Q&A: Video Games Live creator on favorites, rhythm games and motion control

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Tommy TallaricoHere’s the second part of my interview with Video Games Live creator Tommy Tallarico. The first part was posted Monday.

What’s your favorite part of the VGL experience?

As a video game composer, it’s connecting immediately to the audience, getting that instant feedback and energy, being able to bring this music all over the world. 100,000 people in China in one show. Brazil, New Zealand, Malaysia. Doing a live performance of this stuff is unique to most composers. Rare that they do live performances. Instant connection with people.

Do you prefer old-school game music or the newer compositions?

Both generations have great music and really crappy music. As a game composer who’s composed back then and now, one thing has always remained the same. Technology changes.  The one thing that’s never changed and never will is at the end of the day it’s still about a strong melody. Super Mario or God of War… It’s still all about melody. Some of the greatest video game music was written with barely any technology. Some of the most memorable things. I think 100 years from now people are still going to know the Mario music. That’s pretty impressive.

I don’t prefer one over the other but I think they’re both great.

How do you think the advent of rhythm games has affected video game music?

Fantastic. If you talk to anyone at guitar center or any of the major music outlets, they’ll tell you since Guitar Hero guitar sales have like doubled. Those games help to inspire people to get into it. Playing Guitar Hero on expert is sometimes harder than playing the real guitar. What’s great about games like that is it helps to get nongamers to play games and have fun.  I know many a person who don’t play video games but… Nintendo Wii, casual gaming, broaden the audience.

How do you think the rise of motion-controlled gaming will affect the future of video game music?

I look at it as still something that’s a little gimmicky, personally. I don’t think it will ever completely replace the controller, and I don’t want it to. There’s an attachment there and you gotta be pixel perfect. I think it’s cool. My mom bought a Wii for bowling … she wouldn’t have bought an Xbox or PS3 to play God of War. I just don’t think its going to take over the video games industry. Kinect, PS Move … It’s fun for a couple of days and it’s a cool side dish, but its never going to be the main course.

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