Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” Lyrics Meaning

“Video Games” is another of Lana Del Rey songs which is based on her actual romantic history. In fact in this particular case, she is actually singing about her experiences with two different lovers though rolled into one.

One of these guys, as indicated by the title, had an affinity for video games. But regardless of being inspired by two different sources, the song tells a unified story. And that is the singer being totally and completely in love with her partner, i.e. the addressee.

It should be noted that neither of Lana’s romances with the aforementioned guys ended ideally. As such, even though the lyrics themselves don’t relay that emotion, her vocal delivery of them does.


Ultimately the phrase video games serves as a metaphor for how deeply in love the singer is in with the addressee.

Facts about “Video Games”

Interscope Records came out with this track on 7th October, 2011. It served as the lead single from Lana Del Rey’s sophomore album “Born to Die” and is considered to be her breakthrough hit. Other notable singles from “Born to Die” include “Blue Jeans” and “Summertime Sadness“.

Indeed when all is said and done, “Video Games” may prove to be the most-celebrated song of her entire career. And why? For instance, it earned Lana the highly-distinctive Ivor Novello Award in 2012. And in late 2019, it was actually named Song of the Decade at the UK-based Q Awards.

It also made ‘best songs of the decade’ lists compiled by other organizations such as NMEPitchfork and Uproxx. And the British publication The Guardian named it the “Best Song of 2011”.

And in terms of its chart performance it reached number one in four countries, including doing so on the UK Indie Chart. Overall, “Video Games” charted in well over 20 nations. It also achieved double-Platinum status in Germany and Switzerland. 

Moreover the track has been covered by a number of popular artists, such as Boy George and even the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Did Lana Del Rey write “Video Games”?

Not only did Del Rey deliver compelling vocals on this hit, but she is also one of its two writers, alongside Justin Parker. Moreover Lana actually directed the music video to the tune. And the track was produced by a duo known as Robopop in conjunction with Sterling Fox.

SNL Flop

On a less-positive note, “Video Games” was one of two songs (along with “Blue Jeans”) that Lana performed on the 14th of January 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL). Said performance was panned, quite publicly, by a number of critics. For Lana was inexperienced in terms of such big stages at the time, and it has been noted that it was unconventional for someone in that early point of their career to even land a gig on SNL in the first place. Either way, even NBC’s (i.e. the network that hosts Saturday Night Live) own journalist Brian Williams referred to it as “one of the worst outings in SNL history”.

Below is the SNL performance in question:

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