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05/02/2003

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Draigon

Maybe the common thread is interactive art forms or maybe even just a fantasy theme. If you think about it, alot of musicians become roleplayers on stage.

I've been a song writer for bands, played on stages around Orlando, and have definitely spent alot of time recording music with sound software. Alot of good memories have been small gaming parties after practices or shows.

agentm

In Olympia, there's such a huge independent music scene that it's hard not to know how to play an instrument or two. You see gamers, ravers, and indie kids alike, all with music singles rotating around the city. True, the more punkish kids seem to dominate the scene - but interestingly enough, it's the punk kids I see at Gamespot and Olympic Cards and Comics.

I've written and played music for years, and I see the same crowds at the guitar shop as I do in the game corners of all the local stores. I don't think it's a coincidence, either. Call it a left brain, right brain thing, I don't know... I'd like to know just what it is. But that's what I see.

jeremy

all of the above...

trevor

the worst part is when working on music gets in the way of some gaming time. how can one expect to beat metroid prime. when one can only get a couple hours in a week? [between, job, and recording].

Jason

Gaming and music (playing/writing) are my two biggest pass times.

Bowler

I was a musician all through high school, I've created music using software aps recently, and I also animate, which if you could see what an exposure sheet looks like, you might see a correlation between it and sheet music :)

Chronomantic

I can't say if there's any real connection between musical talent and tendancy to game.

I myself used to sing in choir and play a few instruments, but as the last two years have gone by, I've dropped those (out of lack of interest and) to persue some more math and comp sci oriented things. I've been thinking of picking up a few turntables and giving the DJ thing a try too, but I'm not sure. However I spend a lot of my time playing comp games, mostly of the FPS genre. I used to be really into console gaming and RPG's, but recently all of the ones coming out just haven't been -that- good. The last real good console RPG I remember playing was Chrono Cross, which I played almost straight through until completion. Computer style RPGs don't seem to really catch my attention too much, open ended play always leaves me confused at what I should be doing or where I should be going. And if it's not multiplayer, it's also really lonely. ;P

However one of my friends has always played the piano, and just recently picked up choir. He enjoys a lot of console RPGs, and the few games that actually do make it out for mac. But he's in theatre too, and when high school band is not owning him, dance dance revolution is.

Another friend I have does choral things and plays the guitar, and enjoys console RPGs and RTS games.

However, on the other side of the spectrum, another close friend I have and all of his friends are all into the IT and Comp Sci thing, and habitual gamers on the side. They never really were into any sort of musical activity, and seem to generally play a lot more computer RPGs and of course, FPS style games.

I guess the genre taste can be attributed to the upbringing, but I think we all grew up with consoles.

As far as musical talent versus tendancy to gameage? Who knows. However if you are looking at creativity versus tendancy to gamage, I'll think you find that every gamer also does a little bit of something creative on the side. That's probably just because every person seems to do a little something creative anyway.

ZYirAH

Interesting thoughts.

Just wanted to mention that not all comp sci / IT types are non musical. I worked in application development for years and very many of the people I worked with were hobbiest musicians (very many were gamers also). I was always surprised to find out that yet another co-worker was fluent in one or more musical instruments. I've also played several instruments over the years.

I'm back in school now in a game dev program and I'm seeing the same pattern again. A high percentage of my classmates are also musicians (and most everyone in the program has previous programming experience so they've been both for a while).

It's interesting. Maybe music is just the sort of thing that since so many people play music, it's statistically probable that a large percentage of any subgroup of the population will also. I dunno, I'm just tossing out ideas.

Miles Jacob

i find electronic music composition in particular to be very analagous to game level design... i think of level design as architecture made musical, your experience of the space is a melody, combining the rhyhm of button presses with the continuity of state changes. i also think level design applications and piano rolll style MIDI sequencers can share alot of ideas fruitfully. for one thing, why do the notes have to be played in a linear left to right fashion? there are certainly a number of videogame influenced ways in which one could compose pieces of music and then "play" them in different ways.

of course theres also the visceral connection between "playing" a game through the controller and "playing" music with an instrument. indeed i think if we could create gameplay systems with as long and interesting a learning curve as a musical instrument we would really be getting somewhere. instrument-playing is a lifelong gaming addiction :) (though of course we'd have to get pass the whole accessibility aspect which drives profits to do that)

Rick

It's 4am here so I have to be quick/get to bed. I play the guitar in a near london based metal/rock band and i draw loads of influence from games, say somone dies in an RPG or somthing that can make me want to write a song, or change the way I was looking at or playing a riff I just wrote... Sorry It's really late I may not be making any sense ^_^ Also if anyone here plays an instrament I'm looking to make a band that is games related, if your interested mail me and I'll tell you what I'm on about.

Thx

Rick.

Matt Johnson

I'm a Computer Science grad student and have been a gamer all my life, but the only thing I've been doing longer is music. I've been playing the violin since 3 and singing since before I could talk. I've been in a few orchestras and in a few operas, but most interesting in relation to this topic is my experience in a boys choir when I was a wee lad.

I noticed that every single boy in the choir, all of whom were gifted singers and often played another instrument, loved to game. I don't know if this is indicative, but I still lan with my buds from choir 13 years later. Whole loads of us get together...it can't just be coincidence.

When I noticed this strange phenomenon continue through the years as both my younger brothers went through the choir and also gained tons of gamer friends, I decided to give the duality of music and gaming a good think. I began to notice little things. Spending most of my time at the department, I always chuckle as the men and women undergrads walk by my door unconciously whistling and humming the dungeon song from Zelda, the chocobo theme, the beginning level theme from Super Mario World, and other tunes from games they've played. Most times they don't even know what they're humming. However, when you point it out to them it reminds them of entire sections of their childhood. The music and the game are intrinsically linked in their minds, one working as a key to the other.

So, theme music is catchy, but that doesn't tell us much. I began to look in both the music department and the computer science department for other gamer/musicians. I began to find quite a few. When I asked them why they liked to game, the answer was strikingly similar to what they would say when I asked them why they were a musician. In both cases, it has to do with interactive art, much as was mentioned earlier in this board. They would mention that just watching TV or reading a book was too passive, in much the same way that just listening to music was too passive. I found the surprising correlation that most gamer/musicians had to strike deals with their parents in order to game more (1 hour of practice = 1 hour of gaming). Ah, the memories.

I began to get an idea. Gaming : Visual Entertainment :: Musical Performance : Aural Entertainment. With this in mind, I found many fascinating trends across my group of gamer/musicians. Most musicians would say that when they sat at a performance, especially of their particular medium, they would pick at the performance. Almost all said they would be rather performing themselves. However, they mentioned that they wouldn't mind as much if it was their friend performing. Additionally, just about everyone agreed that it was more enjoyable to perform music together with others. I find these attitudes towards musical performance and groups to be almost identical to gamers' attitudes towards gaming, musical or not.

I'm going on a bit long here, so I'll only mention one other observation, rather a recollection of research I read a while ago about the correlation between left-brained activities and music. It seems that many of the most successful scientists also loved music. As many know, Albert Einstein was a violinist. Benjamin Franklin played the viola da gamba. Of course, it goes both ways. Bach used mathematical techniques to compose his incredibly intricate fugues and Escher used precise geometry in his art. Therefore it doesn't surprise me at all to find that many gamers have this dichotomy of gaming and music within their lives.

Now, this doesn't even touch on music-based games and games played with music (DDR and musical chairs, anyone?) but I think that the proposal that there is a direct correlation between gaming and music is not too far off the mark. Cheers and happy gaming,

Matt

Matt Johnson

I'm a Computer Science grad student and have been a gamer all my life, but the only thing I've been doing longer is music. I've been playing the violin since 3 and singing since before I could talk. I've been in a few orchestras and in a few operas, but most interesting in relation to this topic is my experience in a boys choir when I was a wee lad.

I noticed that every single boy in the choir, all of whom were gifted singers and often played another instrument, loved to game. I don't know if this is indicative, but I still lan with my buds from choir 13 years later. Whole loads of us get together...it can't just be coincidence.

When I noticed this strange phenomenon continue through the years as both my younger brothers went through the choir and also gained tons of gamer friends, I decided to give the duality of music and gaming a good think. I began to notice little things. Spending most of my time at the department, I always chuckle as the men and women undergrads walk by my door unconciously whistling and humming the dungeon song from Zelda, the chocobo theme, the beginning level theme from Super Mario World, and other tunes from games they've played. Most times they don't even know what they're humming. However, when you point it out to them it reminds them of entire sections of their childhood. The music and the game are intrinsically linked in their minds, one working as a key to the other.

So, theme music is catchy, but that doesn't tell us much. I began to look in both the music department and the computer science department for other gamer/musicians. I began to find quite a few. When I asked them why they liked to game, the answer was strikingly similar to what they would say when I asked them why they were a musician. In both cases, it has to do with interactive art, much as was mentioned earlier in this board. They would mention that just watching TV or reading a book was too passive, in much the same way that just listening to music was too passive. I found the surprising correlation that most gamer/musicians had to strike deals with their parents in order to game more (1 hour of practice = 1 hour of gaming). Ah, the memories.

I began to get an idea. Gaming : Visual Entertainment :: Musical Performance : Aural Entertainment. With this in mind, I found many fascinating trends across my group of gamer/musicians. Most musicians would say that when they sat at a performance, especially of their particular medium, they would pick at the performance. Almost all said they would be rather performing themselves. However, they mentioned that they wouldn't mind as much if it was their friend performing. Additionally, just about everyone agreed that it was more enjoyable to perform music together with others. I find these attitudes towards musical performance and groups to be almost identical to gamers' attitudes towards gaming, musical or not.

I'm going on a bit long here, so I'll only mention one other observation, rather a recollection of research I read a while ago about the correlation between left-brained activities and music. It seems that many of the most successful scientists also loved music. As many know, Albert Einstein was a violinist. Benjamin Franklin played the viola da gamba. Of course, it goes both ways. Bach used mathematical techniques to compose his incredibly intricate fugues and Escher used precise geometry in his art. Therefore it doesn't surprise me at all to find that many gamers have this dichotomy of gaming and music within their lives.

Now, this doesn't even touch on music-based games and games played with music (DDR and musical chairs, anyone?) but I think that the proposal that there is a direct correlation between gaming and music is not too far off the mark. Cheers and happy gaming,

Matt

Adriana Marceau

The fact that a lot of gamers are also into music in some way, shape or form isn't really that much of a surprise. Especially since the marketing of computer games and music (for the most part) are all aimed at the same age group, 14 - 25 yr olds at least. Throw in the fact that every (wo)man and his dog plays some instrument or another and has a game console and the coincidence loses any of its surprise factor.

I'll admit that I'm a musician and I'm very much into gaming but just about everyone I know is into gaming and only some of them are musicians. I also have friends who are musicians and who have -never- played a computer game. The thing about this is that whether they're into music or games or both, they're also into everything else, from movies to theme parks. So to single out those two past times seems kind of silly.

Music and games are both entertainment. If you wanted to start taking this further, you could say that a lot of gamers are musicians, film buffs, writers, artists, programmers, etc etc etc. It's a given that if someone has a computer in their house, they're going to have a few games on it and game consoles are the new must-haves in houses, along with DVD players, VCRs, TVs etc.

So I don't think it's neccesarily that music and games attracts the same mindsets. They're marketed at the same people, so of course there are going to be countless people out there who are musicians -and- gamers, but those same people are probably going to be into movies as well. It's all mainstream entertainment.

I think I've repeated myself a bit here, but I only just woke up so I have an excuse. ;) Happy gaming chaps.

Kyle Jones

I play guitar, I sing, and I am a gamer-geek, so I suppose yeah.

Draigon

I agree it would be silly to associate the two, but I was just wondering how strong the correlation was.

twifkak

Played trumpet for ~7 years. Tried writing, was no good.

gameclu

I'm a hardcore gamer and musician. I have two music degrees, one in music synthesis and one in composition new media. I write electronic computer music. Most of my music is composed or performed live on my computer. Csound is my choice of software. The rupees in Zelda: The Wind Waker, reminds me of a piece I wrote called Rain. I assure you that I'm influenced by my love of video games.

onkeljonas

I've tried to learn playing an instrument for ages - but my attention span just doesn't cut it.

I'm one of those computer naturals - give me a week, a computer and a problem and I'll solve it - actually I'm like that with most things. But if it can't be done in a week I'm off.
I catch on real quick - and run away for something else almost as quick. I've had countless IKEA furniture and LEGO models - look at the manual for a few minutes I'll know how to assemble it, but years later it till haven't been done.

This also shows in my gaming preferences...
FPS's, RTS's that play real fast, beat-em-ups etc.
Not that I don't like a good adventure (I love em) but I don't think I ever completed one (same goes for my many hours of tabletop RPGs).
Likewise I have done countless half-started/finished (depends how you look at it) music- picture- and video projects (also quite a few halfhearted attempts at novels etc.) in my relatively short life (I'm 23).

Your "math-point" is quite fitting - I am very fascinated by patterns - be it in theoretical physics, Beethovens music, the behavior of tetris bricks and FPS bots or humans.

Oh... this got a little off topic - so to get back there again:
I think my point might be along the lines of "I'm a gamer who'd like to make music".

My uncle is a composer/musician/songwriter (almost able to live from it) and quite a gamer too. Time and lots of selfcontrol keeps his hours of gaming to a minimum (he just makes sure never to try new games) - but when he does stumble upon a good game, he's totaly lost. He - unlike myself - goes for games demanding quite the long attention span (all the MYST titles - he's an addict, Tropico etc.)

And for the record - he owns me at chess, i own him at backgammon.


*sigh* will I ever learn to keep it short!?

ION

Does anyone know where I can get the sheet music for the piano tunes on The Sims on PC?...they're exceptionally beautiful and calming...

ION

P.S. I play piano and guitar....and anything else I can get my hands on..

P.P.S. Game music is great... look at Chrono Trigger on the SNES, that damn music was stuck in my head for nearly a year...

Paul Weir

I was a big fan of games in my younger years, had a ZX81, Speccy then various Atari machines. As a professional composer, and someone who works primarily in writing music for games, there clearly is a correlation not just between game playing and composing but more specifically in programming and composing.

Both are open-ended problems which require specific models to form solutions. The logic involved in devising a path from point A to point B in music is not disimilar to that of programming and I believe that at one stage IBM deliberately recruited musicians as their approach to problem solving made them into excellent programmers.

Daniel Cutright

I've been makin music since I was 5. Started out on the piano. Sucked back then but, now I am a hardcore songwriter.

Of course, I got my 1st Nintendo back when I was 5. Around the same time I started on the piano.
Around 8years old, I learned to half-asked play Super Mario Brothers Theme heh.

After that I ended up getting a little more advanced when the PC came into existance. (At least, my existance anyway.)

Old program called, Visual Composer for DOS is what I used. I made some pretty interesting stuff.
Now I am using WinJammer 3.0 and as many soundfonts as I can get my greedy little hands on. You should hear some of the creations I've come up with.

My only problem is, (i think this applies to 50% of musicians\gamers) When I am making music, I alot of times never finish the song because I get this strange urge to play a SNES game or some High End game like Aliens vs Predator 2 online.
I can't stay away from video games. Its my life. If I am not sleeping or at work, I am on my PC doing something. Games, Music or Surfing for information\samples of both.

By now, I have grown to do ALL my music by ear, so it is very easy for me to sit down and listen to a song or game soundtrack and just start composing what I hear. Thats where I get good Timing Skills I would recon. I can sit down and eventualy get the timing of anything down pat.

I can keep a beat and properly change chords without it sounding like I am struggling. Only problem is, I can't play the drums like you should (I either hit it too hard or not hard enough and it screws my timing up.) so I tend to stick with PC Composition. I can however play any instrument you give me. Liek Guitars, I can play 1 string at a time, sometimes 2... All 6 if I tune the strings to play a chord when you strum it with no string being changed by your finger (whatever you call that) and then i use my thumb across all 6 strings to create my CDEFGAB chords.. heh Only problem with that is, if its Major Chords, ALL of them are major, if its Minor, same thing only minor. I can sometimes change a minor to a major when playing an F chord by bending my finger in an awkward way but I'd rather just play one string or 2 strings at a time.

Any other instrument, I'll teach myself how to play it. I guess I just have that nack that I can do anything if I just sit down with it for a while and play at my leisure.

Anyway... My goal in life is to create EITHER Actual Hit Songs for CD and Radio OR GAME Music, Soundtracks etc...

Thats my dream. Live off the royalties the rest of my existance. One day it will happen. But I have to do my part, and... I'm still working on it heh.


Daniel

Malkavian_Fever

Well, i've been a gamer a lot longer than I have been a musician..but yeah, i've definitely been quite into both of em. Especially when they get mixed, like in Amplitude...trust me, if you guys havn't played that, get your hands on a PS2 and that game...you'll be set for life......

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