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My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby Directionless » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:21 am

http://directionless.mynoisebleeds.com/host/sdcompo/JohnDietzel_MusicPromotionThroughVideoGames.docx

I post this for Organic IO mainly. He's the only one likely to experience the eyes bleed as they gloss over these 3,000 words of half-assed academic writing on a subject that is fairly relevant to our collective general interest.

Just glad it's over. A couple more big projects and I can take a break from the end-of-semester push and maybe play some video games and make some music. :)
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby organic io » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:47 am

Thanks Dietz (can I call you that!?) ,

Understanding these differences will outline a view of the business methods that relate to the acquisition of new content creators such as music artists


My eyes are bleeding already! I love it!
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby organic io » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:33 am

The music industry critically bites the hand that feeds every time they seek legal action against someone for downloading music (Breen 81).


Does riaa even sue anymore? The last reference of it I can find is from 2008

They work to incorporate music from all gambits of the spectrum from commercially successful artists to little known independent artists.


I think you meant "gamut" :) You been watching too much x-men or something? I noticed a couple other minor things too minor to mention. Oh I love English. I should have gone to school to be an editor or something.


Rather than entering a televised music contest to battle it out for a contract, or be the one-in-a-million major music label’s marketable candidate, one must simply have some interest and ability in music design and network with indie game developers to find a project.


I have to disagree with this, because it is only the one-in-a-million indie game that reaches critical mass and becomes mainstream. Have you seen how many crap games there are on the android platform? Your wording is vague... "Find a project"? You are comparing winning American idol to finding some random dude on shmup-dev.com and asking if he wants your music for his game?


These critics hypothesize that the popular music industry has commoditized music to the extent that the average consumer will listen to what they are exploited and manipulated into by the industry marketing (Quader).


I question that claim. I seriously doubt that if you put breakcore on pop radio that people will just joyfully nod their heads and say "Yes this is excellent because the DJ is telling me so". Pop music is very formulaic, yes, but that formula is has been formed, shaped and refined over the past couple dozen years ... Shaped into something that is very appealing to many people. It's a powerful meme. I believe this: "People don't like it because it's popular, it's popular because people like it". Statements like yours seem to contradict this.

You should check out the book "Virus of the mind", it is about the science of memetics. It's really fascinating stuff, but the book argues that memes evolve just like biological creatures... i.e. they live (and die) by survival of the fittest. Therefore, I argue, how could the meme of pop music have survived this long if it didn't have some kind of "evolutionary value" (in a memetic sense) ??? Not only that, but why would some record exec sit around and try to push some crap on people for shits and giggles... ??? I dunno, I say all this, but then I remember some of the horrid songs I heard last time I was at the skating rink with my kids, and then I facepalm and say I must be agnostic about everything..... :)



Also one last issue I wanted to address with your article:
The success of the game drives whether your music gets any exposure.

This is really unfortunate for the musician, don't you think? It doesn't matter how brilliant your soundtrack is, if the game sucks, it's never going to get heard. Again an interesting exercise in memetics... That the game's evolutionary fit-ness is more important than the music's. ... And this means that even though your article hints at an equal symbiosis between the artistic relevancy of both the game and the music, truly it is the game itself which is more important. (Damn that last sentence... I'm starting to sound like your writing style ;) )

So what does this mean? Is the video game industry good for promoting music? Yeah kinda sorta, but not really. Also I question your article's relevance because it seems to reference the old model of the music industry (i.e. evil major labels), whereas the industry has changed so much during the past 15 years... it might have been better to compare the modern music industry....

But I could argue that promoting yourself via soundcloud, etc, would also be the way to go in the modern age...

Except the chances of "hitting it big" are very low for that as well.

So here's what I'm concluding:

The chances of hitting it big:

In the old music industry: 1,000,000 to 1
In the video game industry: 1,000,000 to 1
In the new music industry: 10,000,000 to 1

Lol. Means it's harder to make money in the new music industry ???? !!? Yeah I just made that up, but it seems that way since new music industry is just everybody yelling at everybody else "HEY CHECK OUT MY NEW DOPE TRACKS MANG!!#%!?%!"

BUT ANYWAY. It is actually 3:33am and I am rambling on, I should stop now.

Good article man,

peace out
-Scott

P.S.. I was going to mention William Hung as an example of how people won't tolerate crap singing (he was popular only for the comedic value, but they tried to push a second album and it only sold 7,000 copies) .... Though I could go the other route and say autotune has made things TOO "perfect", but I won't delve into that (for now)

GOOD NGIHT!
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby organic io » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:42 am

Dietz...

You and I should start a point-counterpoint blog or something.

The only problem I forsee is that only 3 readers would enjoy our timeless debates. Did you know they came out with Pepsi that has a combination of real sugar and Stevia in it? It's only sold on Amazon right now. Who the hell is gonna pay for shipping on soda? Stupid. I hope it comes out in stores soon... It even has a green can, which makes me want it even more :)

</random>
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby Directionless » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:17 pm

Hahah nice responses. Here's the good thing: Although I didn't mention it, the paper had to be an argumentative research paper. So we were not supposed to present research on things that could not be disputed. Obviously, it stands to reason that an industry whose specific purpose is to promote and distribute music is going to do the best job at it, unlike an industry where the music is only a byproduct.

When doing research to come up with my thesis, I was struggling for something that could be provocative enough to be debatable, but that I could still muster a supporting argument for. I think I found a good one, and the fact that you can debate it proves that this was an argumentative research paper rather than a paper that argues research that cannot be disputed.

My professor actually gave me the final recommendation on my thesis by telling me I did not have to argue in absolutes. Therefore, the thesis is simply that the game industry can be a better advocate for music artists. Not that it always is, and even still, not that this cannot be up for debate. It can. :)

organic io wrote:
The music industry critically bites the hand that feeds every time they seek legal action against someone for downloading music (Breen 81).


Does riaa even sue anymore? The last reference of it I can find is from 2008


Well, keep in mind that, while I did have plenty of brand new research material, I also just had to go with what was viable for me to establish some points. I wouldn't exactly call the year 2008 ancient. I would say that the damage is done. I haven't heard of any press release where the industry states in no uncertain terms: "We will not sue your pants off." And so, given their fairly recent behavior of the past 10 years, I think it is fair to say people live with a fresh awareness of the threatening nature of the RIAA. Which still supports my point in that it is not positive representation for an artist to their fan base.

organic io wrote:
They work to incorporate music from all gambits of the spectrum from commercially successful artists to little known independent artists.


I think you meant "gamut" :) You been watching too much x-men or something? I noticed a couple other minor things too minor to mention. Oh I love English. I should have gone to school to be an editor or something.


Good catch. I wish I had had the time to have you proofread this before submitting it. But I already have an A in the class, so I think I'm going to be OK.


organic io wrote:
Rather than entering a televised music contest to battle it out for a contract, or be the one-in-a-million major music label’s marketable candidate, one must simply have some interest and ability in music design and network with indie game developers to find a project.


I have to disagree with this, because it is only the one-in-a-million indie game that reaches critical mass and becomes mainstream. Have you seen how many crap games there are on the android platform? Your wording is vague... "Find a project"? You are comparing winning American idol to finding some random dude on shmup-dev.com and asking if he wants your music for his game?


Yeah, that's the stretch I am making there. I think it is useful to point out the final adjudicators of my work are English professors and not pop-culture or entertainment technology experts. So I was hoping I argued enough with enough semblance of supporting research to make the grade.

Having said that, I will say this is still up for debate. Personally, I am more positive about the prospects of someone like Chunter having his chiptunes in somebody's flash game rather than Chunter going on American Idol derivatives. Just my personal belief that I tried to stretch into a supporting argument. But I didn't do incredibly in depth research. Just enough to hopefully fulfill the terms on the assignment.

I could further argue that an aspiring music artist is not limited to working on just one indie game, and that perhaps it is more feasible to create a body of work by submitting soundtracks for many independent games rather than trying to get on "Game show TV music competition" X number of times. ;P

organic io wrote:
These critics hypothesize that the popular music industry has commoditized music to the extent that the average consumer will listen to what they are exploited and manipulated into by the industry marketing (Quader).


I question that claim. I seriously doubt that if you put breakcore on pop radio that people will just joyfully nod their heads and say "Yes this is excellent because the DJ is telling me so". Pop music is very formulaic, yes, but that formula is has been formed, shaped and refined over the past couple dozen years ... Shaped into something that is very appealing to many people. It's a powerful meme. I believe this: "People don't like it because it's popular, it's popular because people like it". Statements like yours seem to contradict this.


I think it could be a chicken and the egg argument. If the industry had put a concerted effort to establish a regurgitated, homogenized template for breakcore and forced that through the marketing machine for 20 years, then maybe the results would prove that I am right.

What is easy to argue, is that the popular music industry survives and thrives by discouraging originality for the sake of achieving another massive hit. The paper was not to suggest that the music industry is completely irrelevant and needs to go away. But the research by those like Quader (which I thoroughly enjoyed) was quite clear, albeit subjective, that the industry is going to reinvent the wheel over and over again in a rather uninspiring methodology.

organic io wrote:You should check out the book "Virus of the mind", it is about the science of memetics. It's really fascinating stuff, but the book argues that memes evolve just like biological creatures... i.e. they live (and die) by survival of the fittest. Therefore, I argue, how could the meme of pop music have survived this long if it didn't have some kind of "evolutionary value" (in a memetic sense) ??? Not only that, but why would some record exec sit around and try to push some crap on people for shits and giggles... ??? I dunno, I say all this, but then I remember some of the horrid songs I heard last time I was at the skating rink with my kids, and then I facepalm and say I must be agnostic about everything..... :)


Yeah, I don't think they push what they do for shits and giggles. But how many times must we suffer another Katy Perry permeating the memosphere before we get sick of the endless rehash? Never. It will never end. What is it's point? I don't know. I don't like U2 either and I used to love them. I don't understand much about memetics but that would have been an awesome and far more scientific method of approaching this paper.

organic io wrote:Also one last issue I wanted to address with your article:
The success of the game drives whether your music gets any exposure.

This is really unfortunate for the musician, don't you think? It doesn't matter how brilliant your soundtrack is, if the game sucks, it's never going to get heard. Again an interesting exercise in memetics... That the game's evolutionary fit-ness is more important than the music's. ... And this means that even though your article hints at an equal symbiosis between the artistic relevancy of both the game and the music, truly it is the game itself which is more important. (Damn that last sentence... I'm starting to sound like your writing style ;) )

So what does this mean? Is the video game industry good for promoting music? Yeah kinda sorta, but not really. Also I question your article's relevance because it seems to reference the old model of the music industry (i.e. evil major labels), whereas the industry has changed so much during the past 15 years... it might have been better to compare the modern music industry....


Have the old models of big music labels dispersed or something? I know how awesome it is that there are so many more net labels and indies, but I don't think the industry itself has changed the way they do business. I think they still spend millions of dollars to buy airplay spots. Not unlike how lobbyists within the government spend millions to push their policies through to the people. That's a business method for sure. But I don't think it says much about art, and I tried to portray how the game industry can be a more viable avenue for a music artist that is focused more on creating something new rather than creating a hit.


organic io wrote:But I could argue that promoting yourself via soundcloud, etc, would also be the way to go in the modern age...

Except the chances of "hitting it big" are very low for that as well.

So here's what I'm concluding:

The chances of hitting it big:

In the old music industry: 1,000,000 to 1
In the video game industry: 1,000,000 to 1
In the new music industry: 10,000,000 to 1

Lol. Means it's harder to make money in the new music industry ???? !!? Yeah I just made that up, but it seems that way since new music industry is just everybody yelling at everybody else "HEY CHECK OUT MY NEW DOPE TRACKS MANG!!#%!?%!"

BUT ANYWAY. It is actually 3:33am and I am rambling on, I should stop now.

Good article man,

peace out
-Scott


I didn't really go into all the alternative ways of distributing music other than to make a cursory reference to the fact that they exist. And I am glad that they do. I think I tried to make a correlation at the end as to how bizarre it is that people know the music industry doesn't have an exclusive ownership of musical talent, and yet, because of their dominant business strategy of "controlling the airwaves" and out-marketing the underdogs, the general public remains a pawn in their game.

organic io wrote:P.S.. I was going to mention William Hung as an example of how people won't tolerate crap singing (he was popular only for the comedic value, but they tried to push a second album and it only sold 7,000 copies) .... Though I could go the other route and say autotune has made things TOO "perfect", but I won't delve into that (for now)

GOOD NGIHT!


Well, I think those points could support my argument. The fact that William Hung's music even got exposure was because of the crap American Idol show. As for autotune, one of my research sources (Quader) used that as an example of how the popular music industry does not vary from what is the established cookie-cutter music. So autotune went big and everyone had to do autotune. Of course we know how these memes work, just as they do in areas unrelated to music. But that says more about the meme and the restrictive framework of the popular music industry. It says far less about music. :)

Good debate. Thanks for reading. This topic could go on forever as I barely did that much research and didn't truly give enough support for my points. I was happy enough for the final result since it was for an english assignment. If I was writing it for a major music or cultural publication or website, I'd be hiding under a rock right now because it is kind of a hack. :P
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby chunter » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:40 pm

The funny thing about Idol is that when it came out people thought I looked like contestant Justin Guarini, but I was two years older than their age maximum, and since I wasn't really watching TV I had no idea what the hell anybody was talking about.

Having a link to my website on a flash game gets me about ten visits a day. I'm not sure how many people stick around and really like the music (I'm going to guess, not so many, since the game's music is 3-4 years old and I do different stuff now,) or how many of them can read it well enough to know what the site is for. (Lots of eastern European countries visit, I'm guessing places that don't have "first world" video game markets like Steam.)

I am of the opinion that the actions of the 200x decade have had their chilling effect and that the proverbial pendulum has swung to favor the commercial for a while. That pendulum is due for a move in the other direction.

There is a pop formula version of breakcore, we call it hip hop. It has its roots in copyright vagary its first famous track was ripped off from another artist. I've been reading https://medium.com/the-nib/dj-kool-herc-spawns-a-culture-f48bd6faf738 before work and it's funny, how I remember all the songs and the rhymes but can't really put moments to them... and it's surprising to see just how fast things went "wrong."

It's also my general opinion that music in video games is an answer, but not the answer for people trying to earn a living at the craft. Maybe I'll read the thesis after I get my entry in. ;)
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby Directionless » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:36 am

chunter wrote:The funny thing about Idol is that when it came out people thought I looked like contestant Justin Guarini, but I was two years older than their age maximum, and since I wasn't really watching TV I had no idea what the hell anybody was talking about.


That is funny. I was in jail once and when they let everyone out of their hamster cages for the one hour of rec time in the common room, I was thoroughly dismayed to see all these hardened criminals fixated on American Idol. I was like, what the ^%*^ is wrong with life!?

chunter wrote:Having a link to my website on a flash game gets me about ten visits a day. I'm not sure how many people stick around and really like the music (I'm going to guess, not so many, since the game's music is 3-4 years old and I do different stuff now,) or how many of them can read it well enough to know what the site is for. (Lots of eastern European countries visit, I'm guessing places that don't have "first world" video game markets like Steam.)


You make it sound so glamorous. :P

chunter wrote:I am of the opinion that the actions of the 200x decade have had their chilling effect and that the proverbial pendulum has swung to favor the commercial for a while. That pendulum is due for a move in the other direction.


Its swinging. But there is this thing where new people are born and they don't know what the ^*&^ is going on and start going to Hannah Montana concerts.

chunter wrote:There is a pop formula version of breakcore, we call it hip hop. It has its roots in copyright vagary its first famous track was ripped off from another artist. I've been reading https://medium.com/the-nib/dj-kool-herc-spawns-a-culture-f48bd6faf738 before work and it's funny, how I remember all the songs and the rhymes but can't really put moments to them... and it's surprising to see just how fast things went "wrong."


Good point. That Hip Hop Family Tree is some funny shiz. Thanks for the link.

chunter wrote:It's also my general opinion that music in video games is an answer, but not the answer for people trying to earn a living at the craft. Maybe I'll read the thesis after I get my entry in. ;)


That's pretty much my position. I like all the alternative distribution methods too. Also, I'm not emphasizing the 'earning a living" aspect specifically. I have tried to frame it more in terms of the possible avenues one can pursue to increase exposure and break through the media saturation ceiling. As examples I have included events that were not financially lucrative, like the OC Remix crew getting their Street Fighter remixes on that Capcom HD Remix release.
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Re: My 10-page paper on Music Promotion through Video Games

Postby chunter » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:40 pm

Directionless wrote:You make it sound so glamorous. :P

It actually makes it harder to keep track of when a new entry link gets posted somewhere like Twitter, I can't tell if it has any impact, where before I could see obvious spikes near zero and 1 hit days.
Directionless wrote:
chunter wrote:I am of the opinion that the actions of the 200x decade have had their chilling effect and that the proverbial pendulum has swung to favor the commercial for a while. That pendulum is due for a move in the other direction.


Its swinging. But there is this thing where new people are born and they don't know what the ^*&^ is going on and start going to Hannah Montana concerts.

That's how it swings, in fact it's probably got some round action like the pendulum in a big stairwell instead of just going back and forth, all of these ideas that fight each other for attention over and over again.
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