Video Games Live
It’s a sure sign of progression when there is finally a concert to celebrate the amazing work that goes into so many video game soundtracks.
Founded in 2002 by Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, Video Games Live is best summed up on its own website:
An immersive event created by the game industry featuring the best game music performed by top orchestras and choirs combined with synchronised lighting, video, live action and audience interactivity. The first and most successful video game concert tour in the world.
There are so many video games which have beautiful soundtracks to accompany them in today’s games that it is only fitting that they get the exposure they deserve. By playing such soundtracks in a concert environment, it gives more people a chance to experience classical music in a whole new way.
Because the majority of people who will attend the concerts have already played the video games which the music is a part of, the concert as a whole feels recognisable. It is a comfortable environment in which to emphasise a new part of someone’s favourite video game. And the music is not just for gamers.
Video Games Live appeals to ALL audiences! Because of the overall nature of our show, we appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. During our shows in 2005 we attracted mothers, grandmothers & girlfriends as well as groups of friends coming together to celebrate the amazing industry of video games…We get many letters and responses from grandmothers or moms who say things like “Wow! I never knew the video game industry was this incredible! I understand why my children are so into this stuff now. I get it! I had no idea!.” That for us is the biggest pay-off of all. Not only turning on gamers to the culture of live symphonies, but also turning on the non-gamer to the video game industry as a whole. It’s always been one of our biggest goals. (videogameslive.com)
While younger generations are attracted to video games via the visuals and in turn introduced to new music via the soundtracks, older generations may be attracted to games via the soundtracks. A soundtrack can effectively communicate what the game could be about without a person ever having to know what game it comes from. On Video Games Live, The London Times writes:
As the show began, it became apparant that this was ground-breaking multimedia entertainment; enough to impress even the most fanatical gamers present. (Cotterell, L. (November 26th, 2007) The London Times)
When music is combined with appropriate visuals – even if the visuals aren’t the videogame itself – it creates an entirely new experience for the listener because not only are they listening to the music, but the visuals help create new visual markers in the listener’s mind. A clash of cymbals might be accompanied by a flash of light, while a soft piano might be accompanied by subtle changes in the colour of light. These visual clues may not be part of any video game, but will undoubtedly reflect the same kind of themes used within them.
Video Games Live is something that will be seen more of in the future as it starts to gain more momentum and exposure. As has been said, Video Games Live is for all audiences, not just gamers and this is what will see it grow and grow.
Convincing the entire family to attend a concert performed by a symphony orchestra may be an impossible task. But, what if you could tell the kids and grandkids that Mario…and Master Chief… would be the guests of honour during the performance? (Mitman, H. (n.d.) The Trend)