On behalf of my associate editors and the editorial board, I am extremely delighted to be able to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the world's first journal dedicated to the study of sound and music in games.
The journal's objective is to present high-quality research concerning all areas of music and sound in games. It serves a diverse community of readers and authors, encompassing industry practitioners alongside scholars from disciplinary perspectives including anthropology, computer science, media/game studies, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, as well as musicology. As the journal of the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games, JSMG acts as a lively forum for the presentation and dissemination of knowledge, uniting theory and practice in this domain of musical-sonic activity.
My own first encounter with the academic study of video game audio began in 2012. After a decade as a composer and audio director for games, I was fortunate enough to have my rather speculative practice-based paper about compositional process accepted for the Royal Musical Association Ludomusicology Study Day at the University of Oxford. I had recently completed the score and the audio direction to Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed (2011), and I was slowly re-emerging into the daylight from an intense four-year, two-game development cycle with Electronic Arts Inc. and Slightly Mad Studios. I felt sure I would be seen as an outsider. The study day proved remarkable for a number of reasons: the quality and diversity of the papers (mine excepted); the coming together of the industry and the academy; and the discussion that arose about the possible future direction of what was then a young domain of scholarly activity.
The subsequent years have seen this area of research become firmly established, with conferences, collaborations, and publications involving audiences, practitioners, and researchers across the globe. Not only has this scholarship expanded in volume, it has transcended traditional boundaries between disciplines and professions.
Today, therefore, marks another significant milestone—the launch of our journal. The editors and editorial board are extremely grateful for the support of the members of the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games and our publishers, the University of California Press.