Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean.

Marty is our FPS hero! Martin "Marty" O'Donnell '77 is an award-winning American composer known for his work on video game developer Bungie's series, such as Myth, Riven and most predominantly Halo, Halo2 and Halo3.

O'Donnell started composing video game music when his company, TotalAudio, did the sound design for the 1997 title Riven. After producing the music for Myth II, Bungie contracted O'Donnell to work on their other projects, including Halo. O'Donnell ended up joining the Bungie staff only ten days before the studio was bought by Microsoft, cha-ching! and has been the audio director for all Bungie since. O'Donnell's score to the Halo trilogy has been called iconic, and the commercial soundtrack release of the music to Halo 2 became the best-selling video game soundtrack of all time, even receiving praise from RollingStone magazine.

But it wasn't always so glamorous for O'Donnell, he began his career panhandling jingles in the advertising business. He has since apologized for writing the jingles for Mr. Clean and Flintstones Vitamins, that were highly criticized for peterepeatitis (a brain condition where musical phrases get stuck in your head).

Marty, you have become a video game rock star with a cult of online followers known as "The Marty Army", how does it feel to have groupies? "Well, um, I guess it's cool, I imagine it's kinda how Michael W. Smith feels when he sings Friends are Friends Forever in chapel."

So you've got one of the most totally tripindicular awesome jobs in universe creating stuff for Halo, one of the best ever waste of time games ever created, how did Wheaton prepare you for this kingdom of kaboom? "You know my time at Wheaton was great, as I reflect on my days at the conservatory I was able to garner the foundations of what music was about, while my time in other religion classes were so boring that I knew I needed to find something in a kick-ass industry like gaming. In fact, I used to listen my cassettes with a mono earplug in Weber's class so I could listen to King Crimson and Brian Eno, while making psychedelic images on my etch-a-sketch."

I see that you are featured as part of the Wheaton profile next to greats like Bill Pollard and John Ortberg. So do you think that working in gaming is a higher calling?, are kids who spend hours playing Halo learning life lessons that serve them well for years to come? "Dude you better believe it, there's nothin better than turning up the bass and rockin the Jenga Death-Ray in a Halo game of Sidewinder over the mega-LAN."

I read that D.C. Sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo, used to play the first person shooter (FPS) Halo game before his real-life sniper attacks, is there a link between video games and violence? What's your response to that? "Yikes, is that true? Since I work for Microsoft I  had better let someone else answer that one, but I think you can hear the other side of the gaming story by listening to what Jane McGonigal has to say."

Thanks, Marty. You know we have been thinking about adding a Video Game major at Wheaton to attract a new generation of students. In fact, our new president, Dr. Phil, as part of his new initiatives has been working on some tv commercials to run on WGN. Here's the script:

VO: Do you want to work in the exciting field of video game creation? Then Wheaton College's School of Gaming is for you. Just look at graduate Marty O'Donnel, Chief Audio Guru for Halo 3, (sound effect: thunk-a-mao-mao-ping-ping. 'pretty cool dude.') Have you ever dreamed about what it would be like to have a job making video games? Get off your couch and call us now, you could be making video games in 4 years, hanging out at E3 with alumni like James Yaegashi, voice of the sexy and controversial Grand Theft Auto & BioShock video games.  (Sound effect: 'drop it baby, and kiss me now') At Wheaton College we make your virtual dreams happen! S-U-C-C-E-S-S say it loud! S-U-C-C-E-S-S

1 comment:

  1. Marty has become an example in my classes. I say, "Look around you. You never know what God might have in store for your classmates." To think that someone I used to sit with in Music History is now prominent in a field that did not exist when we were in school is really astounding. Congratulations, Marty!

    Steve Posegate
    California Baptist University