Blipico – Video Game Music Site

Blipico aims to become a big community of VGM lovers, with great articles and modern forums.

Music articles will have “Best of” video compilations of a game/series/composer. Along with my ratings on eacth track and comments on the best tracks.

Concert articles will be mostly my concert reports/reviews. Maybe also informational articles on concerts I haven’t been to. (I’m also looking into programming a database for upcoming concerts.)

Resource articles will be information packages about VGM podcasts, sheet music sites, kickstarter projects, amateur VGM orchestras in Japan, etc.

Interview articles will at first have old interviews I and my friends have done in person (since 2009). After that, I hope to do new interviews also.

Forums will be heart of the community. And all article comments will be integrated with the forums, so that they’ll be visible both on the main site and the forums.

English/Japanese – I’ll make a Japanese version of this site later. No date yet.

Read the long version below.

Music — Best of Video Compilations and Individual Ratings/Comments

Do you read soundtrack reviews on other sites? I used to, but don’t anymore. It’s so easy to download a soundtrack or listen to it on YouTube. That way you can judge it yourself, which is more interesting than a reading about it. Don’t get me wrong, I really respect people who write long traditional reviews. But I believe we can do so much more.

My music reviews will have a “Best of” video compilation (on YouTube). I’ll only include the best tracks and cut them to one loop, if they are too long. It’s all about the best listening experience and not fatiguing the listener. Video game music has a lot of filler and it helps to filter it out. And hey, I’m sure it sparks arguments about what the best tracks are and why. And when someone points out why a track is good, you learn to like it. That way you have more music you like, more discussion on the forums and sharper ears the next time.

Below the “Best of” video compilation is the tracklist. All tracks have my individual ratings (on a scale of 1–10). Best tracks have my individual comments. You can turn them off, if you want to look at only the tracklist without the comments taking up space. Everything is in a table, which you can sort by track number, rating, title and so on.

Besides games, I’ll have articles about composers and entire series. Those will be in the same format: “Best of” video + tracklist. That way you can get a quick overview of all the music in a specific series or by a specific composer, and find hidden gems you didn’t know of. I’m actually more excited about these than individual games, though it will take a long time to get to work on these articles.

In the end, you can listen to the music instantly, read my review or do both. You can comment on it and read others insights. I can’t think of a better combination.

Concerts — Best Experiences in this World

I mean it. Game music concerts are the best experiences I’ve had in my life (besides love). Imagine loving Dark World from Zelda: A Link to the Past, hearing a rock arrangement by the Minibosses 5–10 years later, then hearing it performed by a top 5 orchestra in the world another 5–10 years later. I cried and I get goosebumps just thinking about the experience. And I’m not even a classical or orchestral music lover.

The VGM concert scene is huge. It’s a culture of it’s own and it’s only getting bigger. I used to go to 1–2 orchestral concerts per year in Europe. This year (2014) I’m going to 6 orchestral concerts + 1 rock concert + 2 amateur ensemble concerts.

The US has a lot of VGM cover bands and big concert tours. Europe has mostly only symphonic concerts, but often with fantastic and fresh, even controversial, arrangements. Japan has everything and they’ve been doing it since 1987.

My concert reviews will be reports of the events and thoughts on the arrangements. Maybe it’s just more of the same that other sites do. But I intend to do my best to also provide info from booklets and sometimes figure out what tracks were used in which arrangements.

The forums will have a separate concert section. Now the discussion is spread thin across social media, YouTube and random forums. It makes me (and probably many other people too) reluctant to comment, since there is no one good place to do it.

I’m hoping to make a concert database, where you can insert info on upcoming (and past) concerts. I tried to do it last year, but gave up. I’ll try again, but in the meanwhile I hope the forums’ concert section will be a decent place to share new info.

Resources – The Hub for more VGM Learning

This is where my idea for a VGM site came from 3 years ago. A one-stop hub for finding out where to go for specific VGM needs.

Here is my wishlist of things I want to share information on:

  • Podcasts
  • Radio stations
  • Sheet music sites
  • Other VGM sites
  • Kickstarter projects (no games, only VGM)
  • Books
  • Amateur VGM orchestras in Japan

I can’t promise I’ll write about all those things. But the internet is really lacking some of the above info.

Podcasts is a good example. It’s one of the best mediums to share and talk about video game music and there are many of them, but they are hard to find. I think I’ll give them the same treatment as tracklists: ratings, comments and essential info in a sortable table.

Interviews

In 2010, at Distant Worlds II in Stockholm, my friend was feeling sick. He asked me to take his place and interview Nobuo Uematsu, only a few hours before the interview. I had never done a real interview in my life and now it would be with the man, whose music I love the most and who changed my life. I’m looking forward to posting that terrible interview.

We have a Finnish game music site called Zen no Santora. The interviews we’ve done were supposed to be uploaded on that site. But since the site has zero activity, no one bothered to do anything. Now I’m happy to have Blipico as the place for those long forgotten interview gems. My friend runs a Swedish game music site and he also has unpublished interviews. I hope he’ll let me publish them here.

Of course I wish to do new interviews as well. Just be patient for a while.

Forums – The Heart of a VGM Community

When I was young, I had no friends who enjoyed game music, except for a few cousins. That continued all the way into adulthood. Yes, I downloaded soundtracks and sheet music from many sites. Yes, I found reviews and forums. But those were people somewhere in cyberspace and I was too afraid to join in the discussion.

Then, in 2009, some Finns from the Zen no Santora forum arranged a group trip to the Symphonic Fantasies concert in Germany. I reached out to them (for the first time), joined the trip and instantly made new friends. We were playing cards and listening to Mega Man music and I thought to myself, “This is where I belong. This is awesome! Where have you been all my life?”

I did one of those “What’s you life passion?” tests recently. The result was something like “Use my X (can’t remember) skills and my passion for VGM to help people connect”. So hopefully that’s Blipico for you. A place for game music fans to connect and discuss. And the forums will be the heart of it.

Bilingual Site – English and Japanese

Blipico will be in both English and Japanese. I’ll make the Japanese version a bit later, once I get articles written and have a nice flow of things.

There are really no game music forums in Japan. There is a sub-section at 2ch. I asked there if any other forums exists and the answer was no. There are also not many game music sites, except for an awesome concert information site (2083), a news site (The Ongaku) and some blogs. (If I’m wrong, please let me know.)

That’s why I strongly wish to connect Japan with the English speaking world. They have so good music, so many concerts and so many fans, but no place to come together, except Twitter. We have resources like VGMdb, that most Japanese don’t know of in my experience.

So let’s connect and celebrate VGM!


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