Sunday, November 27, 2011

Score One For Games

Classical orchestral pieces have long been acknowledged as stunning examples of music, capable of taking the listener through ranges of emotions, all while really only interacting with a single sense.

Movie scores have shred some of that appreciation during the last few decades. Star Wars, Batman and Tron all have easily identifiable scores that have become classics in their own right. The names John Williams or Danny Elfman can be held up as modern equals to the greats of Beethoven or Mozart. Indeed, the work of John Williams has been a regular favourite of many great orchestras, especially the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

However, despite events such as Video Games Live or the very recently released CD from the London Philharmonic, The Greatest Video Game Music, there still isn't the same level of appreciation for video game scores, and it's a crying shame.

While cut-scenes play out like moments from a movie, unlike movies, video games include incidental music which can be presented as a dynamic addition to the scene or level, shifting tempo and volume according to the actions of the player. This reaction to the events onscreen can deeply effect the level of player immersion into the world. As the music swells in a tense moment, I can feel my pulse quicken, knowing that something is nearby, about to strike.

I'd love to start seeing video game sound tracks get more and more recognition. It's starting to happen now, as major composers are working on games and digital and CD sales of video game score continue to rise.

Several years ago, Claire and I once suggested to a friend that worked on a radio music program for Irish classical music station Lyric FM that they should do a special around video game scores, but we were informed that no-one in the entire station had access to any, so it wasn't going to happen. 

Hopefully some day it will happen. Hopefully some day soon.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

We are currently working out which to play during the wedding...It won't be any FF though...bit cheesy and cliched..:)