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McKittrick, Megan: "Scott Pilgrim vs. The Veteran Gamer. The Canonization and Commodification of Nostalgia in Anamanaguchi’s 8-bit Video Game Soundtrack." In: Reconstruction 14.1 (2014), <http://reconstruction.e ... es/141/McKittrick.shtml> (4. Apr. 2015)
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BibTeX citation key: McKittrick2014
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Keywords: "Scott Pilgrim", Adaption, Kanada, Musik, O’Malley. Bryan Lee, Spiel
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While there are many contemporary 8-bit-inspired video game scores, the article points to the original soundtrack for the 2010 Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World: The Game (Ubisoft, 2010) as an example of game music canon formation, arguing that Anamanaguchi designs their music to hail gamers who share their sense of nostalgia, referred to as veteran, aging, or mature gamers. Anamanaguchi not only canonizes 8-bit music by hailing veteran gamers; they commodify it, as well. Recognizing the market for this style of music, they employ what Christina Baade and Paul Aitken have described as the nostalgia aesthetic to sell their music and sell the game. Postmodern artistic production is inherently driven by capitalism, but this monetary value suggests cultural value, thus contributing further to the formation of the game music canon. Anamanaguchi generates additional cultural capital by designing their songs to match the techniques and complexity of Baroque and Minimalist music, thereby elevating chiptunes to the level of art.
Using Fredric Jameson’s notion of pastiche as a critical lens, this article examines the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack as an artifact of game music canonization and nostalgia aesthetic commodification. This article explores the problematic history of video game audio as well as shifting interests in the video game industry. In doing so, it situates Anamanaguchi’s technological choices within design practices and market trends over time, while tracking elements of pastiche style in the design of key songs in the soundtrack. Ultimately, the article finds that Anamanaguchi evokes a connection to the past, celebrating and preserving it in an effort to contribute to the game music canon, yet their nostalgic contribution actually destabilizes the canon by problematizing its sense of historical progression.
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