"Interactive" is an overused buzzword, but it's also an actual thing that means something. In the case of music, it can mean all sorts of things from jumping up and down, to playing an iPhone guitar, to playing video games that go along with the music. In pursuit of that last element, Intel has opened its deep pockets to allow Pitchfork to choose its favorite songs for which Kill Screen will make interactive music video games.
"These games don't just use music as a soundtrack; their scenes, characters, and settings are all driven by the song," reads Pitchfork's announcement of the new SoundPlay site. "The first three games take their inspiration from tracks by M83, Cut Copy, and Matthew Dear."
So far, two of these music games are online, and you can play them here (requiring installation of a Unity Web Player software client, which renders in three dimensions):
- The game " We Were You," inspired by M83's "Intro," was designed by Jake Elliot. To play, you run around with the arrow keys. We won't spoil it for you by providing further details, but you will encounter a mammoth.
- The game " Street Song," inspired by Matthew Dear's song by the same name, was designed by Santa Ragione. This one is a sort of flight simulator-ish game where you run around a desert in a helmet collecting shapes, but we haven't really figured it out yet.
According to Pitchfork, three more games will go online on SoundPlay in July, including one for a Cut Copy song, which will be designed by Bennett Foddy.
The fun doesn't stop there. Pitchfork's annual music festival in Chicago will feature some sort of arcade where attendees can play the games, and later this summer, Pitchfork and Intel will host a "game jam," which will bring game developers together for a two-day hack day to create another music game, also to be featured on SoundPlay. Pitchfork.tv ( exclusive launch story) will film that event.
This is not Intel's first foray into hipster-oriented technology (note: we are not using hipster as a pejorative here, because hipsters are people too, and the whole anti-hipster thing just gives us a headache). The chipmaker, ever eager to promote the netbooks it powers as app platforms that can compete with Apple's iPad, previously partnered with Vice for The Creators Project.