Xbox and 88rising: Music, Games, and Shared Experiences

Music and gaming have always been synonymous with each other, and when perfectly paired, the combo of audio and visual storytelling can often lead us to emotional and unforgettable experiences. From start screen nostalgia to sweaty palmed boss battle crescendos and watery eyed goodbyes, there’s a never-ending list of moments that continue to resonate with […]

Xbox and 88rising: Music, Games, and Shared Experiences

Music and gaming have always been synonymous with each other, and when perfectly paired, the combo of audio and visual storytelling can often lead us to emotional and unforgettable experiences. From start screen nostalgia to sweaty palmed boss battle crescendos and watery eyed goodbyes, there’s a never-ending list of moments that continue to resonate with us long after the credits roll. 

Often, those moments help to bring us together, too. Whether you’re empathizing with upvotes in r/eldenring or singing Halo acapella in a restroom with 25 of your closest friends, there’s joy in both shared experiences and in the discovery of new ones.

This May, as we continue the celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to offer up the opportunity for more discovery and a deeper connection to the APIHM community by inviting our friends in both music and gaming to share their favorites. Below, you’ll hear from artists signed to 88rising, as well as content creators we’ve featured in our Xbox Plays sessions earlier this month. There’s also a Spotify mixtape we put together that we think will be your new favorite playlist. We hope you enjoy what’s been shared as much as we enjoyed putting it together.


88rising Artist – Stephanie Poetri

Stephanie Poetri

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
I’ve always been really into games, starting from those dress up and cooking Flash games on random websites, it’s always been my favorite pastime. I love that it kept me awake and active mentally. I especially love when I can use my creativity! Like building houses, farms and bases! My most memorable gaming moment would probably be when a bunch of my high school friends and I made a Minecraft server during school break, and we would go on everyday to create this huge village with a town hall and different areas. There was even some lore! It was so fun to hang out with my friends online without having to actually leave my room, and when we came back to school we had a bunch of inside jokes!

What are your favorite games of all time?
I think the best game of all time for my play-style is Minecraft. The way it allows you to play in so many different ways, alone or with friends, is so amazing, and the fact that it always gets updated every year is so exciting. I always end up going back to it. I also really like The Sims, I used to always only build houses but recently I’ve started actually playing with the characters and I’m on my 5th generation! I also would like to highlight Apex Legends, Minecraft Dungeons, Stardew Valley, and PUBG!

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
The Minecraft home screen sound is probably the most nostalgic sound to me. I also love all of Stardew Valley‘s in-game music. I even listen to it sometimes when I have work to do. My favorite is probably “Dance of the Moonlight Jellies.” It is such a perfect tune to accompany the visuals of the scene and you can hear the sound of waves and it is just so serene. I will say they definitely inspired me to want to learn how to make music for games.


88rising Artist – Ylona Garcia

Ylona Garcia

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
What made me fall in love with gaming was how it served as a great way for me and my siblings to bond. Family is extremely important to me. We love getting together on our days off to play video games.

What are your favorite games of all time?
I love Minecraft, Call of Duty: Black Ops (2, 3, and 4), Resident Evil, Guitar Hero, and the Batman Arkham video game series.

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
Batman Arkham City’s “Mercenary” by Panic! At The Disco and of course, my song “Entertain Me” which was actually included in the launch trailer of Valorant’s playable character Agent Neon. It was a really interesting experience being able to blend the worlds of gaming and my music together!


88rising Artist – Elephante

Elephante

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
The first games I was well and truly obsessed with were Diablo II and StarCraft — my parents ended up breaking the CDs because I was playing so much. I also would love playing Goldeneye and Super Smash Bros. with my friends on N64. My most memorable gaming moment ever though is probably beating the Taken King raid in Destiny 1 on hard mode with a group of homies on PS4. We spent like 8 hours on that, and finally clearing it was the most satisfying feeling ever.

What are your favorite games of all time?
Right now, it’s Apex Legends and Legends of Runeterra. Diablo II, StarCraft, and the OG Super Smash Bros when I was a kid. Oh and of course Pokémon (Red gang gang).

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
Whenever I hear the Legend of Zelda theme, I’m 8 years old again. I loved Ocarina of Time – not only was the music incredible, I loved how they actually incorporated music into the gameplay, and really nailed how the music you learn in game gives you power.


Creator – Yoojin

Yoojin

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
I really got invested into online gaming at a lonely point in my life, so I definitely really appreciate and love the social aspect of it – being able to connect with friends from all over the country, and the world through gaming! I think my most recent memorable gaming moment was hitting Masters for the first time in Apex Legends.

What are your favorite games of all time?
Anything Pokémon really, Apex Legends, and Final Fantasy XIV.

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
The Littleroot Town theme from Pokémon Emerald really takes me back to my childhood, when I’d just be splayed on my bed happily starting my Hoenn adventure on my Nintendo DS. It just always makes me feel comfy and at home whenever I hear that track.


Creator – Kiyoshi YoRHa

Kiyoshi YoRHa

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
Zelda: Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart because me and my family would sit and play the game together. Sometimes they would let us stay up with them to finish some of the puzzles or watch a boss fight. The game itself was amazing too, there was really fun action combat, interesting characters, awesome scenery and incredible music!

What are your favorite games of all time?
Coincidentally, Zelda: Majora’s Mask is absolutely one of my favorite games of all time. It was the first game I played that had an eerie and unsettling setting. As strange as it sounds it was really refreshing to play a game like that. It really kickstarted my love for other games that are similar, like Bloodborne.

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
The OST from Tunic, Dustforce, Celeste, Persona 5, Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Bloodborne are all amazing video game music that I adore so much.


Creator – Snowlit

Snowlit

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
Gaming has always been a part of my life since I was a kid – it just feels so natural. I remember playing Tetris on the original Game Boy, then moving on to Kirby Super Star and Super Mario World on the SNES. Super Mario 64 on the N64 and Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation were my first foray into 3D video games. My love for RPGs in general grew from there, when I dove into the rich worlds of Final Fantasy VIII through X-2, as well as Diablo II on PC. Fast forward to now, where I’ve completed dozens and dozens of games across various platforms, largely thanks to my 7+ year streaming career on Twitch. There are so many memorable gaming moments, from finishing my first solo Dark Souls playthrough at 295 deaths, to being moved to tears during Ori and the Blind Forest, to enjoying a no-VATS stealth sniper build in Fallout 4.

What are your favorite games of all time?
My favorite games of all time are too many to list these days! But the ones that always come to mind when I’m asked include: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Final Fantasy VII (and Final Fantasy VII Remake), Ori and the Blind Forest, Bloodborne, Red Dead Redemption 2, Hollow Knight, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Yakuza 0.

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
The soundtrack to Final Fantasy VII/Remake is probably the most iconic for me. I had the fortune of attending the Final Fantasy VII Remake Orchestra World Tour earlier this year, and being able to experience a classic video game soundtrack through a live orchestra is absolutely phenomenal. Other noteworthy soundtracks include those from Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, Ori and the Blind Forest, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’ve found that the music from a game can stick with you for years and really adds to the whole of an enriching gaming experience.”


Creator – Yoshi Sudarso

Yoshi Sudarso

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
There are so many moments and reasons that I absolutely love gaming. But it ultimately boils down to two things, the friends I’ve made and the ability to jump into another world. I remember buying my very first handheld console w my brother and sharing it. We weren’t allowed to own one. So at night, we would take turns holding a flashlight while the other played under our covers.

What are your favorite games of all time?
Digimon World, Ragnarok Online, Maplestory, Megaman X, Legends, Battle Network, Final Fantasy VII and VIII, PoyPoy, League of Legends, Pokémon Leaf Green, and Monster Rancher.

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
Digimon World, Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9, 10, Ragnarok Online, Kingdom Hearts, “Warriors” (ft. Imagine Dragons). My wife walked down the aisle to Final Fantasy VIII‘s “Eyes on Me” and now I hum it to my son for bedtime.


Creator – AznSensation

AznSensation

What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?
For as long as I can remember, I have been playing video games, starting games like Street Fighter II and TMNT: Turtles in Time on SNES. I’ve had so many memories of gaming, and a lot of them have been saved on Twitch – but I remember very distinctly the first few days of Gears of War 3 launch. My friends and I all attended different universities, but we all picked that game up at midnight. We’d all skip our classes and chill over Xbox Live and earned every achievement of that game.

What are your favorite games of all time?
Gears of War is by far my favorite franchise. Some honorable mentions: the Just Dance franchise – because it’s the last standing rhythm-based game on consoles, and For Honor for being one of the most unique combat games out there.

Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?
I think the easy cop-out answer here would be to give praise to any Nintendo franchise or any of the Final Fantasy soundtracks, so I’m going to go with a curveball and say Saints Row: The Third. That game had handpicked tracks for specific moments of the game that made it feel cinematic. One moment you’re jammin’ to Kanye West jumping out of helicopters, and the next you’re fighting luchadores while listening to songs from “The Karate Kid.” When you’re not doing those things, you’re cruisin’ down the street with the homies listening to Sublime while singing lyrics to a song you didn’t know you knew the lyrics to. Honorable mention: Need For Speed: Underground. Let’s be real – everyone is following that playlist on Spotify. If you aren’t, I bet you’re about to go do it right now after reading this.”


Play. Connect. Impact: Learn more about all that Xbox and Microsoft are doing in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at our Xbox Community Hub and Microsoft’s AAPIHM Community Hub.

About 88rising: 88rising is the pioneering global music & media company representing the best of Asian talent. 88rising was the first company to launch an Asian-centric music festival in the United States (Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival – now in its fourth year), the first to have an Asian artist top the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts and Spotify’s Weekly Global Albums chart, and the first to launch an all-Asian radio channel reaching all of North America. In 2021, 88rising executive produced and curated the soundtrack to “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” – Marvel Studios’ first Asian-American superhero. In 2019, they were awarded Label of the Year by NetEase, one of the largest music streaming platforms in China. With over 160 million followers across global social media platforms and over 40 billion total streams and views, 88rising’s global influence is undeniable.

Related:
Xbox Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by Supporting API Game Creators and Players
Dolby Vision on the Apple TV App and Spotify Video Podcasts Coming to Xbox
Coming Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Red Dead Online, Final Fantasy X/X-2, FIFA 21, and More