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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Dance Central digital game series teaches players full-body choreography routines set to popular club music, offering real-time feedback driven by the Kinect, a motion-sensing camera peripheral that creates a gestural interface for the Xbox 360 game console. Dance Central offers a new channel for the transmission of embodied knowledge and for indexing that knowledge through popular music. Game choreographers translate song into dance; players learn to feel out music with their bodies as choreographers do. Dance Central design, gameplay, and associated player discourse rely on multiple technologies of transduction, which convert sound into forms accessible to other senses. Drawing on analysis of online discourse and interviews with players and game designers, this chapter addresses Dance Central as a staging ground for emergent forms of multisensory musicality, virtual performance, and participatory culture.

Keywords: digital game, dance, multisensory, interactivity, virtual, participatory culture, interface, ethnomusicology, sound studies

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