While I looked at some faces during the Video Games Live concert I attended last Monday, I felt the whole concept was probably very foreign to a few people.
For those of you who don’t know VGL, it’s essentially a concert where a symphonic orchestra plays music from video games. You might have gathered as much from the event’s title. However, it’s really much more than that. It’s a sort of gathering: people take part in cosplay and video game competitions on-site, actively express themselves during the show and can meet the artists and creators afterwards. One spectator who won the Guitar Hero competition that took place before the concert got up on stage, played The Pretender (Foo Fighters) with the orchestra and reached more than 400 000 points on expert level in front of the whole crowd.
Between segments of the show, short videos were presented. This was by far my favorite.
Now some people, who were probably invited there by family and friends (including an angry-looking 80 years+ old couple), looked a little perplexed by the whole thing. Their faces were precious. If you don’t know or appreciate video games, the show might seem a little boring. But it certainly must seem weird for people to listen to a concert where the crowd shouts and wears costumes, in the National Arts Center, of all places, especially if they don’t know what to expect of enthusiastic geeks.
I loved the concert and enjoyed the crowd’s enthusiasm. Of course, I didn’t know some of the games introduced during the show and I would have liked to hear more music from the games I play, but you can’t please everyone in just one concert.
The last piece was great: everyone sang together for the Portal song. I felt there was something for everyone. My younger sister was happy to watch scenes from games she played as a kid, people who aren’t into video games could still enjoy the music and the funny videos and hardcore gamers laughed at the inside jokes.
I recommend the show and the whole experience that comes with it, even if the tickets can be a little pricey. Just tell your grandma what it’s about before you drag her there. Or don’t. Your choice.
– The Geek Anthropologist