Computer games meet philharmonic orchestras: Explain again how this online world ain’t real?

Angry Birds and the reality of social media (Picture: Yaniv Golan via Flickr)Even though I am not a gamer these days (I feel like an adult now), gaming is big business and the lingo, characters and culture within games is becoming as pervasive as the culture thrust down our throats on the telly every night.

What has this got to do with Northern Territory businesses exploring Social Media as a marketing tool? A lot.

Let’s imagine you are a fair dinkum, busy business owner slaving away at your work and exhausted at the end of each day.

The last thing you want to hear is that you now need to be paying attention to that internet thing because that’s where ‘the future is’.

The trouble is, I think that last night’s concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring some Angry Birds, just proclaimed that the future is NOW.

The orchestra and the games

Philharmonic orchestras like symphony orchestras (you could argue they are one and the same) are very good at playing dramatic, cinematic music. Most movies you watch have orchestral music providing the score, adding richness and depth to your experience, often without you knowing it’s there. Try playing a movie with the music soundtrack turned off – the whole production will seem flat and lifeless and your concentration will wander.

Enter the world of online and computer games.

Any game worth its salt these days has a strong musical core to drive the playing experience.

From Wagner-like, dark, moody pieces to lighter, jig-style music, gamers become exposed to these soundtracks for countless hours. As a result, these tunes get burned into their psyches and often echo through their day-to-day lives as their own soundtrack. I think that is how culture is formed?

Some recent figures claimed gamers would spend six billion US dollars on virtual game products this year (enhancements for their online playing space) while cinema goers would only spend about 2.5 billion on actual physical products.

Understood in that light, it makes sense then that the London Philharmonic tapped into a growing and lucrative part of our economy and created ‘art’ for this segment of the community.

If you want to see and hear some of the music being played, this clip will give you a taste.


So whether or not this is your cup of tea, I think it is fair to say that even if you don’t want it to be so, when you see a conservative institution like an orchestra playing gaming music, it is time to concede that these online communities and networks are real and are worth taking some time to understand for the sake of your business.

I am not saying you need to play online shoot-’em-up games and sling Angry Birds at squatting pigs, but I am saying that pigs are indeed flying and you could be leaving money on the table while you delay pushing the ‘start’ button to your online investigations.

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