Dr. Christopher Hopkins

Dr. Christopher Hopkins is the author of “Video Game Audio: A History, 1972-2020,” a book published by McFarland Publishers in 2022. The book examines historical trends in video game sound and music in North America, Europe, and Japan. Dr. Hopkins taught high school and university courses in music and game development at SUNY Suffolk, Long Island University, Farmingdale State College, and Five Towns College. He developed the first university courses in video game music for Long Island University and Five Towns College. Dr. Hopkins was a guest speaker at the Teaching with Technology Institute at Long Island University, the North American Conference on Video Game Music, and the New York Chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society. The independent game festivals IndieCade East, New Jersey Arcade, and Playcrafting NYC Summer Expo featured his original mobile games.

Dr. Hopkins has been interested in video game music since an early age, playing video games on the NES, Genesis, and PlayStation with his two brothers. His first exposure to gaming was through Connor Toy Corporation’s VideoSmarts, the Interactive Video Learning System. He and his brothers and father enjoyed playing Sega Tyco Video Driver and SimCity 2000. He learned to play the piano at age 7 from The Miracle Piano Teaching System, a piano-teaching computer program for Mac computers.

Dr. Hopkins holds a doctorate in Music History and Literature from Five Towns College, with certifications in Wwise from Audiokinetic and Composing Music for Film and Games from Berklee College of Music. His doctoral dissertation, Chiptune Music: An Exploration of Compositional Techniques as Found in Sunsoft Games for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom From 1988-1992, available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, is a landmark work in honoring the composers and their songs which defined early game music through interviews and complete soundtrack transcriptions. Dr. Hopkins published “Mario Paint: An Accessible Environment of Musical Creativity and Sound Exploration” in the Journal of Literature and Art Studies, an essay promoting music composition through accessible video game software. His interview subjects include Masashi Kageyama, composer of Gimmick! for the Famicom, Jake Kaufman, composer of Shantae for the Game Boy Color, and Joe Calomino, director of VideoSmarts at Connor Toy Corporation.