Video games gain parity with film and TV at Grammys

Video game soundtracks now have an improved chance to score Grammy Awards in three categories as part of an overall awards restructure announced last week.

Games are formally included in the Music for Visual Media award section alongside motion pictures and televisual works.

The three awards within the Music for Visual Media field are Best Compilation Soundtrack, Best Score Soundtrack, and Best Song.

The field had previously been known as Film, Television and Other Visual Media. Though the awards stay the same, their descriptors have changed and now read "Motion Picture, Television, Video Games or Other Visual Media," signalling a new level of importance for game audio.

Film composers and game soundtrack specialists alike now have a greater opportunity for recognition at the annual event.

Film composers Hans Zimmer ( The Dark Knight), Clint Mansell ( Black Swan) and Ramin Djawadi ( Iron Man) have been involved in creating soundtracks for recently released or upcoming video games: Crysis 2, Mass Effect 3 and Shift 2 respectively.

Game soundtrack artists such as Jesper Kyd ( Hitman, Assassin's Creed), Jack Wall ( Mass Effect 1 & 2) and Inon Zur ( Dragon Age, Fallout 3) could find themselves rubbing shoulders with fellow music industry professionals at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012: all three have previously been recognized for their work by the Game Audio Network Guild.

The Civilization IV theme won a Grammy in February, but not for its merits as a part of a video game soundtrack. It won Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists following its inclusion on Christopher Tin's 2009 album Calling All Dawns.

A comparison of old and new Grammy Award categories can be seen at grammy.org/recording-academy/announcement/category-list.

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