Välikatsaus pelimusiikin tutkimuksen moniäänisyyteen
As videogames are being increasingly recognized as a prominent cultural force, there is also a growing interest in the study of video game music within academia. Published in 2021, The Cambridge Companion to Video Game Music is the most recent milestone in establishing video game music research as a credible field of research. The book situates itself naturally on the same continuum with the founding of the Ludomusicology Research Group in 2011 and the launch of the Journal of Sound and Music in Games in 2020. With twenty-four chapters and over four hundred pages, the Companion is probably the largest and most comprehensive collection on game music studies so far. The overarching ethos of the editors Melanie Fritsch and Tim Summers could be described as a warm welcome to a plurality of views on videogame music and indeed, the diversity of perspectives is perhaps the most notable feature of the book: The chapters, divided into six sections each with an overall introduction, discuss a multitude of themes such as chiptune and the early history of videogame music, creation of videogame music, analytical approaches and psychological perspectives, questions relating to culture and identity and finally also game music beyond the context of gaming. Moreover, the list of writers includes not only researchers from a variety of backgrounds, but also people working within the game music industry. As a flipside to the plurality, several chapters appear more like overviews of the theme or suggestions for an approach rather than fully developed perspectives on videogame music. Especially some essential issues pointed out throughout the chapters, such as the concept of interactivity and centrality of player's perspective, would merit further and integrative theoretical discussion. Likewise certain broad themes, such as aesthetics and philosophy of videogame music, empirical research, and personal uses and functions of videogame music, are left to lesser regard. Despite this, the Companion is valuable as an approachable and comprehensive overview of videogame music studies that could prove insightful to not only those interested in the subject but, due to its inclusive and open approach, also to music researchers more broadly.