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Sound PlayVideo Games and the Musical Imagination$
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William Cheng

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969968

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969968.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

A Tune at the End of the World

A Tune at the End of the World

(p.19) Chapter 1 A Tune at the End of the World
Sound Play

William Cheng

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 starts things off with an apocalyptic bang. Set in the ruins of Washington, D.C. far into the future, the 2008 game Fallout 3 lets its player toggle between fictional radio stations that broadcast pre-set programs of eighteenth- to twentieth-century real-world classical and popular repertoire. Provocative couplings emerge in how this upbeat, looping music gets randomly juxtaposed against the graphic acts of brutality that a player witnesses and commits in the game. Many of the book's core themes are introduced over the course of this first chapter. Predicaments of human agency are explored through the lens of aesthetic autonomy, aurality, trauma, the ethics and habits of play, and the impact of violence on music as (we think) we know it.

Keywords:   Violence, Apocalypse, Radio, Agency, Aesthetic autonomy, Aurality, Trauma

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