestation in computer games. The central argument of the book is that play and games nowadays are not only appropriate metaphors to capture post-modern human identities, but also the very means by which people reflexively construct their identity. Playful Identities presents academic research at the intersection of media theory, play and game studies, social sciences and philosophy. The book carves out a cross-disciplinary domain that connects the most recent in- sights from play and game studies, media research, and identity studies.

The book is one of the results of the Research project Playful Identities, that was funded by de Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (NWO), see here. The book will also be made available as an Open Access publication through

“Playful Identities is an illuminating study on the increasing complexity of digital playgrounds, ludic media, ludic interfaces and technologies of the self. The book presents a variety of roles and identities such as: players, learners, gamblers, users, fans, role-players, theory crafters, cheaters, and digital savages.” Prof. Dr. Mathias Fuchs, Leuphana University Lüneburg

“What a brilliant, refreshing, and positively playful approach to the ludic imperative. In stark opposition to the business world’s cynical application of “gamification” to productivity or even the social do-gooders urger to make games “serious,” these essays reveal and reify play as the essence of human experience. Herein lies access to the truth: the play is the thing. These are the smartest, most articulate, and up-to-date essays on this subject, by the very people creating this field of study” – Douglas Rushkoff, author, Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed, and Playing the Future.

Teresa de la Hera receives Spanish award for her PhD thesis “Persuasive Structures in Advergames”


The PhD thesis Persuasive Structures in Advergames by our own Teresa de la Hera has been awarded as the best academic work by a Spanish scholar in the field of audiovisual communication. The prize was awarded by the Consell de l’Audiovisual de Catalunya, a Spanish organisation committed to promoting research in the audiovisual sector. The jury was composed of renowned professors in the field of media studies.
De la Hera’s thesis aims at broadening the understanding of how advertising messages can be embedded within digital games. In recent years marketers have shown a keen interest in using digital games for advertising purposes. Digital games specifically designed for a brand with the aim of conveying an advertising message, are known as advergames. In the thesis an interdisciplinary framework is used in order to outline a theoretical model aiming to structure the existing knowledge to help explain how persuasive communication works within digital games.

Teresa de la Hera currently works as a postdoc researcher in the NWO-funded project ‘Persuasive gaming‘, a collaboration between Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Technology Eindhoven.