When you think of music for video games, you immediately think of Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Street Fighter, and some other famous names. However, very rapid advances in technology have changed music for video games dramatically and become an important role in the storytelling process.
Why is Music in Video Games Important?
Music is a vehicle that can carry emotions and complete the story that is being told. In the film industry, many fans see the soundtrack as a milestone to set the scene. It is also no different from video games. In fact, in video games, players can play games by turning off the music. So for video game developers, this is very vital for them to create a cohesive atmosphere.
For Steve Schnur, executive and president of world music for Electronic Arts game production, the view that music for video games is still being ignored and underappreciated. He sees that the quality of the music produced is always relevant for generations of music lovers and deserves a separate award.
It`s Time to Shine
February 2023 will be the first time for a video game music composer to receive a Grammy. It’s time for the composer to be honored after years of lobbying by game executives and composers.
Video game music itself has been eligible for music awards since 1999 in the film and TV music categories. The only game ever to be nominated is the “Journey” score by Austin Wintory in 2012. There is also Gordy Haab whose music for several “Star Wars” games has won awards from other organizations such as ASCAP. For him, the real challenge in scoring video games music is interactivity: where music can adapt and change in real-time, based on player input without compromising musicality.
Instead of lobbying the Recording Academy for specific categories of game music, Wintory spent years trying to persuade his writing colleagues to join the Academy and enter their work in the field of existing score soundtracks (renamed score soundtracks for visual media in 1999). 2001). Yet no game other than “Journey” has ever reached the nomination stage.
But Wintory agrees that “scoring a game isn’t just about writing music for games, it’s about writing music that players will play in real-time. It’s an art, completely unique to games.”
Oddly enough, a song from a game won once: Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” (the theme of “Civilization IV”) won for the vocalist accompaniment instrumental arrangement, but that was a song from the album, not the game score.
“Games have always been treated as brothers, the runt of trash,” Wintory said.
Haab added: “Games, as one of the largest industries in the world, has no shortage of audiences. Game music deserves to be recognized and respected in its own category.”
I recently replayed Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Brian Tyler’s fantastically epic soundtrack was tailor-made to get players into the pirate-stealing, rum-swigging, and ship-stealing mindset of old tales. It’s not a serious game, no real-life piracy woes to be found here – no risk of being caught and hanged, swept away or speared by flying splinters in battle, or built up by biting rats. your toes. No, it’s a game where you captain your own ship, loot Spanish convoys for everything they own, and take on the British Navy with Blackbeard by your side. It’s a game that indulges in the fantasy of being a pirate everyone had at some point as a child, and the soundtrack makes that fact loud and clear from the moment you boot it up.