This article rethinks music and video games in terms of experiences—what is termed ludomusical excesses—that do not fit squarely with the fundamental assumptions about music’s centrality in video games but overstep the limits of moderation as potentialities. This article uses Line Rider (2006)—a video game in which players draw lines to music of their choice—as a case study to explore how narratives, metaphors, and experiences of ludomusical excesses can animate music’s multifarious relations with video games. This article comprises three episodes of ludomusical excesses, which are respectively concerned with physical excess, discursive excess, and affective excess. The first episode sees excess as prosthetic extension in the game and conceptualizes numbness and irritation in the process of musical transcription in Line Rider. In so doing, it explores the overspilling forms of queer digital intimacy with one’s self during gameplay through the myth of Narcissus. The second episode examines the mutual reflection of landscape and mindscape in Chinese qin music that exceeds the digital rendering in the game. Playing with the metaphors of trap and prey, the episode underlines the oxymoronic play with the game’s representational flatness and its ludic conceit in disciplining musical surplus. The final episode considers affective excesses in a game designer’s passion for and wonderment in the game that result in a virtuosic display. Together, these episodes craft ludomusical realities of excesses that aim to invite alternative configurations of music’s relationship with video games.

You do not currently have access to this content.