The first one was mostly about the jazz, the swing, the blues. You had The Ink Spots (they started it all with the first game’s intro song – “Maybe”, it was a haunting ouvre), The Andrews Sisters, Roy Brown(you actually could hack people to “Butcher Pete”), Cole Porter and Billie Holiday. New Vegas went chronologically further with more swing and a bit of country. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Marty Robbins and Bing Crosby can be heard while wandering through the wastes of the Mojave.
The interesting thing is this: how exactly does a video game aimed at people between 16-30 (I’m guessing that’s their target audience) manage to sell them on the idea of oldies (and I do mean old, not like some who throw that word in front of everything older than 10 years)? My answer would be that they don’t even try to sell the idea, it just mixes rather well. I realized about 2 hours in, that the music actually builds atmosphere. It’s ironic, funny, and anachronic at the same time to shoot raiders in the head while Dean Martin swaggers to the beat of “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”. Or to beat someone to a pulp while a love ballad like Nat King Cole’s “Love Me as Though There Were No Tomorrow” plays on. And I’m guessing that’s what brings the hipster approval. Then again, there’s also the fact that this is good music that today’s youth hasn’t been introduced to(and in some ways I’d rather it not become some DJ’s mixing fodder).
Evidence of these songs’ popularity outside the confines of the game can be found all over Youtube’s boards.
If you look at the comments section, you’ll notice most people recognize that the game brought them there. The funniest part is realizing there’s actually a conflict between the ones who haven’t played Fallout, and the ones that did. Focusing solely on the matter of how the song was discovered. I call it funny because there’s two sides that fight over something both of them like.
As for me, I just feel Sinatra’s low-key “Blue Moon” is perfect for stretching your legs in a desert after the end of the world.