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"I can't listen to this. It's Video Game music and needs to be in a game"
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vuigun
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 05:01 PM Local time: Aug 19, 2006, 05:01 PM #1 of 22
"I can't listen to this. It's Video Game music and needs to be in a game"

I seem to get these type of responses whenever I lend someone Video Game music to try out or listen to it while someone else is listening.

I never really minded. It's all just music for me. I never really understood the people who closed their mind to Video Game music because it just "reminds them of playing the game". Or it's simply like they can never really "get into it".

I'd like to hear your views on this. Does the fact that the music comes from a video game have any bad effects on you listening to Video Game music without playing the game?

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bishop743
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 05:11 PM #2 of 22
Nope, not anymore. I used to be like that though. I would only listen to music from games I had played so I could get this special "connection" with the music. When I started buying albums, I only bought stuff from games I played or were planning on playing. Nowadays, I've completely thrown that notion out of the window. Music is music to me. If it sounds good, I'll listen. I don't need any type of connection with it to enjoy it. Sure, the connection helps, but I don't think it's a requirement or necessity.

So, long story short, I'm in the same boat with you.

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Golfdish from Hell
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 05:20 PM #3 of 22
In most cases, no. I'm used to hearing videogame music both in and out of context, so it won't bother me. Only time it's negative hearing it out of context is if it's more atmospheric or intentionally slower (or "plodding") music and isn't terribly interesting or memorable on its' own (although I tend to avoid games that take this approach to scoring because it gets annoying while playing at times). That's just a general direction I don't want to see game music move towards.

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Megavolt
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 06:21 PM Local time: Aug 19, 2006, 05:21 PM #4 of 22
Originally Posted by bishop743
Nope, not anymore. I used to be like that though. I would only listen to music from games I had played so I could get this special "connection" with the music. When I started buying albums, I only bought stuff from games I played or were planning on playing. Nowadays, I've completely thrown that notion out of the window. Music is music to me. If it sounds good, I'll listen. I don't need any type of connection with it to enjoy it. Sure, the connection helps, but I don't think it's a requirement or necessity.

So, long story short, I'm in the same boat with you.
That's not what he's talking about. He's talking about people who won't listen to the music because it reminds them of a game. Not people who won't listen to VGM that doesn't bring back memories of a particular game.

I'm used to the bleeps and bloops of old, so I don't absolutely need the context to enjoy the music, though it can often help me understand and appreciate the music better. I sometimes feel like I'm missing something without having heard a particular track in context. Otherwise many are still catchy or interesting enough on their own. However, even though music is music, the purpose of music on a soundtrack is to function in context first before standing out for its musical merits. The best soundtracks tend to do both well. So I take it that your friends probably don't listen to movie soundtracks outside of a movie either, right? It seems like a form of closed-mindedness to me. I bet most people who feel that way probably have no problem with band music. What you should do is find some rock'n VGM of high sound quality or something but perhaps not tell them that the music is coming from a videogame. See if somebody likes it then. That might tell you whether or not it's just a personal notion about the nature of VGM. It's silly for people to close themselves off to certain things based on image, but it absolutely happens. Of course, it's also true that people prefer to stick with the safe and the familiar, but I think most cases of people not giving themselves a chance of liking VGM have more to do with "OMG, listening to VGM would be so embarrassing". That's certainly the case with my long-time friend, who will often joke around and say something sarcastic like, "Oh yeah, we're jamming now..." when I play some VGM.

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vuigun
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 06:55 PM Local time: Aug 19, 2006, 06:55 PM #5 of 22
Originally Posted by Megavolt
What you should do is find some rock'n VGM of high sound quality or something but perhaps not tell them that the music is coming from a videogame. See if somebody likes it then. That might tell you whether or not it's just a personal notion about the nature of VGM.
The funny thing is that I just thought about that a few days ago after I let my friend listen to the Sonic CD Japan Gamerip (she said she just couldn't get into it due to it being "gaming" material). I think I'll try to do that sometime.

In regards to what you said about people being close-minded due to "image". I do believe a lot of people do this. Such as when me and another friend were chatting about old TV shows and Pokemon came up. She said she loved listening to the ending show songs when she was a kid. I told her I could give her the soundtrack but she said "I'm a little too old for that now".

I think others just subciously do it to though (such as everything having it's "proper" place) which turns them off from it as well). I guess that would be subciously close-minded.

I'm curious to see the views of the people who just don't like the style of VGM (since I'm sure that's a reason some don't really care for it outside the game either).

I was speaking idiomatically.
Rydia
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 07:03 PM Local time: Aug 19, 2006, 04:03 PM #6 of 22
Not at all. I have several soundtracks from games I've never even played before. But if I know that I'm going to play the game first, I tend to avoid listening to the soundtrack, if possible. It seems to make the game a little more interesting and memorable when all the music is unfamiliar.

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Old Aug 19, 2006, 07:09 PM #7 of 22
Originally Posted by Rydia
Not at all. I have several soundtracks from games I've never even played before. But if I know that I'm going to play the game first, I tend to avoid listening to the soundtrack, if possible. It seems to make the game a little more interesting and memorable when all the music is unfamiliar.
Agreed. I spoiled much of Gitaroo Man by listening to the soundtrack so many times that by the time I was able to play the game I remembered just about every track and nothing was surprising.


I think that chiptune music is too annoying and that's the kind of music that I can't listen to outside of a game. Other than that, 95% of my music collection is vgm music, so there's really no complaint here. If anything, I complain if a song sounds too mainstream (and is), and it instantly forms a negative impression in my mind if it's mainstream

If the vgm music drags on or isn't particularly active, then I'm not inclined to listen to it outside of the game, but I won't refuse to.

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Onyx
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 10:53 PM Local time: Aug 19, 2006, 09:53 PM #8 of 22
Since I have so many game albums, there's no way I could possibly play all these games. The music for me is the most important part. I like to look at the title and its relation to the music to find the context as well. If I've played the game, then its a bonus.

Personally, I just ignore people who can't listen to VGM outside of the game. They're not worth the time. It's a shame though, because unlike most film music, video game music stands extremely well on its own. Anime music does too.

I guess there's this stigma people are afraid of, listening to video game music. People must think it makes them look nerdy or stupid or something. I don't really get it. Music's music.

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ZealPath
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 01:45 AM #9 of 22
I have started listening to music from some games I have not played in anticipation of liking them, I also have a tendancy to get my hands on the soundtracks of games I know I will be playing and listen only a select few tracks, just to get a feel for it.

I definitely prefer to let the soundtrack unfold in the game itself rather than listening to it all the way before playing (for example, I have not yet listened to FFXII's soundtrack, though I may dabble in a few of the tracks soon).

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aznmuzikboi
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 02:44 AM Local time: Aug 20, 2006, 12:44 AM #10 of 22
I see no problem with VG music being heard outside of a video game. In fact, I think all programmatic pieces are good if they can be listened to as stand-alone pieces. How else would true music-lovers appreciate that music with full concentration/attention?! When playing the game most of the attention is on the game and not the music, and that's not doing good VG music any good at all.

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vuigun
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 10:14 AM Local time: Aug 20, 2006, 10:14 AM #11 of 22
Exactly aznmuzikboi. I'm a pretty diverse music lover. I love all kinds of music which lead me to the VGM scene. There's just some great music out there and It's sad that other people can't/won't let themselves get into it.

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lightgem
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 11:52 AM #12 of 22
Everytime I hear Mako's reactor anywhere, which is a normal piece from FF7, my blood runs like crazy and I become all happy. However, if I hear some good pieces from Atelier series, I think they're good music and I really enjoy them, but the feeling I have with Mako's reactor is not there.
I do listen to VGM outside the games, but only for games that I know I'll never play, or will play in a long time away. Like Rydia and Summonmaster said, I don't want to "spoil" the games by listening to its music first, because when it come to the scenario contains the music that I know, my feeling is like "ok, good piece, it fits, nice, what next." I hate when things like that happen.

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Kanji
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 01:02 PM Local time: Aug 20, 2006, 12:02 PM #13 of 22
Heh, I'm actually the of the opposite opinion about being spoiled by soundtracks. I especially like it when I can fall in love with certain tracks from a soundtrack, and then hear it in context in a game later on. Often, I develop an imaginative context in my mind (of what I think the context will be like), and it's interesting to compare that with what context that the track actually has. I dunno.. The feeling of "Hey, I know this music~" is actually pretty cool to me.

Plus, there's so many great soundtracks out there. It'd be a shame for me not to listen to them, regardless of whether or not I've played the game.


More on topic, though... It's indeed a shame that people expect game music to be heard in-game, and have that stereotypical opinion that all game music is geeky. I've come across these kinds of people before too, and it's pretty hard to convince them that game music is simply music. Like Onyx mentioned... "Music's music."

As was mentioned in another thread somewhere, one of the biggest problems is that they're used to band music (= vocals, which most VGM doesn't have). Most people probably find it hard to appreciate purely instrumental music. Heck, it took me a while to appreciate non-vocals tracks, but the more I listened, the more I warmed up to it.

I was speaking idiomatically.
SOJC
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 04:49 PM Local time: Aug 20, 2006, 11:49 PM #14 of 22
Actually, they're some pieces of music that I think sounds better outside of the games, most of it's battle music, because most of the time you don't hear much of it, just the beginning.
But again, there's music that does sound better in the game. For me, 'You're Not Alone' from FF9 is a fantastic song outside of the game but inside the game, it's epic.

Up until about 3 months ago, I was always embarrassed to let people listen to my game music, because of the image it gave me...

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TheKnightOfNee
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 05:09 PM #15 of 22
Kind of contrary to some of the examples in the topic, I've noticed some people don't like listening to video game music just because it is from a video game. My mom is one of these people. She hates video games, so she immediately discredits music from games as not being good.

After her telling me a few times she didn't like music just because "it was in a video game", I tried doing what someone mentioned earlier, where I put on music but made no mention of its origin. The first thing she said was, "I don't like this. It sounds video game-y." She called it out even when I didn't tell her. Then I wondered, does video game music really sound that different from everything else?

Then, a couple months back, I got an idea. I burned a CD full of 70's music, mostly disco. This was music made before video games really had music, and before I was born. This was the stuff my mom liked when she was younger. And when I put it in, my mom sais, "Oh, this is video game music. I don't care for it." And about a minute later she said, "Oh wait, I know this song."

In conclusion, a lot of people don't really give video game music a fair shot, they just refuse to listen to it based on their presupposed ideas.

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Asura
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 04:33 AM Local time: Aug 21, 2006, 10:33 AM #16 of 22
In this context I have 3 types of video game music:

1. VGM from games I have played and I enjoy.
2. VGM from games I've never played/I'll never play that I enjoy.
3. VGM from games I will play and which I've never listened to.

For the ones metioned in type 3, ill wait untill I've played the game so I can
enjoy it even more after I played the game. Also to not spoil the music before
I've played the game, since the most important thing in games(99% RPGs) to
me is the music. I have to conclude this because almost everytime I liked
a game very much, conincidentally the music from that game was excellent.

I certainly can enjoy VGM from games I never played; my favourite VGM
comes from the dragon quest series and Ive never played a single DQ game
in my life .

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Old Aug 21, 2006, 05:03 PM Local time: Aug 21, 2006, 03:03 PM #17 of 22
I actually don't own a single song of "mainstream" music - bands, etc. - so I can never understand why people don't want to listen to video game music. It's just so awesome.

I actually play games because I hear the music from them and like it. That's why I got Unreal Tournament - the music was so awesome that I had to try it. Same with Ace Combat 5 and Magna Carta.

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Argentis
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 03:08 AM Local time: Aug 22, 2006, 09:08 AM #18 of 22
I haven't bought a mainstream album in ages - I've completely lost track of the charts. I rarely download a mainstream album. I guess I have always preferred instrumental music - so I love VGM. I am always embarassed when ppl ask me "So what kind of music do you like?" - Because the usual image that they get is the old 16 bit music - but then I play stuff that can stand on it's own (or find that person's genre) then hey they understand.

I don't play it around other people. And I do like getting a soundtrack before the game comes out - because in the case of the UK most games don't hit our borders (classic examples are Xenogears and Chrono Cross). I tend to find that I won't play half the games that I get soundtracks to - I just appreciate the composer's work plus it's inspirational.

Though in all fairness I find that with movie scores I need to watch the movie before buying the soundtrack, as I am not to familiar with movie composers as of yet ^^

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 03:59 AM #19 of 22
I have a tendency to enjoy music from games that I had some kind of emotional connection with. But, with any music that same notion applies. It just depends on what is going on in my life and/or whatever emotions I channel out while I listen to anything.

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 04:36 AM Local time: Aug 22, 2006, 11:36 AM #20 of 22
Originally Posted by Rydia
[...] if I know that I'm going to play the game first, I tend to avoid listening to the soundtrack, if possible. It seems to make the game a little more interesting and memorable when all the music is unfamiliar.
Yep, dito. Currently I'm playing Tales of Symphonia on my GameCube and I love the Desians and Renegades themes so I downloaded the whole soundtrack but at the moment I only listen to the first two CDs and don't touch CD 3 and 4.

To the topic: I have no problems with listening VGM outside of its game. Why I should? Of course there are tracks they will be "better" if you see the scene ingame but good's good and music's music. I agree with other posters who say most VGM is good enough to standalone (look at the Merregnon project!).

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 07:31 AM Local time: Aug 22, 2006, 11:31 PM #21 of 22
Listening to video game music - as well as film and television scores - before actually playing the game does have an effect, for me. As a warning, try to only listen to a musical soundtrack (Disney, broadway, etc.) by itself if you will definitely never view the play or film. Rather, don't listen to the soundtrack repeatedly, or enough times for the music to lose its effect.

Hearing excellent music frequently convinces me to want to play the game from which it originates, but in the case of Final Fantasy VII, I was severely disappointed. The music still shone, but the gameplay didn't. I don't know if it's because I'm not as avid a gamer as I thought, because I had listened to the soudntrack so much, because it was over-hyped, or because the technology wasn't as great. However, perhaps it would have been a better experience both ways if I had first seen and heard the audio and visuals together. Instead of dividing a film into sound and shiny pictures, isn't it better to experience it all together?

However, I think that listening to a soundtrack by itself once or twice and feeling inspired can be a great feeling. I lack the self-control to resist over-playing great songs, but if I didn't, I'm sure that these adverse effects would not have occurred.

There's something just not quite right when you're playing a game and know exactly what comes next in the music. It also causes you to concentrate more on the music, and may reduce the effect of the atmosphere.

I would never shun music simply because it's from a film or video game, but if it was from a hip-hop or rap game, then perhaps yes. However, most people will either go, "Err...right...VGM..." or "hahahah, mario musix!!!!11"

It's rare for me to dislike music on its own but like it when it's used in context. That is, if I dislike the music by itself, hearing it accompanying a video won't help much; it'll only add atmosphere. Video can make music seem more emotional and enhance its effect, but it's mainly in the music, for me.

I was speaking idiomatically.
l0stwhispers
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Old Aug 27, 2006, 01:28 AM Local time: Aug 27, 2006, 02:28 PM #22 of 22
Well, it really depends for me. If the music's not wholly based on the storyline of the game, then probably yes, I wouldn't mind listening to it if I haven't played the game. As long as it sounds good and pulls on a few heart strings or makes me want to get up and dance, I'm fine with it. ^^ I guess music really just comes as it is. If it tells a story in itself which I can understand without the help of the video game, then it will make sense to me and I'll most probably like it.

So yea... I don't really close out all VGM, only some. ^^

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