Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why So Many Games Music Reviews?

Why So Many Games Music Reviews?

"What's up with all the video game music coverage these days?" Ah! You noticed that too. Did you? I get that question with increasing frequency, so I decided to do a post a response here. You know, there are quite a few reasons for this, but let me just list a few.

1) SOUNDTRACK RELEASES - Probably the most obvious reason is that there is more and more video game music available. Record labels like Sumthing Else are releasing great titles and with the onset of iTunes and AmazonMP3 the doors have opened wide for soundtrack releases that would likely have never seen the light of day.

2) IT DESERVES THE COVERAGE! The quality of video game music has come to match that from the film music industry. The talent needed to craft good game music, while different in significant ways from film or television, is considerable. While few game composers are household names right now, that will likely change in the near future. Some will successfully crossover into other mediums like MICHAEL GIACCHINO or CHRISTOPHER LENNERTZ, and others will simply make a name for themselves within the gaming world itself.

3) ACCESSIBILITY - The composers, producers, supervisors, technicians involved in video game industry tend to be more accessible and willing talk about there projects (that is when the developers, marketing, and PR departs allow them to). Many great composers are still getting their start in the video game industry and before they completely "blow up" and move into other areas (like film or tv) they are much more reachable.

That said, I have to note that the current trend is that video game composers are fast becoming just as busy as their composing-cousins and increasingly unavailable. Perhaps only in regards to pay, the gaming industry hardly plays second fiddle to film any more and that is reflected in the busy-ness of the composers schedules now.

4) IT'S THE MUSIC NOT THE MEDIUM - Tracksounds is all about a very specific type of music - the kind that first open my ears to it's potential power and influence on our emotions. It was Warner Bros. Cartoons that introduced me to "that kind" of music while Bugs Bunny made fools of Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. Like many of you reading this, it was that seminal movie moment in 1977 that showed us the power of music in film and now games are readily introducing youngsters to "that kind" of music everyday. Whether that music is attached to a movie, a television series, a video game, event music, or licensed production music, that's the type of music we love and love to cover.

So film music coverage isn't going away here at Tracksounds. We will continue to review film music soundtracks and interview the talented folk who write and produce them. At the same time, film music's "little brother" has grown up and is increasingly delivering visceral, musical experiences that deserve to be given the spotlight. There is definitely more to come in this genre here at Tracksounds!

...and if you're looking for more of our video game coverage, be sure to check out our feature, HIGH SCORE.

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