- New Periodicals
This semiannual column selectively lists new periodicals; describes their objectives, formats, and contents; and provides information special issues; title and format changes, mergers, and cessations. The following resources were frequently consulted when assembling this column: Music Periodicals Database (MPD; http://www.proquest.com/products-services/iimp_ft.html), Music Index (MI; https://www.ebscohost.com/academic/music-index), RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, (RILM; http://www.rilm.org), OCLC Worldcat and Ulrich's Periodical Directory (http://www.ulrichsweb.com/ulrichsweb/), and the Directory of Open Access Journals (http://www.doaj.org). All Web sites were accessed on 17 September 2020 unless otherwise indicated.
Journal of Sound and Music in Games. Edited by Stephen Baysted. University of California Press. Quarterly. ISSN 2578-3432. Online format. Access: https://online.ucpress.edu/jsmg. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. $450/year for institutions; $85/year for individuals and $35 for single issues. A peer-reviewed e-journal based at the University of California Press that presents research focused on music and sound in games, the Journal of Sound and Music in Games (JSMG) aims to serve both scholars and those working in the industry alike. The journal is published quarterly and includes a broad range of perspectives: anthropology, computer science, media/game studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and musicology. As of September 2020, three issues have been published.
The inaugural issue offers a variety of perspectives that bodes well for the journal's future. Readers may lack some of the specialist knowledge for each article in every issue, but the inherent interdisciplinary perspective of video game sound and music creates an impossible burden of prerequisite knowledge. Instead, the journal's mixing of these perspectives allows scholars and their work to engage with one another in a regular interdisciplinary forum, thereby enriching this burgeoning field of study. Indeed, the typically 15-25 page length for each article makes for engaging content that does not become too overwhelming or burdensome. For example, the first issue explores musical semiotics of rock and sacred music topics in god-slayer tropes in Xenoblade Chronicles; offers frameworks for theorizing the "navigable narrative" subgenre of narrative-based videogames by synthesizing music theory with soundscape studies and ludostylistics; investigates the technological apparatus of designing instruments in videogame programming; provides a colloquy of short essays focused on canon formation in video game music; and includes thoughts on larger scholarly developments in the field. [End Page 465]
A welcome inclusion to the reviews section of the first two issues of the journal is a response by the author to the published review in the same issue. Although not included in the third issue, hopefully this trend of open dialogue between scholars will continue in subsequent issues, or at the very least, be used for reviews of significant new publications in the field.
Not so much criticisms, but there are two issues for institutions to consider before acquiring this journal. Although JSMG aims to include perspectives from those who work in the game industry, only the second issue of the journal includes an article written specifically from "Industry Perspectives." Hopefully the journal will grow to include more of these perspectives as it becomes more established. Likewise, with an institutional subscription at $450 a year, the price of JSMG may not seem exorbitant for some institutions. But with only a handful of issues published, some institutions may choose to wait until the journal achieves a more robust backlog before considering—especially when each of the four single issues a year are priced currently at $95 apiece.