Why People Listen to Video Game Music

May 18th, 2008

video game music

From my experience there appears to be this perception (even among gamers) that listening to video game music is strange and perhaps even backwards. Its one of those stereotypes that I haven’t touched on yet. I used to have this perception a few years ago when the only video game music available to me were remixes and MIDIs from sites like VG Music. Although if you do remember back to the days of MIDIs then you can understand why I am partly justified, they simply sounded awful.

But since video game soundtracks have slowly become more widely available and the overall sound quality of rips and remixes has improved my interest has increased over the years. To the point that I have a small little collection of video game OSTs (original soundtrack) on my shelf. So I wanted to share with you some reasons as to why I listen to video game music because if you’re a gamer that isn’t remotely interested in video game music then, simply put, you’re missing out. So I want to offer a few short reasons as to why I love game music.

The Nostalgic Factor

I personally love anything that is nostalgic and music is one of the strongest mediums for nostalgia, perhaps because its much more easier to become immersed in sound. Not all old game music is nostalgic simply because its old. It all depends on the player and their past experiences. For example, I would find the music from Totally Rad or Ducktales much more nostalgic than say Rygar; an old game in which I have never played.

Great Ambient Music

What I have noticed when listening to some video game music is that it makes for great ambient music. Most game music isn’t made with the intention of constantly grabbing your attention, its made to create the mood and atmosphere within the game environment. Which is why game music is great to set the mood.

Game music more often than not lacks any vocals which is great as general background music. For example, sometimes I want to write a blog article but not be distracted by lyrics so I just play some appropriate game music.

Genuinely Good Music

Sometimes video game music tracks are just downright excellent and deserve a place on your normal playlist. Licensed music tracks are a good example of this. Surprisingly quite often I’ll be playing a game which features a selection of awesome songs which I want to play outside of the game. So I jump onto iTunes and snap them up. Other times I just throughly enjoy the music.