I’m a nerd. I’ve always considered myself one and always will. When Video Games Live was scheduled to come to town last year I wanted to go, but then it got cancelled. Since then, I had read and seen video of the concert, so I knew it probably wasn’t worth whatever the cost of tickets was. But for free? Well, I’ll take anything if it’s free, even if I don’t plan on using – but in this case I was.
Video Games Lives is a concert where a symphony orchestra plays video game music. It’s a little different but that’s why I was interested in seeing it. As it turned out, I’m glad it cancelled the first time because it wasn’t worth the price of tickets, but it was enjoyable. The most popular games were covered: Mario, Zelda, Halo, and the arcade classics. The problem with the classics is that the original music was only 4 or 5 notes, so it doesn’t necessarily translate into orchestra music that easily. As games have progressed over the past 20 years the music has gotten more complicated, more on the level of a movie score, so that music is meant for and orchestra and sounded good — plus a choir which did a good job too.
I knew most of the games covered and had played probably half of them. Reading about them and knowing is a lot different than actually playing them. But at this concert I was the minority. This crowd knew all the music and they knew it too well.
Sure, I have my favorite video game music but most of it is old and is just a theme song. Some of the songs at the VGL, mostly those from Final Fantasy, people went nuts over — and I mean nuts. You’d think they were at the last AC/DC concert or something. You could tell they all thought this was a very momentous occasion and one they will probably tell their kids. But the only person at that concert that has any bragging rights is the one man plucked out of the audience to play Frogger in attempt to get the highest score…and he did…and his reward? A $2500 Ferrari laptop – yeah, not bad a minute and a half of Frogger.
The host of concert was the co-producer of the event (and also happens to be Steven Tyler’s cousin) and was very annoying. He seemed to have an identity crisis as he talked about the audience and those on-stage, the “gamers”, as though he was not one of them. Yet there he was putting this concert together — of course, drug dealers aren’t necessarily users.
I left the concert feeling slightly de-nerded but when I thought more about it made me feel good that I wasn’t that nerdy. I don’t have a wide collection of import CDs from Japan with Final Fantasy music. Nor do I play World of Warcraft and consider it my primary means of socializing. I actually debated whether or not to wear by Nintendo t-shirt because I didn’t want to be “that guy” – but even with the shirt I was far from being “that guy” — of course, most of the people there have always been “that guy” and probably enjoy the title.
So if VGL comes to your town and you have a chance to see it (and not pay a lot) go for the entertainment of the music — and for the people watching, cause you’ll bust a gut laughing at just how serious people take these games. Woah.