© 2019

Popular Music in the Nostalgia Video Game

The Way It Never Sounded


  • Focuses on the relationship between music, video games, and broader social and cultural contexts

  • Accessible to both academic and casual readers

  • Engages with popular culture on multiple levels, making it of interest to undergraduates in all fields related to popular culture, including video games, music, film, and general media


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Audio-Visual Culture book series (PSAVC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Andra Ivănescu
    Pages 29-74
  3. Andra Ivănescu
    Pages 75-108
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 159-165

About this book


This book looks at the uses of popular music in the newly-redefined category of the nostalgia game, exploring the relationship between video games, popular music, nostalgia, and socio-cultural contexts. History, gender, race, and media all make significant appearances in this interdisciplinary work, as it explores what some of the most critically acclaimed games of the past two decades (including both AAA titles like Fallout and BioShock, and more cult releases like Gone Home and Evoland) tell us about our relationship to our past and our future. Appropriated music is the common thread throughout these chapters, engaging these broader discourses in heterogeneous ways. This volume offers new perspectives on how the intersection between popular music, nostalgia, and video games, can be examined, revealing much about our relationship to the past and our hopes for the future.


ludomusicology retro musical appropriation media gender race society nostalgia history past future

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Brunel University LondonLondonUK

About the authors

Andra Ivănescu is Lecturer in Game Studies at Brunel University London, UK. 

Bibliographic information


 “Popular Music in the Nostalgia Video Game supplies an interesting discourse into a region where one would not expect popular music and its heritage to be forcefully present. … offers some insights on how variations of ‘authenticity,’ ‘memory,’ and ‘reproduction’ work in this genre.” (A. Ebert,, May 24, 2019)