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Rock Band turns Rockford into ROCK-Town Print E-mail
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Written by Fareed "TurboGoat" Guyot   
Monday, 07 January 2008

[PS3] [OpEd]

It has been about a month and a half since the release of Rock Band and while Guitar Hero has had several sequels, Rock Band has upped the ante in participatory gaming.  Whether you received Rock Band or Guitar Hero for Christmas, played at a friend's house or saw someone's best effort on YouTube; people are coming together to recreate their favorite rock memories.  At we may have accomplished a near-first in this paint-by-numbers approach to music appreciation.  The first large-scale Rock Band party.

This past Saturday I held a party at my house in Rockford, IL to celebrate some home improvements I made and to clear out the remaining holiday munchies.  I invited many friends including G:G co-editors SuperGuido, Cigdangle, and his brother.  CigDangle's brother provided the PS3 while CigDangle brought his Rock Band setup that features the noise deadening mods that have been a popular read here at G:G.

There was no need to worry about keeping the neighbors up this night as we rocked-out in the basement with only the worms below the foundation to hear the stomping of the bass pedal, the WOW of the guitar and the vocal stylings of CigDangle.  CigDangle's teen daughter came along as well and showed her Rock Band prowess on the drums.  About twenty people were at the party and before long we were all in the basement, gathered around the TV, either playing, signing along or encouraging those "in the band".  Even though it got so loud with the music and the talking no one retreated upstairs; it felt like being at a real concert.

What I noticed about these new participatory style games is the way it draws spectators into the action even though they don't have a peripheral in their hands.  The games are structured in such a way that pure novices can be successful even after just a few tries.  One party-goer was so into the game that she lost a contact during her first turn at the drums.  She spent the rest of the night sitting in a chair near the TV playing the "air drums" content to be playing along without risking another contact ejection incident.

In surveying the scene I concluded that this was one of the best ways to bring so many strangers together at a party.  Well its much better than charades.


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 January 2008 )
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