Video Games Live 2007

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Report by Jonathan Cullinane (nert) posted Wednesday 14th November 2007

It's a somewhat dreary Monday afternoon and I'm hoisting large bags around central London. It starts to rain and I open a trusty pocket umbrella, but it's not to be held over my head, but over a brightly coloured lump of.. fabric? Tonight we're attending a concert, held in the Royal Festival Hall and performed by none other than the London Philharmonia Orchestra together with the London Chorus choir. Yet I'm in casual clothes and one of the bags are quite obviously a bin-liner. So what's all this about? Do I just lack all sense of decorum?

Don't answer that.

This night would be the night Video Games Live returns to the UK, a concert dedicated to gaming music from throughout the ages, brought to the audience as live performances with accompanying video and acted displays. It was extremely successful in its stay here last year, and it was back again for more. This was the first show to fully book out the Royal Festival Hall since its remodelling, and brought a fresh lineup of acts with it, save for keeping the classics intact.

That's great and all, but what does it have to do with Cosplay Island?

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Each event differs depending on location and available resources, but they always hold a Costume Competition before the main event for anyone bringing video-game related costumes, as well as run console stands and if possible hold gaming competitions. This year, sponsored by Microsoft, they had an entire army of XBOX 360 stands to entertain the crowds, as well as a Guitar Hero competition, and several bars and areas to crash and do some handheld gaming with fellow DS/PSP owners. The show is dotted with points of interest, including dragging audience members on stage and having them run around the stage in a life-sized version of Space Invaders, with the Orchestra providing real-time music!

This year the stage was filled with costumes ranging from retro to modern-day to outright parody. The final winner, decided on stage by audience vote, was AllanC as Purple Tentacle from Day of the Tentacle, but make no mistake there were plenty of worthy costumes present. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Grim Fandango, Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Phoenix Wright and Halo tributes all made appearances, whilst the place was awash with gaming t-shirts, bags, and other marked apparel.

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Several famous composers of the very music they play on stage make guest appearances, and the event ends with a meet-and-greet signing session, not to be missed if game music means more to you than blips and bloops. They'll be back again next year no doubt, so if you've missed out this year, keep your eye on http://www.videogameslive.com for their next tour date in the UK.