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Grammys to Start Recognizing Video Game Music

Grammys to Start Recognizing Video Game Music (photo)

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Let’s face it: video game music is under-appreciated.

When it comes to the component parts of what makes up a video game experience, graphics, understandably, gets all the glory. Shiny textures and character models are the first thing a person sees even before they get to pick up a controller. Of course, it’s only when the interaction with gameplay starts that the true heart of a game stands revealed. So, if it’s graphics eventually getting overpowered by gameplay, the music comes in a distant third. And that’s only if you ignore other elements like AI programming.

But, people–unlikely people, mind you–are paying attention. As part of a restructuring of the Grammy Awards announced last week, music from video games will now eligible for nominations in four categories. Games music will compete against compositions from movies and TV in the newly re-named Visual Media field.

The official explanation from the Recording Academy says:

Film, TV or Other Visual Media: While none of the categories nor their criteria have changed, it was determined that a new name for the Field (with parenthetical descriptor) and Categories would be both forward-thinking and more inclusive.

It doesn’t name-check games specifically, but you gotta assume that they’re thinking about it when they use words like inclusive. Here’s how the new categories will look in next year’s ceremonies:

Grammys category change chart.png

Film soundtrack composers have long been doing music for video games, with the most notable recent example being Hans Zimmer’s contributions to “Crysis 2”. When you look at the innovative work that’s been done with stuff like the dynamic soundtrack in last year’s “Red Dead Redemption,” this recognition by the Grammy folks feels a bit overdue. You can’t help but think that Christopher Tin’s recent nomination and win for “Civilization IV” soundtrack Baba Yetu opened the door for this category shift.

Indeed, Bill Freimuth, Vice President, Awards gets quoted in Industry Gamers, saying that the Recording Academy may be open to even further recognition:

“I think this could be viewed as a first step in the direction of video games getting their own category. 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,” added Freimuth. “It’s been proven more and more each year with top name artists, top composers and leading orchestras working in this medium.”

So, the next time you load up an epic RPG or an adrenalin-fueled FPS, have a care and take note of the music. If the people responsible win a Grammy, you can play it cool and say you knew about them before anyone else.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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