PBS To Air Video Games Live Special From July To August

I’ve never had the chance to make it out to one of these shows yet but thanks to PBS, I can finally experience what Video Games Live has to offer right in my living room. Of course the best experience is actually being there but it’s better than nothing. This one month special will feature one of the live performances taped at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. As well, the special will feature interviews with actors, actresses, video game composers and event coordinators.

Video Games Live is a live concert experience featuring orchestral music from many video game favourites. Games like Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, God of War, Civilization, Chrono Cross, StarCraft and songs from Guitar Hero.

If you aren’t able to check out these videos on TV, PBS will have them on their website the day after. Below is one of the full segments featuring music from Civilization IV as well as a preview for the overall special.

July-August 2010 (check local listings)

— Special Features Music from Mario™, Zelda™, Sonic™, Halo®, Warcraft®, Chrono Cross®, Castlevania®, Guitar Hero®, God of War™ and Final Fantasy® as Performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra —

In VIDEO GAMES LIVE, a new PBS special, the world’s most beloved video game franchises come together to celebrate gaming culture and the incredible music surrounding it. An immersive event featuring the best game music performed by top-notch musicians and choirs combined with synchronized lighting, video, live action and audience interactivity, this performance was taped at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. The lineup consists of never-before-televised live musical performances from the Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, God of War, Civilization, Chrono Cross, StarCraft and Guitar Hero franchises, including a musical journey through classic gaming. VIDEO GAMES LIVE is part of special programming airing in July-August 2010 (check local listings) on PBS stations.

“We are introducing a whole new generation to the music of a symphony orchestra,” said veteran video game composer and VIDEO GAMES LIVE CEO/executive producer and host Tommy Tallarico. “Never before in history have kids been dragging their parents to watch a symphony.”

The VIDEO GAMES LIVE CD and DVD/Blu-Ray release will coincide with the nationally televised special and will be available in North America exclusively through PBS until November 1, 2010. The CD features 16 musical performances, and the DVD/Blu-Ray includes more than three hours of bonus material, including additional and extended music segments, composer and game developer interviews, exclusive game trailers, “making the game” documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and composer commentary.

“I’m hoping that this project will have a positive impact on the perception of video games by the non-gaming world,” said Tallarico. “We created VIDEO GAMES LIVE over eight years ago to prove to the world how culturally significant and artistic video games have become. The goal was to create a show for everyone whether they play games or not. The fact that all of the game publishers have come on board with this project to help our mission says a lot about the future of gaming and how much they believe in VIDEO GAMES LIVE.”

Filmed in New Orleans this past April in high definition with 5.1 audio surround sound, the concert features the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by VGL’s co-founder, Jack Wall; a 34-person chorus; a number of soloists including pianist Martin Leung, flautist Laura Intravia and singers Vangie Gunn, Kendrew Heriveaux, Ron Ragin and Cindy Shapiro; plus a rock band featuring Tallarico on guitar; and a full complement of state-of-the-art lighting, lasers and special effects.

There are also interview bites with actress and video game fan Jamie Lee Curtis and video game composers including Tallarico, Jack Wall, Russell Brower, Christopher Tin and Gerard Marino.

The video game music performed includes:

• Super Mario Bros.™
• The Legend of Zelda™
• Sonic the Hedgehog™
• World of Warcraft®
• StarCraft® II
• Halo®
• Final Fantasy®
• Chrono Cross®
• Castlevania®
• God of War™
• Civilization IV®
• Classic Arcade Medley
• Guitar Hero®: Aerosmith

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.

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  • I remember as a child being bored to death at PBS specials (with the exception of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street) but THIS is going to be AMAZING!

    I also have never had the opportunity to catch one of these live, so I will have to tune in to this!

    Nice scoop, Ben!