Arcade Anthems

Ronnie James Video Games

Ronnie James Video Games

Last Thursday night Antonia and I were watching the video for Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games.” Antonia pointed out that it was one of the first earnest video game songs she could recall — as most songs about arcade attractions are parody’s or novelty songs; campy cantos to clanging coins.

So, we Googled “video game songs.” While not every song or video on this Kotaku list is as compelling as the next, I recommend sampling every one of these finds — they range from early rap to Kraftwerk-ian synth scores to disco funk to…er…Joe Walsh.

To get you started, here are a few of my favorites…

Check out this mysterious 1980’s duo with their take on “Video Games.”

In this Warhol-inspired video you get a glimpse of early hip-hop culture, all the way back in the day in 1980. This is Ronnie Jones’ take on “Video Games.”

The Yellow Magic Orchestra’s members give minimal performances in this video for “Computer Games,” which seems to be completely collaged from the sounds, music and visual elements of popular contemporaneous games that could be played on early computers.

As promised, here is a hilarious video for “Space Age Whiz Kids” from Joe Walsh in 1983.

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Music posts


Joe Nolan was born under a bad sign on June 13th in Detroit, Michigan in the last Metal Year of the Dog. Polymath, provocateur, inter-media artist, his tell-tale signs have turned up in music, visual art, journalism, poetry, fiction, video and film. A double Gemini, his interests range from the pharmacology of phenomenology to fly fishing; from mysticism to mixed martial arts; from chaos science to chaos magick. Joe Nolan's Insomnia blog republishes to some of the most read counter-culture sites on the web and the Coincidence Control Network podcast which he hosts has been downloaded more than half-a-million times.He is recording his fourth CD in Nashville, Tennessee where he lives to the east of the Cumberland river on a little wooded lot dubbed Bohemian Walnut Grove.

Latest posts by JoeNolan (see all)