New release: Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound. My history with gaming is probably a bit unusual. I was twelve when the Atari 2600 came out and I'll never forget when I first spotted that woodgrain console on display in a local department store. My dad and I had just moved away from our roots on the east coast- in the middle of the school year (again)- and I found myself suddenly isolated on the rainy streets of Washington's Olympic peninsula. The Atari fascinated me. I loved the look of the graphics, which were totally cutting edge at the time. My imagination was ignited by Berzerker killer robots and WWI biplane dogfights. And I loved the sound! Those beeps and burbles were the soundtrack to a new era. We never got the game system, by the way. We were so poor, we relied on my dad to gather food as a scuba diver. Yes, we ate amazing fresh seafood and salads everyday, but no Atari. I then went off to boarding school, college, and eventually moved to Japan. My interest in music deepened over the years as both a musician and a collector. My tastes were diverse, but there was an attraction to avant-garde experimentation and electronics, especially in the days of Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra. I eventually did win a remix competition for Yoko Ono. I think those early Atari sounds had something to do with the development of my internal cultural landscape. Now we can all revisit that era of innovation and learn about video game design development through this cool new film: Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound. Continues below.
From Amazon: "No longer just the 'ugly stepchild' of the games industry, Beep traces the history of game sound from the Victorian penny arcades through pinball and to today's massive industry of soundtracks and live music. With clips from over 80 interviews with game composers, sound designers, voice actors and audio directors from around the world, Beep is the definitive documentary on game sound. This Blu-Ray features a full, extended director's cut of Beep -- 1 hour and 52 minutes! -- plus it contains three specials, totalling nearly 1.5 hours, including 'Beep: Big in Japan,' 'How to get into game audio' and 'Ryu Umemoto Tribute.' Blu-ray and DVD editions available on Amazon here. There is also a Kindle book, Beep: Documenting the History of Game Sound. From Amazon: The Beep Book is transcripts of interviews with over 100 game audio professionals from a range of areas of game sound's history. The majority of the interviews were conducted as part of the Beep documentary film project by director and author Karen Collins. These are supplemented by interviews done for Video Game Music Online by Chris Greening. The book is 410,000 words in length- a huge volume of material spanning decades of video game and pinball audio history. Interviews include artists such as Marty O'Donnell (Halo), George "The Fat Man" Sanger (7th Guest), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts), and many, many more. The interviews aim to explore the changing nature of game audio over time. Interviews are with people from all over the world, including Japan, USA, Canada & Europe, and took place from October 2014 to July 2016. They cover a range of expertise and experience levels, and include composers, sound designers, voice actors and directors, record labels, conductor, orchestrators, chip musicians, hardware and software creators, and more. If you're at all interested in game sound, or its history, we think you'll find something of interest here. Many of the interviews have been or will be released as video content on our website, so feel free to preview some of them. Having them in a single book form means you've got them all in one place in a searchable, quotable format. If you've seen our Kickstarter campaign, you've seen the print books as two separate volumes. The e-book combines those two books into one easily searchable document." Learn more about this neat project: Beep movie website, interview with director Karen Collins. Enjoy!