Ossu! Tatakae! Ouedan!
Rez HD
Space Channel 5

Music-Games Exhibition

Jan 29 2010 - Feb 6 2010
Entrance fee: 
free

17 different computer games with music at the core of their gameplay: highlights of an ongoing convergence between the music and game industries. The chosen examples were all published as consumer products and illustrate shared principles of popular culture. Historical landmarks such as ‘Moondust’ from 1983 complement block busters from 2009´ like ‘Rockband’ or ‘Brütal Legend’. Links to specific music scenes – e.g. Beatlemania, Heavy Metal, DJ-culture or simply Pop – are aesthetically prominent or define the games’ narratives. The exhibition is open for playing and participation, offering both contrast and reference points to the art installations and performances at the festival.

Depending on the activities of the participants, the games themselves create the soundscape of the exhibition. By establishing an open (acoustic) situation, the set-up is as authentic as it can be. The exhibition design does not try to pretentiously overstate the origin of the pieces; they are commercial products made for private use and as such want to be played. The individually designed spaces favor mutual experiences and shared enjoyment. Nevertheless, they also display their competitive and regulated structures.

The rigid framework of computer games allows new forms of interaction with music, but at the same time always includes a way they are ‘meant to be played’. The empirical measurement of performance, in particular, simultaneously contrasts and complements free forms of (music) play.

Designed by students of the seminar ‘Participation in Cultural Projects’ convened by Katrin Werner, European Media Studies program of the University of Potsdam and the University of Applied Studies Potsdam.
www.emw.eu
Acoustic Consulting and Design by Georg Spehr and Jana Sotzko.
www.udk-berlin.de/sites/soundstudies/

Brütal Legend

Double Fine Productions (Tim Schafer), EA, 2009, Xbox 360

This ultimate exploitation of Heavy Metal subculture comes with support
from Hollywood actor Jack Black as the headbanging protagonist
equipped with a powerful electric guitar.

Dance Dance Revolution

Konami, Konami, 1998, Arcade

As part of the pioneering Benami-series, Dance Dance Revolution
brought real life dancing into arcade halls with the help of sensor-equipped
dance mats.

DJ Hero

FreeStyle Games (Will Townsend), Activision-Blizzard, 2009, Xbox 360

This alteration of ‘Guitar Hero’ includes almost 100 mixes from artists
like Daft Punk and DJ Shadow – all to be performed live on turntable interfaces.

Electroplankton

Indies Zero (Toshio Iwai), Nintendo, 2005, Nintendo DS (NDS)

Originating in an interactive art installation, this game defies traditional
boundaries between game, art and business. The player manipulates
various underwater landscapes in order to create dynamic musical
compositions.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Rockstar Games (Dan Houser, Rupert Humphries), Take 2, 2008, Xbox 360

Contemporary music and subculture as an aesthetic element. In-game
radio stations with more than 200 licensed songs composed by celebrities
such as Iggy Pop or Karl Lagerfeld provide the soundscape for this
critically acclaimed satire on the American way of life.

Loom

Lucasfilm Games (Brian Moriarty), Lucasfilm Games, 1990, PC

Using music patterns as the main ingredient for player actions, this
graphic adventure exemplifies a departure from classical control
schemes in the adventure genre.

Moondust

Creative Software (Jaron Lanier), Creative Software, 1983, C64

A precursor to its genre. A generative music game that combines gameplay
with evolving ambient soundscapes.

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!

iNiS (Keiichi Yano), Nintendo, 2005, NDS

The J-Pop fueled story of a male cheerleader dance group, heavily inspired
by Japanese popular culture.

Otocky

Sedic (Toshio Iwai), Ascii Corporation, 1987, Famicom

Introducing music-dependent gameplay to the video game world, this
shooter game lets players melodize their game actions in an abstract
voyage through space.

PaRappa the Rapper

NaNaNon-Sha (Masaya Matsuura), SCEE, 1996, Playstation

A truly Japanese product. This Hip-Hop-game stars a two-dimensional
dog engaged in numerous rap battles.

Patapon

Pyramid/Japan Studios (Hiroyuki Kotani), SCEE, 2008, Playstation Portable

Rhythm meets real-time strategy. As in archaic times, attacks are
orchestrated by talking drums. In order to succeed, the player must
perform an ongoing ‘Patapon’ – a combination of two Japanese onomatopoeia
for clapping and knocking – repeated in various rhythmic
patterns.

Patapon

Pyramid/Japan Studios (Hiroyuki Kotani), SCEE, 2008, Playstation Portable

Rhythm meets real-time strategy. As in archaic times, attacks are
orchestrated by talking drums. In order to succeed, the player must
perform an ongoing ‘Patapon’ – a combination of two Japanese onomatopoeia
for clapping and knocking – repeated in various rhythmic
patterns.

Rez HD

United Game Artists (Tetsuya Mizuguchi), SEGA, 2008, Xbox 360

Featuring tracks by artists such as Ken Ishii and Coldcut, this abstract
shooter game weaves together mesmerizing electronica and game
flow, leading to complete musical immersion.

Rhythm Paradise

Nintendo (Tsunku, Yoshio Sakamoto), Nintendo, 2009, NDS

A collection of mini games that extracts rhythmic tasks from everyday
sounds and situations.

SingStar

SCEE (Paulina Bozek), SCEE, 2004, Playstation 2

Sony’s cross-marketing of in-house music licenses turned video game
consoles into karaoke machines long before the rise of TV casting shows.

The Beatles: Rock Band

Harmonix (Eran Egozy, Alex Rigopulos), EA, 2009, Xbox 360

The culmination of the economic convergence between game and music
industries: a life-sized plastic set of musical instruments combined
with the most profitable music franchise ever: The Beatles.

Vib-Ribbon

NanaOn-Sha (Masaya Matsuura), SCEE, 2000, Playstation

The literal meaning of the phrase ‘playing a song’. Any chosen personal
music track is translated into a game level of sound-related obstacles.