Video game

London showcases ties between music, video games during Juno Week – The London Free Press

Fanshawe students Christina Nguyen, Brandon Turner, Skye Vidler, Alex Wong, Anthony Seeha, creators of the video game BOTbot, showed off the game at a music and video game conference in London on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (MEGAN STACEY/The London Free Press)

It may seem like an unorthodox way to get your big break, but tapping into the music industry through video games is a growing strategy for up-and-coming artists and the companies that represent them.

Composers, sound engineers, software developers and video gamers gathered Thursday in London to reflect on the collision — what one speaker deemed “the big bang” — between music and gaming at a conference as part of the Juno Week events.

“This is a generation that grew up watching not Sesame Street, but Minecraft tutorials,” Jay Hodgson, a Western University associate professor of popular music studies. “If music is going to remain viable, it has to remain viable in the context of gaming.”

A bold statement, sure, but Hodgson, an industry expert who’s also a producer and songwriter, says that’s the reality of the digital age.

Kim Teeple, director of licensing at Toronto-based Six Shooter Records, talks with Western music professor Jay Hodgson, at a music and video gaming conference in London on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (MEGAN STACEY/The London Free Press)

“Everyone is online and they are listening to music now because they’re being driven there from their gaming experience, and they’re listening to music now because it resonates with their gaming experience. They’ll hear something, and check for the soundtrack online,” he said.

The gaming industry is on the rise, with revenues of well over $100 billion globally last year, in contrast to declining traditional platforms like television.

That kind of explosive growth is catching the eye of artists and their managers, said Kim Temple, head of licensing and publishing for the Toronto-based Six Shooter Records.

“Labels and producers . . . are realizing this is an amazing opportunity to get exposure,” she said during a Q&A at the conference.

London is a perfect market to showcase the overlap between music and gaming industries. The city is home to nearly 15 gaming companies, and one of the largest clusters of video game productions in the country.

“On a per capita basis, we’re the largest concentration of gaming companies,” Kapil Lakhotia, head of the London Economic Development Corp., said Thursday.

The city is home to a burgeoning digital creative scene, where software development is merged with storytelling, music, film production and animation, he added. That includes 350 companies employing more than 9,000 people, plus programs at Fanshawe College and Western University to encourage the next generation.


“The talent is produced locally to enter new occupations within digital creative areas as well. Having these music and video game collision events, we’re hoping more young people would enter this kind of sector in the future,” Lakhotia said.

Fanshawe runs a video game design program at its downtown campus. Third-year students on that track showed off their games, built over the course of a semester, at Thursday’s conference.

Anthony Seeha is a member of a five-person team that built a game called BOTbot, in which a player controls three little robots teaming up to help tackle problems on a malfunctioning ship.

“This game is a lot about puzzle solving and thinking about using the ability you have,” Seeha said. The robots gain new powers as they solve tasks.”

The team also collaborated with students in Fanshawe’s music program to design the soundtrack and sound effects for BOTbot.

“In this final product, we believe we came up with something pretty cool,” Seeha said.

E-mail: | Twitter:


Friday, March 15

Fanshawe Live: Dundas Place: Fanshawe College, downtown campus, noon-6 p.m.

Junofest Christian Music Showcase, featuring performances by musicians nominated the Christian/gospel album of the year category, 7 p.m., Gateway Church, 890 Sarnia Rd.; tickets: $15

Juno Comedy Show, featuring comedy album nominees Chanty Marostica, Dave Merheje, Mayce Galoni and Pat Thornton, 7 p.m., London Music Hall, 185 Queens Ave.; tickets: $27.50 (available at London Music Hall or or calling Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000)

Juno Cup, with music stars led by Cuddy taking on NHL alumni, 7:30 p.m., Western Fair Sports Centre; tickets: $20 (or $15 when bought in packages of 10 or more) available at

Juno Fest, 9 p.m., various locations; $30 wristband gives entry to all performances

Saturday, March 16

Junior Junos, 10:30 a.m., Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library, 251 Dundas St.; individual tickets to Junior Junos are priced at $9.04 for children and $22.60 for adults, family passes available at $45.20 and can be purchased at

Juno Fan Fare, and selfie fest, noon-2 p.m., free, at Centre Court, CF Masonville Place

Juno exhibit, noon-5 p.m., with the Woodshed Series Concert at 2 p.m.; London Music Hall of Fame, 182 Dundas St.

Juno Stories from the Studio, featuring some of Canada’s most accomplished recording engineers and producers, 12:30-2 p.m., Fanshawe College, 130 Dundas St.; tickets: $15

Juno Fest, 9 p.m., various locations; $30 wristband gives entry to all performances

Sunday, March 17

Juno Songwriters’ Circle, featuring David Foster, Dan Mangan, Elisapie, Laila Biali, Meghan Patrick and Tyler Shaw, co-hosted by Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle and CBC Radio’s q host Tom Power, noon; Centennial Hall; tickets: $49.50

Juno Awards, featuring performances by Arkells, Bahamas, bülow, Coeur De Pirate with Loud Loud Luxury, Jeremy Dutcher, Blake Pouliot, NAV, The Reklaws, the 2019 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Corey Hart, a special performance from Europe by Shawn Mendes and a performance by host Sarah McLachlan, 8 p.m.; Budweiser Gardens; tickets: $82.95 – $202.95, available at the box office, online at, or by phone at 1-866-455-2849.



Leave a Reply