Dr. William Cheng, Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. "Video Games and the Musical Imagination"
Video games open portals to fantastical worlds where imaginative play and enchantment prevail. These virtual settings afford us considerable freedom to act out with relative impunity. Or do they? This talk explores the aesthetic, ethical, and sociopolitical stakes of our creative engagements with online gaming’s audio phenomena—from musical bombardment in The Lord of the Rings Online to vocal sexual harassment in Team Fortress 2. By lending an ear to players’ sonic transgressions, the presentation broadly emphasizes that what we do in games can teach us a great deal about who we are and what we value (musically, culturally, humanly) across our real and virtual lives.
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