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Video Games Collection

A research guide to inspire and assist with the study of video games within the UCLA community.

What Is Video Game Music (VGM)?

While Wikipedia may not be an ideal source to quote for a research paper, it does provide an excellent working definition for Video Game Music (VGM) that you can use to begin thinking critically about sound in video games. 

Video game music is the soundtrack or background music accompanying video games. Originally limited to simple melodies by early sound synthesizer technology, video game music has grown to include the same breadth and complexity associated with television and movie soundtracks. 

Video game music. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 12, 2015, from 

UCLA Video Game Orchestra

Game-Play and The Soundtrack

Like film music, in VGM it's important to listen to and analyze the soundtrack both with the on-screen (game-play) action and as an extracted composition. Here are some examples CDs and scores that we have in the video game collection that will allow you to get an over-arching understanding of how a game's soundtrack works with the game itself. 

Critical Scholarship on VGM

Academic writing on VGM began exponential growth ca. 2009. Here are some core publications included in the video game collection that can assist with critical analysis of VGM. 

Matthew Vest

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Matthew Vest
Contact: Facebook Page
Subjects: Music & Dance

Want to Find More Stuff?

The materials to the left are just the beginning of available items in the UCLA Library on VGM. Check out the following subject headings in the UCLA Library catalog to find more materials. 

Subject Headings for VGM

Motion pictures and video games
Video game music
Video game music--21st century--History and criticism
Video game music--Analysis, appreciation

Video Games Music and Scores