The Universality of Video Game Music Panel (Video)

If you attended PAX East 2015 last weekend, then I hope you were able to make it to my “Universality of Videogame Music” panel.

The panel, held in the Arachnid Theatre on Saturday, March 7 at 2pm EST, filled up to full capacity and there were reportedly hundreds more who were turned away. We’re clearly going to need a bigger theatre next year.

I was joined by panelists Brett Elston (VGMpire), Amanda Lepre (Descendants of Erdrick), Alyssa Menes (Freelance Composer), Shota Nakama (Video Game Orchestra) and Larry Oji (OverClocked ReMix) to celebrate our love and passion for videogame music, but to also help us all understand why we cherish it so much.

There was a lot of great discussion among the panelists. We talked about topics like whether videogame music is still a “niche,” what we can do to increase recognition for composers and what our hopes and dreams are for the future of the genre. Shota Nakama shared an amusing anecdote about how Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama reacted to Nobuo Uematsu’s “Opera” in Final Fantasy VI, and Brett Elston’s wish for game music to be more readily available for purchase elicited much applause from the audience.

After a brief Q&A, we challenged audience members to a “Name That Tune” contest where they had to correctly guess a tune from a videogame and receive prizes ranging from Video Game Orchestra’s “Live at Symphony Hall” album, Brave Wave and Keiji Yamagishi’s “Retro-Active Pt. 1” to OverClocked ReMix and Capcom’s “For Everlasting Peace: 25 Years of Mega Man.”

Some of our picks were admittedly obscure. Amanda Lepre’s choice of Carlo Perconti’s “Overworld” theme from Legend (SNES) stumped the entire crowd, but we were all impressed when someone from the front row recognized her pick of Yasuhiko Takashiba and Suguru Ishida’s “Rei” from Tuff E Nuff (Dead Dance in Japan). Other highlights include Access Games’ Swery (Hidetaka Suehiro) coming up during Shota Nakama’s pick of “Theme of D4” by MANYO, and the panel’s finale with Masato Nakamura’s “Casino Night Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The clapping and finger-snapping brought on by the audience during that last track made for a joyful way to end the panel.

After you watch the video of the entire panel above, please be aware that we still have one more leftover prize to giveaway! The first person who posts in the comments with the titles of each game represented in the panel graphic in the video’s introduction will win a free download code to The World is Square’s “Stay Awhile and Listen.”

Posted on March 14, 2015 by Patrick Kulikowski. Last modified on January 13, 2016.

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About the Author

I'm a Rutgers University graduate with aspirations of joining the game industry. I have a strong love for videogames and their music. When not serving as a contributing writer for Game Music Online and Gameranx, you'll see me working on my game music drum cover project "VGdrum" and managing my Breath of Fire Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube fan pages.

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