Stacy and I just got back from Video Games Livein Chicago. I think we both were blown away by the performance and the integration of the music and video.

 

It was being held at the Rosemont theatre near Chicago, and with Wizard World going on there were sure to be many interesting characters in the audience. As you can see, there was a nice long line waiting for the doors to open before the show. I would estimate from the amount of people in the theatre, that perhaps 4000 people were there for the show.

 

 

 

I think Stacy was most impressed by the variance of people attending. While the "nerd" quantity was high, you can see just how pervasive video games have gotten by the "average" people who were in the audience. The ones who dressed up in costumes were most amusing (Stacy loved the Super Mario Brother’s who took every moment to mug it up for photos), with Final Fantasy’s Cloud taking the costume prize of the show.

Outside of the colorful characters, we were there to see the concert which began at 8pm. The mix of the video being played of either in game footage or CG renders from the games, while the orchestra and chorus played a live score was sublime. Listening to the music hitting their cues from the on screen video, you would think that these professionals had been practicing for months. It turns out they are not part of the traveling show, and are local talent who nailed the performance with only a few days practice.

The music performed ranged from classics of Donkey Kiong, Tetris, Outrun, Sonic the Hedgehog, Dragon’s Lair all the way up to World of Warcraft and a finale of Halo.

I think the ones that struck me the most were the mix of orchestra and chorus for the Myst montage. It brought back memories of my father, and how he told us he would be this new thing of a CD-ROM for Educational Titles such as Encarta, but in reality he bought it for games like Myst which was out at the time. The World of Warcraft, and ultimately Halo were amazing as well.

They did a nice Medal of Honor score, but instead of in game footage, they used news reel footage of that era to give the sense of time, where this game had taken place. I thought it was a classy moment to honor what we may view as entertainment, was indeed derived from real world horror.

Pianist Lee Ann Leung, played a fury of music from the Final Fantasy, and ultimately Super Mario Brothers. The speed at which her hands moved on the big screen was amazing. (See Video Link below).

There was also a segment where a person who had done well in Space Invaders on the Fox News show, to come on stage and compete to win his Bonus score as cash. They used motion tracking on him to move the space ship on the big screen while he moved back and forth on the stage. Unfortunately he did not end up hitting the bonus ship before the timer reached zero.

 

Following the intermission they invited 2 random people from the audience to play Frogger on the big screen to compete in taking home a Ferrari branded Laptop worth $2,500. The runner up got the home version of Frogger that plugs into your TV.

Overall, the show was original, and inviting to all types of people. Stacy said she could see her parent’s or even her grandmother taking enjoyment from the performance.As video games continue to bring in more money than TV and Movies, I expect we will see more events of this type sprout up over time. We look forward to next year when the show rolls around town.

 

 The best moment was hearing Stacy giggle at sighting the "Rogues Do it from behind" T-shirt someone was wearing

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