Music, Meet Gaming
by Tommy Docherty
January 05, 2023
Music and gaming have gone hand in hand since the onset of video games. Who could forget composer Kojo Kondo’s instantly recognisable soundtracks for mid-1980s games like Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda? Or go back even further to 1978 when Tomohiro Nishikado composed the original soundtrack for Space Invaders. The music created didn’t just help make the games more interesting. In many ways, the soundtrack becomes more iconic than the video game itself. Paste Magazine compiled a list of video game soundtracks that surpassed its host game. Original soundtracks, abbreviated to OSTs, even have their own category in video game award shows. And it’s easy to see why.
Soundtracks can take you on an emotional journey like no other due to the music often following dramatic storylines and motifs that resonate intense feelings. In that way, they’re not too dissimilar from musicals with the way they use instrumentation to tell a story alongside what’s happening on screen. OSTs can also be stunning from a purely musical viewpoint. Up to this day, no piece of music has moved me more than the original score for the 2017 action-adventure game NieR: Automata, composed by Keiichi Okabe.
However, it’s not just original music that manages to define a video game’s legacy. The compilation of existing songs handpicked for a game’s soundtrack has become more and more popular as they’ve gone on. A man my age only needs to hear the first few seconds of ‘Jerk It Out’ by the Caesars, and bang, I am in full FIFA mode. Speaking of FIFA, I remember playing FIFA 14 when it came out nearly a decade ago, but what stuck with me the most after all these years is the music from the soundtrack. It got me into bands such as Nothing But Thieves, Disclosure, and even Nine Inch Nails! (Yes, Nine Inch Nails featured in a video game about football). It clearly didn’t make a good impression on just me, either. After the release of FIFA 14, the songs from the soundtrack were everywhere. On the radio, in television ads, and sung on school playgrounds, it brought people together just as much as the game, and it was a great way to promote up-and-coming artists. And as well as paying tribute to the greats.
Promoting lesser-known artists is always a positive subsidiary of video game soundtracks. It’s also where you come in. If you’re a streamer who plays video games for an audience, you are probably inundated by video game soundtracks. They have become just as much a part of your life as video games. You’ve also probably found yourself forming opinions about these songs. Skipping a track on the NFL soundtrack because it’s “annoying” or turning up the music on Rocket League because it “bangs” without you even realising it entitles you to be a tastemaker for Bliiink.
So, if music and games are a heavy part of your life, don’t let your opinion go unheard! Register and share your opinion with our very own selection of artists on Bliiink as a tastemaker today!