A (Silent) Game of Words: Notes on Jeremy Soule's Accusations and the 'Elder Scrolls' Online Community

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When Jeremy Soule, composer for some of the most well-known video game franchises in the world such as Guild Wars and The Elder Scrolls, was accused of sexual misconduct by women in the gaming industry in 2019, the internet hosted reactions from several fronts. From questioning the victims’ credibility to taking a neutral position while waiting for further development, gamers and fans made use of digital platforms to express either concern, astonishment, or doubt; these reactions point to the significant symbolic capital that Soule possesses in the context of video game music. The Elder Scrolls franchise, and in particular Skyrim, is highly recognized for its soundtracks, and this franchise has given rise to the largest mods community to date. In previous research, I examined this mods community in order to consider music and sound in relation to immersion and modification in Elder Scrolls games. Since the data collected in that earlier research was limited to a time span until 2017, the recent developments concerning composer Jeremy Soule weren’t addressed in that earlier setting. However, these allegations were part of a larger phenomenon of awareness and public exposure of negative and abusive practices in several labor contexts in the video game industry, shedding some light on a much-needed discussion about sexism and mistreatment toward women and nonbinary professionals in these fields and raising some pertinent questions concerning users’ feedback and engagement. This article aims to discuss the possible impacts these accusations had on the relationship between Soule’s music and users in the mods community, including users’ overviews of their own personal affective engagement with the games, thus verifying the deep connection between music, interactivity, authorship and gamer identity.</jats:p>
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sound and Music in Games (JSMG)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Jeremy Soule
  • Sexism
  • Video game music
  • Online communities
  • Engagement


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