The Queerness of Video Game Music

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Video game music is a significant site of queerness, where normative demands are questioned, suspended or loosened. Games resist hegemonic musical logics, challenge musical value systems and use music to complicate essentialist notions of identity. I propose three areas of queerness, each representing different relationships between 'queer design' and 'queer engagement', ranging from the unintentionally resistive to explicit engagement with identity. First, this Element examines musical structures that provide queer temporal alternatives to normative linear development, and interactive systems that reframe the power relationship between musical material and listener. Second, it considers 'retro' or 'chiptune' timbres that queer notions of technological progress as improvement, rejecting chrononormativity. Finally, the Element discusses music that queers the self/other binary of identity. Games present ways of listening to, engaging with, and understanding music that provide opportunities to challenge inherited assumptions and reductive or monolithic values, practices and identities.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781009371421
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2023

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