5-Year-Old Civ IV Gets Gaming’s First Grammy Nod


For the first time ever, a videogame has been nominated for a Grammy award. Too bad it came out in 2005.

It’s becoming harder and harder to deny the place that videogames have in mainstream culture. A song composed for a game has been nominated for a Grammy award – and I don’t mean for a new “best videogame song” category, either.

Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” – seen here to the right – made the short list for the category “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.” It may be a bit specific, but hey, it’s still a Grammy award. Tin composed the song for Firaxis’ Civilization series, and it was performed by the rather talented Soweto Gospel Choir.

Here’s the weird bit, though: Tin didn’t write “Baba Yetu” for the excellent Civilization V. It was composed for Civilization IV, which came out five years ago in 2005. I thought the purpose of the Grammy awards was to recognize the top songs of the year?

The popularity of “Baba Yetu” has extended beyond gaming, reports Gamasutra, with thousands of professional choirs inserting it into their repertoire – and that doesn’t just mean game-themed performances like Video Games Live, either. It’s possible that the Grammy folks only just now got around to nominating this song because this was the first they’d ever heard it.

But it still feels weird to have a song nominated for an award half a decade after it was first released, don’t you think?

Update: I have been informed that the Grammy nod is specifically for the Video Games Live arrangement of the song – which did, in fact, come out this year. That answers that, then. (Thanks, JonahNYC!)


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