Video game music is an art

As an avid video game fan, I think that people take video game soundtracks for granted.

As I am writing this column, I have my favorite media player open with about 100 or more video game related songs.

Whenever I tell people that I regularly listen to video game soundtracks, they usually look at me like I’m completely insane. To those people: nay I say, I’m not insane (trust me, I was tested).

I like to think that video game music is the equivalent to listening to a movie soundtrack.

Game tunes will stay with you for a long time, and for any game you play, you’ll find that you build some sort of lasting emotional connection to the soundtrack.

One of my favorite soundtracks is the score to an independent game called Fez. Written and composed by Rich Vreeland, better known by his online alias, “Disasterpeace,” the Fez soundtrack is an aural experience. If you aren’t familiar with Disasterpeace, you should probably put down this paper and take a listen.

The Fez soundtrack resonates with me in a way that I thought was never possible. It’s like if progressive rock was written for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  It’s simply amazing!

What really gets me about the Fez soundtrack is that it’s one of the rare instances I’ve found where I felt at home after the first listen. I can almost guarantee you have had similar feelings toward video game soundtracks, whether you are aware of it or not.

If you doubt me, think about it yourself.  Have you ever caught yourself whistling the theme song to Super Mario Brothers? What about The Legend of Zelda theme? Of course you have, and  you’ve probably done it more than once.

That said, I understand that there   are people who  still think that video game scores aren’t real music, but don’t sell them short just yet.

There are entire professional orchestras dedicated to playing video game music, such as the C64 Orchestra, which is dedicated to playing music from Commodore 64 games in live concerts.

Another example of orchestral arrangements of video game scores is The Distant Worlds concert series, which passed through Omaha last March.

For those who aren’t aware, Distant Worlds is dedicated to playing music from the Final Fantasy series, headed by Nobuo Uematsu (a.k.a. the creator of every single good song in the history of Final Fantasy ever).

If you can acquire the time and means, I highly suggest that you take time and go see them perform live. It’s an opportunity that you just can’t miss.

Video game soundtracks have inspired me personally, I have been experimenting with making my own video game music for almost four years now, and I can’t begin to stress how difficult it is to get everything just right to fit a certain situation. But can you imagine playing without music? Would the journey still feel as epic? I think not.

Video game composers devote a lot of time and energy to their arts, despite video game soundtracks being highly underrated.  Thankfully, their work is not in vain.

As long as there are video games soundtracks, there will be fans that truly appreciate them.

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