When you typically think of great music achievements, the world of video games doesn’t jump to mind as quickly as say a concert hall or a CD. But increasingly we’re seeing more and more effort and attention being put into the composition and production of video games. As this medium becomes more and more popular, particularly with teenagers and young adults, music in video games really starts to shine.
These days, kids are introduced to video games–and music–at a very early age. My daughter, who plays a lot on Club Penguin and Poptropica, will often be humming the music she hears while enjoying the adventures and quests in those games. My older son, plays a number of console games including very high production titles on the XBox and the music is often very well done. We have of course seen the incorporation of known classics (Carmina Burana, anyone?) make their way into video games just as they did with action movies before, but there are an increasing number of original compositions as well. Some more recent games, such as Pottermore use very little in the way of music but instead rely on ambient sounds to convey a mood or setting.
I remember reading a wonderful NPR story on the evolution of music in video games from the 70′s genre of Pong and other simple games through the present. Whereas early games merely reproduced simple blips and beeps on their chips, today’s games incorporate full sound, even in Dolby Digital. Music in video games have certainly come a very long way.