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The relationship between games and music / The Boar

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On the surface, the relationship between video games and music seems to be a straightforward one. One of the integral features that makes a well-written, mechanically strong video game into a masterpiece is music. On the flip side, video games benefits in the music industry in many ways too. Then there are the unique examples such as Youtuber Dan Bull, who makes fantastic songs about video games, which have then been used by video game developers in order to market their games. These creative back and forth relationships are rare but are an excellent example of how a sort of coevolution can develop between the video game and music industries.

One of the integral features that makes a well-written, mechanically strong video game into a masterpiece is music.

So if these links are so prominent and so beneficial for both sides, why has the music industry made frustratingly difficult for these links to be maintained, cultivated further and celebrated? The music industry seems to specifically ignore the valuable contributions video games makes to it and you can see this in the Grammys. First off, let's talk about the fact that until 2011, video games were not eligible to be nominated for any category. Even with the allowing of video games to be nominated into the Grammys there has been a significant handicap attached to them. They have to compete in the Visual Media categories. This is an important issue because they have to go up against blockbuster film scores, which have more money and more reach than individual game soundtracks, in order to even be considered for the award. This fact is the major contributor to why video game music has only ever been nominated twice for an award. The first was Christopher Tin's ‘Baba Yetu', which is the legendary piece of music recorded for Civilisation IV. This actually won the award for ‘Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)' in 2010, but only 6 years after the song was first released in Civilisation IV and because it was re-recorded which technically made it applicable to be nominated. The other nomination is from Austin Wintory, who composed the breath-taking soundtrack to the 2012 mega hit Journey, in which he was nominated for the ‘Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media' along side the titans of the movie music industry John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Personally, I don't think that a particularly fair fight, and this highlights how great video game can be completely overshadowed because the music industry refuses to acknowledge gaming's individual contribution.

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