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Video Games Are Good for You (or at Least Your Ears)

I don’t think this is what Obama had in mind when he talked about teachable moments with kids, but what the heck…

There’s a hidden benefit in playing video games: learning about classical music. This, I found out last night at Video Games Live!, a totally unique musical experience dreamt up by video game music composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall. Three giant screens showed spliced video game footage, while a live orchestra and choir performed (mostly) classical music from the games.

And the kids -- and, yes, adults in anime-like costumes -- went wild. The highlights included an awesome take on the The Legend of Zelda and sweet remixes of cult classics, like Castlevania and Donkey Kong. Kids will more likely go crazy for the music from newer, more visually dramatic, games like Halo, Final Fantasy, and the World of Warcraft, though.

Tallarico was an entertaining host -- and personable and charming enough to convince a mom that a kid can be a gamer and a social rock star: “Some people think that video game music is nothing but simplistic bleeps and bloops,” he opened up, successfully pulling a boo out of the crowd. “This is an art form! There’s a reason why video games are the entertainment of choice for the 21st Century!”

So fess up: have you ever paid attention to the soundtrack to your kids' video games before?