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Video Games Live [Nov. 22nd, 2008|06:17 pm]

This was the most fun I've had in a while. I grew up playing video games, they were part of my childhood and a means to escape from things when life at home was difficult. I was five years old when i saw my first video game -  it was the atari 2600 game Adventure which was set up at the local Kmart. Incidentally, that localKmart is still there but they sell  consoles that are a bit more advanced  these days.  As an adult video game continue to entertain and act a common cultural reference when I meet people (other guys mostly although there are women that play video games out there, just not as many I think) and an excuse to get together with people and socialize. When other guys might talk about sports and who scored that touchdown, I like to talk about the latest video games and comic books.

So I was pretty psyched about this Video Games Live thing. It seemed like an  idea who's time had come - todays video games much more sophisticated than Pac-Man, with  their own musical scores that could stand on thier own in any Hollywood movie. It's been running for a few year now and has become a worldwide phenomenom.At this event they played music from quite a few games, including BioShock, Castlevania, Civilization IV, Dragon's Lair, Final Fantasy, God of War, Halo, Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid, Metroid, Sonic the Hedgehog, StarCraft II, Super Mario  Series, and Warcraft. They would play footage from the video games while the orchestra played, and because I'm so used to playing these games and looking at the graphics I would keep forgetting that there were people there playing the music and that it wasn't just something prerecorded. Obviously, it sounded much better than anything prerecorded.

They also had a wonderful pianist, Martin Leung, who shows off his skillz in this youtube video: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dFZki6TcY4w,  yeah he really is playing Mario Brothers blindfolded. It was pretty amazing.

They had another segment where a kid from the audience played a nearly perfect Sweet Emotion in Guitar Hero, on the highest difficulty level. Half way through the show one  of the hosts, Tommy Tallarico, said he was Steven Tyler's cousin, which I thought was some kind of strange joke until he took out his guitar and started playing it during some of the songs.

One of the coolest moments of the event was when the 86 year old inventor of Pong, Ralph Baer, was oonstage playing Pong with an 8 year old. I think the 8 year old won, but just barely. There were certainly kids of all ages there in the audience that night. I felt like I did as 5 year old back in 1978 when I played my first Atari 2600 game at Kmart.

I'll definitely go back when they're in Boston again.