Acoustemologies of the Closet

William Cheng

in The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality

Published in print February 2014 | ISBN: 9780199826162
Published online December 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Music

Acoustemologies of the Closet

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Many online video games nowadays feature voice-chat capabilities that enable players to speak with one another through microphones connected to computers and gaming consoles. Players who speak out via voice-chat telegraph ambiguous bodies and often end up participating (willingly or not) in instances of identity assimilation, repression, deception, and revelation. This chapter examines how voice technologies in online games compel players to negotiate practices of domination, masquerade, and passing through acts of speech and silence. Attempts here to put pressure on voice-body relations speak to a broader effort to reassess conventional theories of the voice as a site of authentic and agentic expression. The chapter will conclude by considering the sexual politics of voice-chat in the audibly male-dominated communities of online first-person-shooter games.

Keywords: voice; agency; video games; identity; passing; sexual politics; online first-person shooter

Article.  5758 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music and Media ; Applied Music

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