Video game soundtracks and in-game music have come a long way since the days when I began gaming. From the blips and whirs that you could hear as you passed the open caverns of your local arcades and isolated tabletop units at the pizza joint, to the incredible jazz renditions of the latest Mario Kart 8 game on the Nintendo Wii U, and everything in-between. Like now, can you think of a game, older or more recent, without thinking of the music you associate with that game? If I mention Super Mario Bros. to you, does the iconic theme song immediately come to mind? What about The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! (now titled Punch Out!)?
In a recent article from the New Yorker, this very subject was brought up, and the author Hua Hsu shared some amazing information. Much of the musical influence that we have today is due to the renowned composer Koji Kondo.
Koji Kondo, a Japanese fan of progressive rock and jazz exploring his post-collegiate plans, heard something different. He went to arcades because he liked the way they sounded. He heard the music of the future.
Take a look at the New Yorker article here, and let me know what you think about Mr. Kondo’s contributions. Do you agree that video games changed popular music, and how much so?