Ever since Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” theme won this year’s “Best Instrumental Accompanying Vocals” GRAMMY award, rumors have been circulating that video games will be getting their own special category at next year’s ceremony. According to a report from IndustryGamers, that might be the entire case. But word from the Recording Academy isn’t all bad news, as four GRAMMY categories have reportedly been amended to include Video Games as a medium of awards consideration.
“Best Song Written for Visual Media”, “Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media”, “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media”, and “The Music for Visual Media” are the four categories now including video games in its nominations.
“I think this could be viewed as a first step in the direction of video games getting their own category,” said Bill Freimuth, Vice President, Awards, The Recording Academy. “Many people from the game community have been asking us to create a special category for games over the years, but the main reason we haven’t is because we have received very few entries from game publishers…The Academy and the entire music industry recognize the value of video game music and what an interesting and unique art form it is…It’s been proven more and more each year with top name artists, top composers and leading orchestras working in this medium.”
“This acknowledges that film, TV and games can stand side by side and be independently recognized,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive, Music, Electronic Arts (and Academy voter). “Hopefully, this will create an even playing field when people vote next year. I expect there to be a tidal wave of submissions from the game industry…The recognition of video games within the GRAMMY Awards is not just significantly important for the interactive entertainment medium, but it shows that the Academy recognizes games are important for the future growth of their audience.”
“The composers and artists working in this field are consistently delivering at the highest level in entertainment,” said film composer Christopher Lennertz, whose Hop is currently the top movie in the U.S. “Because of the nature of video games, the musical score has an even greater responsibility to the drama: many times adding the subtext and emotional backstory that would be delivered by dialogue in a traditional film script. More than ever, a game score needs to not only set the mood and pace of an adventure, but also add stakes and drama to an ever evolving interactive storyline.”
“Games today are a huge part of the entertainment industry and the music scores being created for them are very unique sounding in many cases compared to film,” said Inon Zur, film and video game composer. “I believe that music for games has to take its own place from other genres to gain respect by the mainstream audience and the GRAMMY category will help achieve this.”
Could this be another cultural step forward for the games industry, E-Gs? Or is this just a ploy for a bigger audience share from the GRAMMYs? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section!