Saturday, July 05, 2008

Brave Old World

Those of you without children (you lucky bastards) may have missed the Guitar Hero/Rock Band phenomenon. Essentially, it's music as a game. Here is the teen playing Guitar Hero.

Rock Band is basically a multi-player version of the same thing. They're not real instruments, but they're instrument-shaped controllers: the guitar here has buttons rather than strings, for example. And you play along to all kinds of songs, many of which, the teen complains, she was raised with (e.g. Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend").

In any case, the music in these games tends to be pretty good. And it's about to get better.
This DLC release, titled "The Best of The Who: Rock Band Edition," will feature twelve tracks, including Amazing Journey, Baba O'Riley and My Generation.

"We're really pleased to have our songs featured in Rock Band," said Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who. "It allows our established fan base to interact with our music in a way that's fresh and exciting, while also exposing our songs to new audiences."

"I'm a fan of Rock Band," said Who guitarist Pete Townshend. "I play the game with my son and girlfriend and love the way it brings different generations together through music. I like the idea that people of all ages will be having fun playing our songs."

But personally, I don't think Pete Townshend should get points for playing stuff he wrote. I wonder if there's a macro for that?


trifecta said...

NPR had a report last week that shockingly, the Beatles catalogue is about to be signed over for the video game.

steve simels said...

Pete Townshend playing Who songs in Rock Band is kind of like that scene in Citizen Kane when Welles as the older Kane walks inbetween those two walls covered with mirrors, with his reflection going off in both directions toward infinity....

peter spencer said...

It's not music. In fact, it's the exact opposite of music.

Kid Charlemagne said...

The thing that bothers me about Rock Band is the time it takes a kid to master it could be spent learning how to play a real guitar.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, for lots of kids today, video games are cooler than real guitars.

MBowen said...

Most of my co-workers are young women between 22 and 28. When a Who song comes up on my iPod they wonder why anyone would listen to the theme music from one of the CSI shows.

Noam Sane said...

These video games need to include a module where you go backstage to the manager's office after the gig and try to get paid.

Mykej said...

Mastering the guitar in Rock band may be a waste of time, but from what I'm told the drums translate pretty well to the real instrument.

virgotex said...

I'm going to sound callous and philistine here but "time marches on."

The artifacts of popular culture are re-digested and re-purposed constantly. So it has been, so it will always be.

There are still plenty of creative and talented kids out there finding ways to express themselves, despite the brain suck of video games.

I have less problem with songs going into Rock Band than with Iggy Pop signing his stuff over to sell cars. Bottom line, these guys wrote this stuff, they get to do with it what they want, or their heirs and assigneds get to do with it what they want.

Completely OT, but does The Teen always match the wallpaper like in this photo?

That's some style.

Gary said...

mykej: As one who has played Rock Band before and who plays actual instruments, I can confirm that the drums don't play like drums at all.

Don't get me wrong - they're set up like drums. But, the patterns that your arms and legs are making to receive points wouldn't result in a drum beat if you were behind an actual kit.

In fact, I think having played real drums was a hindrance in being able to do well in the game, because I had to completely shut off the part of my brain that knew which part of the drum kit I *should* have been hitting to create the sound I was hearing.

I should've gotten double points or something, because overcoming muscle memory is a bitch!

But, it was still pretty fun to dork around on.