Ever found yourself humming to some of the tunes you heard while playing video games? You just enjoyed listening to video game music (VGM). However, some think it is weird to listen to video game music on its own, as it usually does not have a vocal, nor is it popular with many. So is it weird to listen to video game music?
It is not weird to enjoy video game music (VGM). Video game music is known to be able to inspire, motivate and help listeners to focus. This is because the original intention of video game music is to provide background music that helps plates to focus on the game and remain motivated to tackle the challenges.
In this post, we explore the genre of music called video game music and discuss why people think it is weird to listen to it. We also explore the benefits of listening to it and some of the best and most iconic video game music ever made.
If you are looking for guitar tabs for some of the most popular video game music, feel free to check out our VGM guitar tab collection.
What Is Video Game Music?
Video game music is a game’s background music. Video game music can be as classical as the 8-bit, monotone, electronic music, or a massive orchestral musical piece. Video game music is composed to help players to focus and stay motivated to play, so they tend to be less attention-grabbing.
You may think of video game music differently depending on your age range. Gen-Xers of early millennials may think of VGM as those monotone, 8-bit music you hear out of your Nintendo consoles. Examples of popular and iconic VGM from this era include the Super Mario Bros and Tetris themes.
Later video game music evolved as technology allowed the addition of complete audio and resulted in more complex VGMs. VGMs from the 90s may be complex enough to include metal-like music such as the Death March in the Red Alert series or full orchestral music pieces in games such as Halo.
Some video game music may take up soundtracks from popular artists and include them in their games. The sports titles from EA Sports are known to do this frequently. Some popular games, such as the Grand Theft Auto series, also mash these popular tracks into a radio channel.
Generally, video game music is designed and composed to accompany the players as they play. The goal is to keep the player focused and motivated to continue taking on the game’s challenges and progress. As a result, many listen to video game music when working to help them focus.
Some video game music has also become an icon, easily used to describe an era. For example, many would think of the Super Mario Bros theme as iconic of the 80s, during the days of Nintendo GameBoy, Sony Walkman, and MC Hammer.
Is It Weird Or Not To Listen To Video Game Music?
Generally, it is not weird to listen to video game music. This is because video game music has its legion of fans and, if used properly, may help to increase focus and productivity. Video game music can also bring you to a better state of mind, as it helps you to relax.
Some people may find listening to video game music weird for many reasons, but in general listening to video game music is not weird. If listened to at the right time and place, it can help you in many ways.
Helps You To Focus: Video game music is originally composed as background music to help players focus on the game. As such, you can use video game music outside of gaming too. Listen to it while working on tasks requiring high focus, which may just help you get the job done.
Increase Productivity: Since video game music may help you focus, you may be able to complete your work better and faster. As a result, you will simply get more things done over the same period of time, compared to if you turn on the radio, where you may hear people talking and distract you.
Drives Motivation: Video game music also motivates and drives your spirit to play the game. Video game makers know it may be better to motivate the players as they play, so they take on the challenges in the game. Some iconic video game music is highly motivational, and some say ‘hair raising.’
Suppose you are running and are trying to push yourself to finish that final 5KM. Perhaps if you listen to some of the tunes from Initial D, you may be driven enough to complete the run.
Relaxes Your Mind: Some video game music can easily help you relax, especially after a long work day. Some video game music was composed to relax you and slow down your pace and actions, especially turn-taking strategy games such as those from the Total War series.
For example, if you listen to some of the background music from Medieval II – Total War, you may just want to chill by the fireplace and pour yourself a drink to relax.
Brings Back Memories Of Good Times: Video game music can also help to make us feel better. This is because it may bring back memories of us growing up and playing those iconic video games without worries about the world.
Many people also will mention how they feel nostalgic when they suddenly hear iconic old video game music such as the Super Mario Bros, Tetris, or the earlier Pokemon music.
Why Do Some People Find Listening To Video Game Music Weird?
Listening to video game music may be weird to some, as the music is often not arranged in ways that fit popular, radio-friendly music. Many also do not feature vocalists. Video game music also is not listened to by many. Some video game music is written to excite and motivate, but in a way that does not seek attention.
Not The ‘Usual’ Music: To many, music means listening to songs that feature a singer, with instruments playing in the background, and perhaps with some beats to drive their energy. As such, they may find video game music slightly weird since this music are not what they commonly hear on the radio.
No Vocalists: Video game music can also be weird to some since they often do not feature vocalists to avoid distracting the players. Most popular music today features vocalists singing songs with lyrics.
Not Popular: Many people listen to popular music to keep up with the trends. When they listen to video game music, they may find it weird as they may not have heard of the music. People who have never played video games smay find video game music weird.
Uncommon Style: The most uncommon thing about video game music is that it has an odd vibe of being exciting and motivating, yet does not try to stand out and grab attention. Adding up the fact that it often does not have vocals and is not radio-friendly makes people feel weird about listening to video game music.
What Are Some Of The Most Iconic Video Game Music?
Some of the most iconic video game music include the Super Mario Bros Theme, Hell March From the Red Alert series, The Pokemon Theme, Doom Theme, and the Tetris Theme. These tracks either engender focus, drive up motivation, or bring out a feeling of nostalgia in many listeners.
Super Mario Bros Theme: Composed by Koji Kondo in the key of C major, this tune features a swing rhythm with prominent use of syncopation (start-stop effect). The original tune is composed on a small keyboard and appeared on the Super Mario video game in 1985. Later installments of the tune may be played as a calypso song with a steel drum.
Hell March: This music is composed by Frank Klepacki for the Red Alert strategy game series. Arranged in a heavy metal style, it is accompanied by the sounds of the boots of soldiers marching down. There are also sounds of an officer barking in German.
Listeners attribute the music to motivation and excitement to tackle tasks awaiting them. The Hell March is still listened to and used even in military camps today.
Pokemon X & Y Theme: Pokemon is also one of the most popular video games that have been around for decades, similar to Super Mario Bros. The theme music has also evolved from the monotone 8-bit tune to a full-on orchestral piece, as seen in the theme for Pokemon X and Y. Listeners commonly mention how the music is uplifting and motivates them.
Doom Theme: Doom is also one of the earliest First Person Shooter (FPS) video games that are still being remade and sold. The 2016 theme has an orchestral, heavy metal vibe that can easily be listened to during a workout to keep up the energy and motivation.
Tetris: Tetris’s original theme is not composed from scratch but a classic Russian folk tune Korobeiniki. The classic 8-bit tune is so iconic that it immediately could bring out the nostalgic feeling amongst many boomers, gen-Xers, and maybe early millennials. Many also mentioned how they itch to get on a Tetris game right after hearing the tune.
If you are looking for the guitar tabs of these iconic video game music, feel free to check out our video game music library. You can access tabs or musical scores of these iconic tunes to play at home.