There have been a lot of great posts about video game music, its ability to produce nostalgia greater than other aspects of video games, and the connection gamers form with the soundtracks of some games. What I have found interesting over the past few weeks is that when I share pieces of music created for video games with people who identify as gamers and non-gamers alike – they are often able to identify the music as coming from a video game without being familiar with the music. This prompted me to consider, has video game music developed into an established genre?
Previously, I considered music in video games to each be a part of a different genre. For instance, something like Dragon Roost Island from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker makes use of Andean instruments and sounds
While Tifa’s Theme from Final Fantasy 7 is more in line with Contemporary Classical as a genre
Yet I have found gamers and non-gamers alike who, unfamiliar with the specific pieces, were able to identify them as “video game music”.
Despite the fact the composers for video games are drawing on a number of cultures and periods, has the video game culture acquired a sound that noticeably blends into its music across games? I find this fascinating because even other forms of entertainment and art (particularly Cinema) have not, in my mind, developed the music they use into a genre. While they are certainly characteristics from composers and production groups – it’s easy for me to identify a Disney song or something my Hans Zimmer even if I haven’t heard it before – nothing that goes across the industry as a whole.
I’d be curious to know if anyone else has noticed this or consider the music within video games a genre in itself.