Thursday, March 13, 2008

Music in Video Games

It's not a secret that the music industry is currently in a state of decline. The labels didn't react properly to the file sharing that began with Napster back in '99, and allowed a generation of music listeners to believe that music was a free commodity, readily accessible by a few mouse clicks.

Rather than adapt to technology early, and re-evaluate their business models, they let opportunity pass them by, and are still left playing catch-up.

One of the bright spots of music licensing these days, however, is in video games. Any way people can discover music - new or old - is worth exploring. A game like Guitar Hero is great, because unless someone is a complete music freak, there will be interesting songs he can discover through the game.

Case in point for me - "Holiday in Cambodia" by Dead Kennedys.

Now, I was indeed familiar with this song from my days on the radio back in the 90's (I don't remember it when it first came out in 1980).

But I didn't know much more about it beyond my familiarity with the chorus.

I played it on Guitar Hero a few times recently, and then went to itunes to purchase it.

Perhaps the artist and publisher have now been compensated twice by my purchases. That's a good thing - they should earn money for their work.

What's most amusing to me is that when the song came on my ipod at the gym today, all I could picture were red, yellow, green, and blue notes hurling toward me rapidly on my TV screen.

If you own Guitar Hero or have played it, you'll know exactly what I mean.

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