Posted in communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, music

Lord of the game, lord of the dance

Slow news day in the world of arts and science after Labor Day. But nonetheless I found an interesting editorial/sales pitch on the influences of traditional Irish/Celtic music on video games, especially the earlier ones (think Super NES).

The author explains one of the reasons behind this phenomena, simplicity: “Irish traditional tunes are simple, often unaccompanied melody lines that are brief, easy to remember and loop back upon themselves infinitely. Classic videogame melodies do quite the same thing, owing to limitations on the length and complexity of the music that a composer could create.” He goes on to make recommendations of what Celtic bands video game fans might like in a sort of Amazon-style “if you like this, you’ll also like that.”

In a way it’s a cool idea to expose people to the origins of their favorite video game soundtracks and to point out modern artists who have contributed to video game soundtracks, like the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack Celtic Moon (no explanation where the Mario Bros.’ theme came from) (ha-ha, now I’ve got it stuck in your head, haven’t I?). However, I also suspect this article is an excuse for the writer to expose/explain his love of Celtic music to a geek-base audience who loves backstories and the like.

For the record, I neither love nor hate Celtic music (my husband is a HUGE fan), and in fact take pride in my Irish heritage; Erin Go Bragh!



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.