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Archive for the ‘Rock Band’ Category

A great friend of the Bird Nest, Jimbo, brought up an interesting question in the last post – have we ever bought a system because of a certain game? It made me think of some of those ill-advised purchases over the years. Like when you buy games for systems you don’t own, or consoles you don’t need, or games you will never play. Sometimes a gamer just gets the urge to add a game to his collection, even if there is already way too little time in the day to actually play it.

Whatever drives us, our purchasing decisions play a major role in our overall gaming experience. Poor choices can lead to poor gaming, which is no good for anyone. But pull the trigger on whatever you’ve been eying and who knows where it will take you. Some of my past decisions were stupid, but lucky stupid. A collection of the bigger, stupider purchases of my life of which some have happy endings, some are still sitting in the closet.

Guitar Hero Fiasco

Probably the most compulsive purchase of my gaming career was Guitar Hero II for the PS2. After getting banned from JPark’s copy of Guitar Hero I (I may have broken his whammy bar) and drooling about it in my sleep, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and fulfill my rock destiny by spending what little money I had on a copy for my apartment. Just one problem, I didn’t own a Playstation 2.

No big deal at first, since my roommate had one, but what would happen at the end of the semester and I went back home with only an Xbox at my disposal? That’s when the guitar started bouncing from house to house, plugging into foreign consoles and strange basements, eventually ending up in the trunk of my car, forgotten but not forsaken. It was my constant search for a console to play my ill-conceived new toy that spread GHII to a lot of people who otherwise had no idea this existed. I was like a Rockin’ Johnny Plastic-Guitar-Seed, spreading hammer-ons and Star Power to anyone that would have it. Well, not really. But I made my friends indulge my obsession if they happened to own a PS2.

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Bleep Bloop over at College Humor put the new Rock Band Stage Kit to work! If you recall, this $99 product attaches a fog machine and strobe light to work while you play Rock Band games.

You can check the video here since I’m having trouble embedding it.

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So its a big day, we have the first non-bird post and I’d like to welcome Jpark to the family. The blogosphere is lucky to have him, and I’m even luckier. Hopefully we can post a few times a day now, but we’ll see. I have a quick link to this study regarding who is playing games. Some interesting stuff:

While just over half of adults play games, 81 percent of adults age 18 to 29 play games — a proportion that drops to 12 percent among those 65 years of age or older.

And again, to connect my day job with my dream, I wanted to share this article about the future of venture capital.

Unlike the last technology bubble, when LPs questioned how much money they put into venture capital as an asset class, this time around there are questions about both the viability of the asset class and pressure on all alternative investments.

This is a quick read, but a good one for those unfamilar with alternative assets and especially venture capital. As VC is an extremely important part of the industry, since so many games require massive funding from VC firms, and VC loves the big payouts with the homeruns, (see this post about WoW: Lich King and its venture ties,) this could have massive implications on the future of gaming. In the past few years we have seen the smaller firms get venture funding, including Boston based Harmonix, makers of Rock Band and a slew of others. Would we have Guitar Hero if Harmonix was developing it now, rather then 5 years ago? We can only watch and see how the recession is going to affect VC and how that in turn affects the ability for smaller gaming companies to get funded. For now, I can expect iApps and flash based games, offered for free online, as where the innovation is going to come from. Hopefully the bigger firms, those that are not venture backed and run on marketing teams and television like executives (I’m looking at you EA,) will keep the industry cruising with cutting edge breakthroughs and risk taking. Odds are though, we’ll see Sims 45 competing with Age of Empires 12 before we see any REAL innovation from the big guys. Left 4 Dead, while a fun and entertaining game, is basically Half-Life with better A.I. and melee only enemies. Not that I’m complaining, but one cannot expect Valve to take any true risks. (That said, the A.I. in L4D is amazing…)

That’s it for the morning, I’m going to have to crank through some day job stuff for the next few hours. Stay tuned for an afternoon update from me and hopefully something from the pahka later.

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