Thousands upon thousands of young people – decked out in branded t-shirts – swarmed around a sold-out Wembley Arena in April this year.
But they weren’t there to see Taylor Swift or Fall Out Boy, these music lovers were queuing up to witness the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform classic songs from The Legend of Zelda video games.
“Video games, to me, represent the highest level of artistic talent, even more than films,” insists Jason Michael Paul, the man in charge of pulling The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses together.
“These musical scores are being performed by some of the best orchestras in the world, and acceptance by music fans is becoming more common.”
According to The Official Charts Company, video game soundtracks generated £223,000 in the UK last year, which is a relatively miniscule figure but a growing one.
Yet that number only tells part of the story. Last April’s gig was the third time the Zelda concert has toured the UK in the last four years, while a rival event – Video Games Live – has just sold out of three shows in Germany for the beginning of next month.
Meanwhile, anyone who attended Paul McCartney’s recent gigs in the UK may have been surprised to see the song he wrote for the Destiny soundtrack receive a full airing. Video game music has always been popular, but never before have we seen it infiltrate mainstream culture so frequently.