Gamespot today has an interesting recap of a GDC panel featuring two producers from the wildly popular Guitar Hero II.
The producers wax philosophic about how level design in a platform game was translated to songs in Guitar Hero II. Essentially, in platform games, the player is introduced to basic skills and then is asked to use those skills in more difficult settings while learning new skills along the way.
And thus was the challenge, except this time, with music. The development team had to come up with songs that would mimic this gaming paradigm.
The musical structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo helped provide the structure that game designers often seek when trying to challenge their audience.
As the article continues, the producers get into specific songs and how they relate to the game's difficulty.
Hey, take it for what it's worth, I just found it interesting to think of game design in terms of music.