The music industry might be in freefall, but the video game industry is booming.

Just ask mega-selling “alternative” superstar and Oscar-winning soundtrack composer Trent Reznor. This year will see the unveiling of the first new material by Nine Inch Nails in three years – a single, perhaps, or maybe an album? No, it’s the theme music for the forthcoming Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.

Today, rather than focussing on the achievements of those quiet, unassuming engineers that have historically proven to be the true trailblazers of video game music – the kind of people celebrated on the recent SID Chip Sounds compilation, for instance – we’ve decided to look at what happens when musicians already established in the real world, musicians like Trent Reznor, attempt to make music in the virtual one.

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