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Chiptune is an early form of digital electronic music, which began its life in late 20th century video games and home computer hardware. Since, it has undergone a rapid evolution from an obsolete industry tool to a thriving global fan culture. In the present-day, chiptune spans a multitudinous array of musical practices; its signature ‘bleeps' and ‘bloops' branch into many other stylistic conventions and playful fannish crossovers. Wherever chiptune fans go, and wherever they musically play, the technological and sonic constraints that define chiptune's sound remain a staple throughout their musical and fannish activities. Where previous research on chiptune largely documents its rich techno-cultural history, this study takes a wholly new approach and explores the ways in which chiptune's signature technologies and sounds shape fan identities in their musical performance. Through its interdisciplinary framework, this study develops new insights on the playful relationship between technology, sound, music and fan identity.
I am currently a doctoral student in Musicology at Kingston University, supervised by Professor Isabella van Elferen and Professor Will Brooker. Through an interdisciplinary framework, my thesis explores the ways in which chiptune's constrained technologies and sounds have shaped – and continue to shape – the identities of fans through the playfulness of their musical interactions. In addition to ludomusicology, chiptune, and fan studies, my research interests also include the relationship between multimedia and nostalgia, and the presence of remediation in the context of music fandom.
In addition to my academic work, I am also an avid composer of both chiptune and synth-wave.
Reid, George (2018) Chiptune : The Ludomusical Shaping of Identity. The Computer Games Journal, 7(4), pp. 279-290. ISSN (print) 2052-773X
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40869-018-0070-y
Reid, G. (2016) "A Wild Dalek appeared!" 8-bit Sonic Cartography: Fannish Re-contextualisations of Sci-fi Media Soundtracks through a Chiptune Videogame Aesthetic, at: The Fifth Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, 8th-10th April, University of Southampton
Reid, G. (2017) Around the World in 88 Kilobytes – Chiptune Epics and 8-Bit Journeys, at: The 38th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, 22nd-26th March, Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando
Reid, G. (2018) Chiptune: The Ludomusical Shaping of Identity, at: The Fifth Annual North American Conference on Video Game Music, 13th-14th January, University of Michigan
Reid, G. (2018) Chiptune: The Ludomusical Shaping of Identity, at: The Seventh Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, 13th-15th April, HMT Leipzig, Germany
Reid, G. (2019) Chiptune and the Remediation of Limitation, at: The Eighth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, 26th-28th April, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds