It's been a while since I've updated the website in any way, but today I felt like finally releasing something that's been cooking for about a month, and opening it up for collaboration, crowdsourcing, etc.
This touched off a brief conversation on Twitter, in which a few people wondered whether ludomusicologists respond to a canon that's already been established, or if we play a role in building or maintaining that canon, for good or for ill. I'd say that for me personally, my work responds to games that are accessible to me (either Mac/PC, or from older systems that are easily emulated), and games that I have a personal history with or connection to (again...Mac/PC or emulations of childhood games)
But it seems like we can study this problem by examining the kinds of games that receive scholarly attention. Do scholars stick mainly to games that are already well known, already in the 'canon' of video games? Or are we perhaps seeing a certain ludomusicological canon emerge, which may focus on different types of games, different platforms, etc.? Or is it simply too early to tell?
To that end, I started a Google Doc that weekend, which I've slowly added to in idle moments since. I'm trying to collect information about all the games studied by ludomusicologists in formal venues (conferences and publications). This is a pretty monumental task, though, and it seems more efficient to crowdsource it. So, I'm publishing this open link to the Google Doc where I've been collecting the information. So far, it's restricted primarily to conferences: NACVGM, the "Ludo" Conferences, as well as the video-game papers/sessions at SMT the past two years (posters, lightning talks, and the panel). It's got very few print sources in it so far, and only the ones that occurred to me off the top of my head.
A word on the organization: right now, things are organized by GAME, with some metadata, and then a list of studies secondarily. My hope is that, with the same data in a slightly different form, it will be easy to turn around and convert this into a bibliography of ludomusicology, which we could then add to the nascent bibliography hosted by the SMT's Film and Multimedia Interest Group. So, please feel free to add studies to this list as well. The order in which studies are listed is completely arbitrary: I have no sense that any given paper or presentation is the take on any game -- they're simply listed in the order that I added them (though I've since sorted the sheet by title of game).
Please feel free to update the existing information as well. Hopefully the metadata I've added are self-explanatory, though I should clarify: I've used the term "modern multi" to indicate the seemingly ubiquitous "PC/XBox_/PS_" label that many games carry. We can certainly be more particular, but this seems to indicate something useful, rather than creating tons of sortable columns for each system. XBox or PS exclusive, however, is a useful piece of information as well, and should be listed separately. Secondly, there are many [unknown] slots, which I use when I don't remember or don't precisely know the game(s) that a given study discusses. Please feel free to fill these slots in, or to move the attached studies accordingly, if you know the answers. I've also begun labelling genres, which seems useful. These are self-explanatory, but note that I've created two labels I haven't seen elsewhere: music game (for things like Guitar Hero) and more importantly "music game - abstract" for games like Otocky, Elektroplankton, etc. Please also feel free to add or correct metadata, invent your own keywords, add studies beyond the five per game for which I've currently created columns. Go wild. Behave yourselves.
I don't have any conclusions from this data yet -- feel free to draw your own, or leave them in the comments on this entry.
Here's the Google Doc, in case you didn't catch the link before: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kjwBUYLekeGuBuThpgO9cOCsydNlm4dKM27Hebh92T0/edit?usp=sharing