I first stumbled onto Mark’s work while searching for video game scholarship on “visemes,” the design term for a visual analog of a phoneme. Being somewhat familiar with Michel Chion’s work on audio-visual synchronization, I was curious what video game scholars were making of comparable (if more complex?) sound and synchronization issues in video game design. I was to delighted to discover Mark’s co-written essay “Uncanny Speech,” on just this subject, in his edited volume Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction (2011), and even more pleased to find that Mark had published what appears to be the first book-length study of game sound, The Acoustic Ecology of the First-Person Shooter (2008), a text that will no doubt become indispensable to sound studies, and is already making its way onto film, new media, and video game studies syllabi.
JAVIER O’NEIL-ORTIZ: With a background in sound engineering and degrees in music and music technology, what led you to work on game sound, specifically? How has your industry experience informed your approach to the study of game sound? Read more