Gaming and game-inspired music: Why the rift?

By Jeriaska . September 13, 2008 . 3:02pm

It can be a strange feeling walking into a Virgin Megastore in Los Angeles and finding only a handful of videogame soundtracks. By contrast, today in Tokyo the staff of Tsutaya Shibuya recommends Echochrome Original Soundtrack, Tower is calling attention to the score for Siren New Translation, and Rockman 9 OST has just hit the shelves.



If the impressive sales of Video Games Live are any indication, it may already be dawning on retailers outside of Japan that albums of videogame music—no less than, say, movie soundtracks or books on tape—are the kind of thing some people actually would like to have. The question remains, where does this leave videogame-inspired music, from chiptunes, to nerdcore and videogame cover bands? What are its prospects for mainstream recognition when, to mention an observation made by Anthony of Game Music 4 All, there appears to be so little overlap of gaming and game-inspired music?



The makers of Mega Man 9 aren’t the only ones fashioning new songs from chipmusic these days and otherwise referencing the 8-bit era. The below video from PAX, a monthly video update from, brings together segments on the music of Yakuza 2, Penny Arcade Adventures and Valkyria Chronicles with band Anamanaguchi and the Nerdcore Rising film, which centers on the rapper MC Frontalot. It also has an interview with the makers of Reformat the Planet, a documentary on New York City’s chiptune music Blip Fest, which most directly brings up the question: Gaming and game-inspired music, why the rift?


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  • EdgeKun

    To directly quote a friend :
    “Why do you listen to that? It’s just beeps and boops”

    The sad fact is that I think some people just can’t find melodies / music in such “simple” musical insturments. I’ve also noticed a lot of people are turned off by the complete lack of lyrics (usually), which i find a bit silly since the majority of contemporary music is hardly amazing, especially considering the lyrics.

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