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20-10-2018 | Issue 4/2018 Open Access

The Computer Games Journal 4/2018

Chiptune: The Ludomusical Shaping of Identity

The Computer Games Journal > Issue 4/2018
George Reid
Important notes
All editorial decisions for this article, including selection of reviewers and the final decision, were made by guest editor Dr. Kenny McAlpline.


The creativity of chiptune fandom is as expansive as it is stylistically recognisable; composers may venture into the stylistic tropes of early videogame music, jazz, or a rendition of the theme for Miami Vice, yet they consistently retain a distinct and stylistically ‘limited’ microsound character. Distinctly chiptune in timbre, but stylistically or thematically reaching beyond chiptune’s videogaming origins, how do these creative and (sub)cultural intersections relate to chiptune fan identity and furthermore, what do they reveal about the broader implications of the relationship between music and identity? This article presents an interdisciplinary framework for analysing the relationship between the musical creativity of chiptune fandom and the identities of its composers, constructed through theoretical influences from ludomusicology, fan studies, and Rosi Braidotti’s critical theory of ‘nomadic subjectivity.’ The research intention of this article—as part of a larger project—is to develop an analytical framework that not only applies to the relationship between chiptune creativity and fan identity, but also forms an adaptable lens for all music and media creativity undertaken in view of fannish identification.
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