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Grammy Awards to honor video games

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And the Grammy goes to...

The Grammys are getting into the game.

The Recording Academy, which oversees the annual music awards, has made changes to four of the ceremony's categories, putting video games on the same playing field as television and movies in an effort to solicit more submissions from the industry.

"Many people from the game community have been asking us to create a special category for games over the years, but the main reason we haven't is because we have received very few entries from game publishers," Bill Freimuth, vice president of The Academy, told IndustryGamers.

With last year's win by composer Christopher Tin, though, that's likely to change.

Tin's 2010 Grammy for the track "Baba Yetu" was an industry first, but a bit confusing since it was first released in 2005 as the theme song to the strategy game, Civilization IV. At the time, the song wasn't eligible for consideration, but when Tin included it on an audio recording in 2009, it met the criteria -- and won.

Tin won his Grammy in a different category than those affected by the new rule changes, so this wouldn't have helped him all that much. But effective this year, four categories are openly welcoming submissions of video game music:

• The Music for Visual Media (Motion, Television, Video Game Music, or Other Visual Media)

• Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media (Motion, Television, Video Game Music, or Other Visual Media)

• Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (Motion, Television, Video Game Music, or Other Visual Media)

• Best Song Written for Visual Media (Motion, Television, Video Game Music, or Other Visual Media)

"Every year, we diligently examine our Awards structure to develop an overall guiding vision and ensure that it remains a balanced and viable process," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Academy. "After careful and extensive review and analysis of all Categories and Fields, it was objectively determined that our Grammy Categories be restructured to the continued competition and prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music."

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