A short history of interactive music videos and other playthings

I was asked by my colleague Jesse Stiles to give a talk about video games, interactive music videos and other playthings specifically created to promote music. What follows is an incomplete list of projects I found, thematically sorted. Thank you tweeple for all the recommendations, let me know if I missed any good ones.


Journey (Midway), 1983

Chris Sievey – Camouflage 1983
Indie, to be played in sync with the cassette.

Thompson twins – The Thompson Twins Adventure (1984)
First (and only?) game released as vinyl for Spectrum.

Frankie goes to Hollywood (C64) – 1985
Actually decent game

Contemporary Games-as-music-videos

The quest for the rest Polyphonic spree + Amanita Design

Inside a Dead Skyscraper – Jesse Stiles + Molleindutria

Sun God – Bennett Foddy + Cut Copy
Part of Pitchfork/Killscreen/Intel’s initiative Soundplay currently offline.

Keyboard drumset fucking werewolf – Cactus

Who’s That? Brooown! – Das Racist

http://cass.itch.io/end-of-light” target=”_blank”>End of Light – Cassie McQuater + Jono Mi Lo


Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

Pale Machine – bo en + Ben Esposito

Channel/layer switching

Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone

MGMT – Electric Feel

Tanlines – Not The Same

Ty Segall – Manipulator

Cold War Kids – I’ve Seen Enough

Same song performed at different stages of drunkenness

Chairlift – We met before
Semi linear CYOA video

Taylor Swift – Blank space
Accelerometer responsive 360 video + Easter eggs

VR/360 web haunted house + mild branches

Beyond video

Wilderness Downtown – Arcade Fire + Chris Milk + Google
Google Chrome Tech demo/browser war weapon

FKi, Iggy Azalea, & Diplo – I Think She Ready
Clickable & shoppable product placement (!!!)

Rome (Danger Mouse etc) + Chris Milk + Google Chrome cross promotion

Biophilia – Bjork
Album as Suite of apps – soundtoys & visualizers

Polyfauna – Radiohead/Universal Everything

Yong Jake e.m-bed.de/d/ self-referential net.art browser artwork

Crowdsourced, mouse pointed recorded.