Monday, July 10, 2006

Before enlightening the world as to what Izaak Walton has to do with media convergence, and what Electronic Arts has to do with elves, I post another installment of game job ads that suck:

The “You Can Call Me Maestro” game job ad

We are looking for an Audio Director with experience conducting studio orchestras for Hollywood film soundtracks.

Back in my day I orchestrated. Arguably, very badly, but still… I know my Viola from my Viola da Gamba and whatnot. I read the classic works of orchestration theory that say that oboes and clarinets should never be seen except with white in between. I even have the pretentious gall to be able to say that I had an orchestral work of mine performed by a “world class” orchestra before you were young enough to have hot dinners. But I fled the world of rosin and catgut for the modern world; the world of the internal combustion engine, the telephone, electricity. Running water. That is why I went off to work in video games.

But unfortunately it would seem that even this supposed technologically advanced industry offers no respite.

This is because people who dwell in the “low culture” world are frequently disproportionately impressed by cultural detritus spewed forth by the so-called “high culture”world. Game industry people are like the nouveau riche, conscious of their lack of sophistication and education, and therefore overawed by those who seem to have more. All you need to do is blind them with science. The more pompously anachronistic the better: like the black-tie wearing film industry, and “ooh a full symphony orchestra, don’t you know!”. Well I’m not impressed, personally. You can shove your 19th century orchestras and your “movie quality sound” up your arse, as far as I’m concerned.

What is truly irksome is that all of a sudden, a mere track record of experience in making actual video games is no longer enough to merit a job within the video game industry (don't worry - I’m saving my post about EA for the last game job ads that suck epistle). The need for a well-rounded education in the arts and sciences is fair enough, and something I heartily support. The nonsense that is the current subject of our discussion however, is quite different:

We are looking for an Audio Director with experience conducting studio orchestras for Hollywood film soundtracks.

Excuse me for asking, but what the fuck?

I will not be told that overseeing an orchestral recording for a day in the space of a one and a half year project makes “conducting orchestras” a core skill for an in-house game audio developer. And only an all-star arse would think that that someone who spends ninety-nine per cent of their time making video games would be the best person to get the most out of an orchestra during a studio session (for fuck’s sake). If a game project needs specific expertise for a specific short-term task they contract it out to someone who knows what in god’s name they’re doing.

But enough of this flippancy; let us return our attention to the serious stuff of the matter. Namely, that it would be far more reasonable to require the Art Director to have extensive experience drawing pictures of dinosaurs. Nothing but the best prehistoric flora and fauna for our studio’s (Formula One racing) games!

Does every fucking game now have to feature “authentic” horsehair and genuine spittle or it’s not Triple A enough? Very well then. At least on your pox-ridden marketing sell-sheet it sounds good. Never mind the game context, or the mere quality of the musical composition or soundscape. All that guff can be as shite as you please but drop the phrase “symphony orchestra” into every interview with the games’ press and they’ll presumably be so snivellingly awe-filled that they’ll turn a blind eye to the end result and wax hysterical over the process instead.

A recording of a “real live orchestra” for a game is something that television doesn’t even bother with these days for the most part, but of course we don’t compare ourselves to the television industry do we. Oh no, it’s in relation to film that we have our inferiority complex. We discuss “movie quality sound” in hallowed tones and uncritically attempt to ape the dreary conservatism of the mainstream movie industry.

Ooh, look at me, we hired the Slovakian Symphony Orchestra for our game!
But why stop there? Why not buy a decommissioned fucking Lithuanian submarine and put that in your cacking dinosaur game too?

You'd be well advised to stick to red sports cars, my poorly educated, class-defficient man-boy game industry executive friends. For as status symbols they become you so much more. And if nothing else, it is simply immoral to go around collecting penniless post-Stalinist orchestras, and vulgar to flaunt them as you do your 100 dollar a day tarts.


At 8:33 pm, Blogger Red Havoc 2:16 said...

"Frankly I would have prefered the sword."


At 2:33 am, Blogger Paul said...

I'm always impressed by how much vitriol you manage to squeeze into a single post.

"And if nothing else, it is simply immoral to go around collecting penniless post-Stalinist orchestras, and vulgar to flaunt them as you do your 100 dollar a day tarts."

If I'd been drinking milk, I'm sure it would have squirted out of my nose at this point.

Keep up the good work.

At 10:20 pm, Blogger Kipper said...

If it had been UHT treated milk it would have deserved it!

At 11:41 pm, Anonymous Jason said...

Those frag dolls... Did you see how the "Asian one" is called "seppuku"? It's difficult to imagine even the music industry sinking this low.

At 6:20 pm, Blogger Kipper said...

Ah the Frag Dolls. Ubisoft no doubt took their inspiration from this:


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