I’m Making A Note Here: HUGE SUCCESS

These days, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a score from a video game and one from a major motion picture. If someone is not told which one is from which and listen to a piece from each, unless that person is well versed in the movie and video game music worlds, they would be hard pressed to know the difference. This also shows how music has changed over time in the gaming world.

On Monday, my wife and I were able to go to a performance of Video Games Live. We had been to a performance once before at BlizzCon 2008 where they did a set of all Blizzard pieces, so knowing a little bit what to expect made us look forward to it greatly. This time we were treated to music from a wide variety of gaming, from Pong and the 8-bit era all the way to current titles.

For the week leading up to VGL I would randomly get the Zelda theme and the Dark World theme from A Link to the Past, as well as some of the Mario level themes. If you follow my Twitter feed or happen to be a friend on Facebook, you will have noticed many references about going to the performance. To say I was excited was a bit of an understatement, and I was not disappointed.

I am continually amazed by the quality of the music in the gaming industry. There are certain themes in movies or television shows that have become part of popular culture, like the Star Trek theme. Yet, there are songs like the Mario theme which are equally as part of our popular culture as anything else. In front of the right audience, people will recognize gaming music more than others.

There was a wide range of games represented through the evening. As I mentioned, it begun with Pong and a set with 8-bit and 16-bit games, and as I saw the videos of the games go by I couldn’t help but have fond memories of times gone by. StarFox, Zelda, Mario, F-Zero, Final Fight, among many others. From there, they did more specific themes from other game series like Castlevania, Street Fighter, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross.

There were three things that I was wanting to see through the night: Warcraft (of course), Zelda, and Mario (specifically a certain piano piece from Super Mario World from the sky zones). Thankfully all were played, but unfortunately without Lament of the Highborne from Burning Crusade. All were played excellently, and it really gives a great sense of immersion in the games even though you’re just watching videos with an orchestra on stage.

If there was ever any doubt of how much of an impact a certain song can have on a game, a good example would be a certain song from Final Fantasy VII, “One Winged Angel“. As the song was announced, the entire auditorium burst into cheers and people sang along to the chants of “Sephiroth!”

My wife had mentioned to me that she was hoping to hear “Still Alive” from Portal, and if they hadn’t played it we were going to ask them at the meet and greet afterwards. Sure enough, for the finale we were treated to a sing-along version of the song. It was just the soloist singing and Tommy Tallarico on guitar, and it was awesome.

I give Mister Tallarico lots of credit for what he has done. Showcasing video game music is one of the best ideas to come up in a long time, as it is something that needs to be seen. People put their hearts into composing what some people take for granted as background music, and it’s great to see it out in front.

If you haven’t already, I would suggest that you play World of Warcraft with the music on and turn it up. It is excellent, and can be bought through iTunes. I would highly recommend it.

Still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up

Pretty soon, I’ll be turning 25 years old.  It’s a little bit scary, because I still have no clue what I want to do when I grow up.  What’s even worse is that it’s right now.

After high school, I was certain that I would do something along the lines of computer engineering, programming, and things like that.  Because of that, I went to NAIT‘s Computer System Technology program, which offered various types of things to do such as programming and web design.  At the time, I was more interested in the web design part, so I was looking forward to the second year when I could specialize in that.

From my year at NAIT, I learned a few important things.  First and foremost: I don’t like programming.  I just don’t think I have that much of an analytical mind that can handle that much raw logic.  Secondly: people can be jerks very easily.  You help them out one day, the next they stab you in the back because they feel like it.  Lastly: idiots come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Halfway through the first semester, they announced that they were removing all specializations except for programming.  Considering that I went there in the first place to learn web design, that frustrated me tremendously.  After that, my focus and will to be there disappeared very quickly.

So, after being without a job for about 8 months, I got a call from Scotiabank asking if I wanted a job as a teller, and I’ve been there ever since.  Over 6 years… wow, how the time flies.  Yet, I don’t think I can see myself working there for the rest of my life.

My dream jobs are definitely the typical dream jobs.

  • Community Manager at Blizzard.  Yeah, no surprise to anyone there – I’m such a Blizzard fanboy, I’d work there if I could be the coffee boy.  Alternately, if I could survive on a Game Master’s salary, I’d do that as well.

As well, I keep checking fansites like WoW.com for when they’re hiring.  If something comes up with a topic that I can see myself devote effort to, I’ll apply in a heartbeat.  Plus, then there would be another Edmontonian on the staff there.

  • Author.  I have a great respect for people who can create an immersive universe that can captivate the people who read it.  Recently, I’ve been enjoying the works of Brandon Sanderson, whose books have totally won me over.  I would love to be able to just sit down, let my imagination run wild, and put it into words.
  • Musician.  Who hasn’t ever dreamed of being in a band?  I love music and anything to do with it.  If I could take that passion of mine and earn money with it, that would be more than just a little bit of fun.
  • Or, I could just win the lottery.  Yeah, right.

Through all of this, I still find myself having times at work when I love my job.  Yet, there’s just so many times I get up in the morning and dread going to work.

I doubt I’m the only one.

What have I gotten myself into?

I don’t know what came over me last night.  I was fooling around with my iPod touch while being bored, and signed up for a WordPress account.  I’m hoping that I can actually get this blog going, and most importantly stick with it.

Hopefully, this blog will be about a bit of everything.  World of Warcraft, other gaming, music, more than likely my family will pop up, and of course the random rant.

Welcome to my blog, hopefully it’ll get better over time.